Fundamentals of Positive Youth Development
An eCourse for Practitioners
As the world’s population approaches eight billion in 2019, there are more young people than ever before, and nine out of ten of them live in developing countries. As stated in the USAID Education Policy, “USAID takes a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach to its programming that affects youth across all sectors. PYD engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a way that recognizes, utilizes, and enhances their strengths.”
PYD ensures youth in partner countries gain the skills they need to lead productive lives, gain employment, and positively contribute to society. So, why does USAID use this approach, and how can education practitioners integrate PYD into their programs? USAID’s eCourse, Positive Youth Development 101: Fundamentals of Youth Programming, answers these and many more questions about the principles and practices that underlie effective youth programming.
What is PYD?
Positive youth development is a holistic approach to youth development that engages youth along with their families, communities, and/or governments so that youth are empowered to reach their full potential. Successful PYD strategies focus on:
- Building skills, assets, and competencies;
- Fostering healthy relationships;
- Strengthening the environment; and
- Involving and engaging youth as equal partners.
How the PYD 101 Training Can Help You Learn More
The PYD 101 eCourse:
- Is free, self-paced, and estimated to take 45 minutes to complete.
- Is practical, interactive, and scenario-based.
- Provides a roadmap to key PYD resources and tools. Since the PYD field includes an extensive number of available resources, the eCourse helps you focus in on the key concepts and tools you need to understand and use PYD.
- Unpacks the PYD Framework and its relevant PYD features. In addition, the course explains how the cognitive, moral, emotional and social aspects of adolescent growth manifest through this important developmental period.
Basic Key Takeaways
Youth are not one-dimensional, and there is no "one size fits all" way to work with them. Regardless of the sector you work in, here are five ways you can apply PYD principles to your work by taking an intentional and multidimensional approach to youth programming.
- Shift the focus of programming from the individual to a socio-ecological model to take into account the environmental factors that influence young people. This includes the youth, their families, community, and the systems around them.
- Implement differentiated youth programming that considers the age and developmental stage of the targeted youth.
- Address the multiple needs of youth through cross-sectoral interventions in education, health, economic growth, food security, and democracy, rights, and governance.
- Implement programs with more than one PYD feature for more impact, such as skills building and safe spaces.
- Conduct assessments and research to understand the needs of various groups of youth across contexts.
Positive Youth Development 101Take the course
After taking the PYD 101 course, you will be ready for Positive Youth Development 201 (PYD 201): Applying the Fundamentals of Effective Youth Programming. In this course, you will take the learning from PYD 101 to create a draft youth program design using interactive scenarios.