Equality for Women and Girls

GOJoven

GOJoven was launched in 2004 in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico and has trained over 350 young leaders aged 18-30 to act as catalysts for improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health choices, services, policies, and programs at the community, national, and regional levels. Run by the Public Health Institute (PHI)  for nearly ten years, PHI began supporting a transition to alumni-led GOJovens in 2012. The local youth-led GOJoven associations have continued to grow and deepen their impact.

GOJoven’s Initial Phase – 2004-2012

When provided with appropriate support and opportunities, young people can be powerful messengers and advocates for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in their communities and nations.

During this phase, PHI worked with local organizations to select young leaders aged 18-30 to enter the program. The GOJoven program consisted of three week-long trainings spread over 18 months to develop skills and knowledge in personal leadership and development, gender and sexuality, policy advocacy and other areas. GOJoven fellows from each country were selected to join annual cohorts from targeted regions and from a cross-sector of professions and cultures. Towards the end of their fellowship, they were challenged to develop leadership action plans on adolescent sexual reproductive health (ASRH) for which they received small funds to implement their projects, using skills and techniques acquired through GOJoven.

Beginning in 2013, GOJoven shifted from PHI as the international NGO implementer to local GOJoven alumni-led leadership. GOJoven alumni from each country have established independent, youth-led, NGOs to continue using the GOJoven model to train additional young leaders as the early cohorts age out. These local organizations also are implementing projects on ASRH education and outreach, capacity-building of service providers and teachers, and advocacy for policy change and improved implementation of existing standards.

For more information on the local GOJoven associations and profiles of fellows, see PHI’s GOJoven International website. Information on local GOJoven associations are available via these links:

Evaluations of GOJoven

An evaluation by J. Solomon Consulting, LLC, in 2012 sought to: (1) identify GOJoven’s outcomes at multiple levels; (2) identify promising practices for the ASRH and youth leadership fields; and (3) support planning for GOJoven’s next phase. It employed quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods, including collection and discussion of “Most Significant Change” stories written by fellows. Four in-country evaluation consultants, all GOJoven alumni, assisted with the evaluation.

2012 Evaluation Findings

At the individual (fellow) level, GOJoven has evidenced positive effects on ASRH- and leadership-related knowledge, attitudes, and skills (KAS). Most alumni were engaged in and/or looking for paid or volunteer work in ASRH. Fellows have attained increasingly influential ASRH-related leadership roles: many attribute these advances (at least in part) to GOJoven. At the organizational level, GOJoven has evidenced positive effects on organizations’ youth and/or ASRH focus, staff KAS concerning youth and ASRH work, inter-organizational collaboration, and organizational visibility. At the community level, many new local ASRH-related activities and services have been implemented.

However, while there is some systematic evidence of positive short-term changes in beneficiary youths’ KAS, there is little formal or systematic evidence of behavioral and/or associated health status outcomes. At the national and regional levels, some GOJoven fellows have been involved in program or policy initiatives through job and project responsibilities, advisory and advocacy groups, and conferences. However, there is little evidence that GOJoven programming has achieved change in ASRH-related policies, services, or health outcomes at these levels.

2017 Evaluation Refresh

In 2016, Summit commissioned J. Solomon Consulting to undertake a more limited evaluation of GOJoven’s impacts on fellows completing the full GOJoven curriculum. Infographics on these outcomes in each country are available here: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

In addition, the consultant assessed impacts of the local GOJoven associations mainly for the benefit of those associations to assess impact strengths and weaknesses. A public version of those evaluations will be available soon and posted on this site.

Banner and Title Image Courtesy of Asociación GOJoven Honduras

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