A Facilitator’s Guide to Increasing Civic Participation and Leadership Among Young Women in Emerging Democracies

Client: International Organization for Adolescents
Faculty: Jody Spiro
Team: Renee Dugan, Chulwoo Kim, Patty Mejia, Jasmine Vallejo
Year: 2005
The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in response to the gap in programming and services for adolescents around the world. To meet the challenges specifically facing young women, IOFA developed the Girls Talk! Program model that aims to promote gender equity and empower young women to act as agents for change in their communities - locally, nationally and globally. The objective of the IOFA Capstone project was to develop a comprehensive trainer’s guide targeted at increasing young women’s civic participation by developing their leadership skills and political literacy. The curriculum was developed by completing a comprehensive literature review on best practices in the fields of civic education, adolescent learning, and women's leadership; speaking with professionals in the field and young people that have participated in leadership training programs; developing a criteria and rating system to evaluate over 50 curricula to discern what type of training activities work best in the field and meet IOFA’s needs; and creating a multidisciplinary four-module facilitator’s guide, covering such diverse topics as women’s rights, group dynamics, public speaking, and foundations of democracy, and including a “Train the Trainer” component. In addition to the curriculum itself, the Capstone team developed a guide to adapting the curriculum to international contexts specifically for Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The team also created evaluation tools to monitor the effectiveness of the curricula on the individuals and their communities.