INTRAC has developed a new, free resource on the design and implementation of youth-led accountability. Intended for youth-led organisations and those working with young people, the publication draws on learning from The Development Alternative.

Authors Dan James and Willemijn de Bruin have called the publication a ‘cookbook’ rather than a toolkit or a guide to best practice. This reflects their view that there are many ways for young people to hold development actors to account. The cookbook describes six core ingredients of youth-led accountability, which each have a chapter of their own within the text:

  1. Youth leadership
  2. Transparency and access to information
  3. Community awareness and engagement
  4. Mechanism to gather and listen to feedback
  5. Building trust and collaboration with development actors
  6. Supporting development actors to respond to feedback

The cookbook finishes with one of the potential recipes: The Development Alternative’s Model for Change, which was piloted in Uganda and Madagascar during 2020 and 2021. It also includes some tips for ‘cooking’ with youth-led accountability ingredients. The authors hope to inspire others to design and implement different youth-led accountability recipes of their own.

While working on this cookbook we really tried to ensure that the content is accessible, both in terms of the language used and its design. I am proud of the end product and hope that youth-led and youth-focused organisations will pick it up when planning and implementing accountability programmes. This way the cookbook will live on as a legacy of The Development Alternative.

Co-author Willemijn de Bruin, INTRAC Research and Programme Coordinator