Generation Change put out a call to find out from organisations on the ground what practices they use to apply the six quality principles of youth social action. We got replies from 65 organisations and nearly 1000 suggested practices. These practices are thought to be effective by numerous youth social action organisaitons and many are relevant in multiple contexts.
Social action can be described as having a clear intended benefit to a community, cause or social problem. See below for some top tips on how to put the quality principle of being socially impactful into practice.
Using evidence to inform approaches: Using evidence around social issues to inform the social action activity
Having a clear theory of change: support young people to create a theory of change for the action they want to take (check out the insights post-Why should I have a logic model?”)
Measuring outcomes: The project plan puts in place ways of measuring the outcomes of the activity, and the benefits to people involved.
Social mixing between demographics: Projects actively seek to mix people from different backgrounds including age, ability, ethnicity
Beneficiary led interventions: Projects seek input and direction from the people they hope to benefit
Communicating impact and presentations: Many social action projects include a communications element to engage more people, for example presentations or testimonies.
Setting goals and targets: Outcomes are given targets or goals in order to motivate and focus young people’s efforts
Before and after comparisons: Projects measure the change that has been created by comparing measurements at the start and finish of a programme.
Having a strong ethos and purpose: Teams and adult volunteers in still a strong culture of inspiration and ethos of social change
Partnerships: Projects work closely with established community groups or charities.