Compendium of Promising Practices

A publication featuring promising and inspiring actions with and by youth, which will be brought to attention at high-level events, and a social media campaign around it.

The Compendium of promising practises with, for and by young people will take shape of a highly visual UN-Habitat publication, featuring between 10 to 20 inspiring projects or initiatives of youth (with the target number of 17 practises as per the number of SDGs), among which 5 initiatives will represent an exemplary set of practises developed with and by youth focusing on various areas of community work where sustainable action is needed. All the promising practises will at the same time be featured at the Youth 2030 Community of Practice platform and adapted to an online-based exhibition, integrating media materials that cannot be included in the physical publication.

Call for Promising Practices is Now Open!

Are you a young person working with others like yourself addressing issues pertaining to your city or community? Share your story with us and get the visibility your organisation deserve!

Submission instructions

Globally, young women and men work side by side addressing the issues faced by their communities, bringing the world closer to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030. Nevertheless, their action and transformative potential is yet to be duly recognised. 

In this call for most promising practices, youth are encouraged to share the cases of successful youth-initiated and/or youth-led activities at the city, town or community level they are involved in. These submissions will inform a social media campaign around the topic of meaningful youth engagement in January – April 2022, and will be brought to the table at this year’s ECOSOC Youth Forum, High Level Meeting on Sustainable Urbanisation, the Generation Connect Summit and World Urban Forum. The social media handles associated with the submitted initiatives and projects will be promoted by UN-Habitat and our partner organisations, giving young people the visibility they deserve.

The submissions that stand out for their inspiring character will be featured in the upcoming UN-Habitat’s Compendium of Promising Practices in the area of meaningful youth engagement. In this case, the person who made a submission will be contacted by UN-Habitat’s Youth 2030 team for an interview.

To become part of UN-Habitat’s Youth 2030 Cities social media campaign, a representative of the youth project/initiative must fill out the submission form below. This survey takes about 10-12 minutes and is entirely voluntary. The questions marked “*” are obligatory, however, we encourage the respondents to answer as many questions as possible. 

After making the submission, don’t forget to share it with your audience on social media tag us along on our social media channels:

Twitter – @unhabitatyouth and @youth2030cities (#youth2030cities)
Instagram – @unhabitatyouth (#youth2030cities)
Facebook – @unhabitatyouth and @youth2030cities
TikTok – @youth2030cities (#youth2030cities)

  1. The initiative must be led or initiated by youth OR youth are involved in shared decision-making and implementation with adults, thus falling within the seventh or eighth rung of Hart’s ladder of young people’s participation. In this light, the submissions indicating a partnership between youth and local government are highly encouraged.
  2. Organisations eligible to submit are community-based youth-led associations or agencies, youth projects and activities supported by NGOs, civil associations or formal institutions (schools, universities, museums, cultural centres, religious entities), or youth activities or programmes of local governments.
  3. The initiative should be addressing a community’s health and wellbeing in the economical or social sphere, or contributing to the creation of public good in the area of environment, governance or culture. In this regard, the initiative should be locally grounded, although it can have a national or global reach. 
  4. The initiative must seek to be sustainable in a social, environmental and economic sense. Respectively, it should not harm the environment or be delivered at the expense of other stakeholders aside from beneficiaries. An additional plus is if the initiative has potential to be financially self-sustaining in the long run.
  5. The initiative has to demonstrate some evidence of its effectiveness. Testimonials of those who benefited from the initiative should be shared, and/or some statistics provided that compare the situation before and after the initiative.

Please find the examples of the initiatives that can be submitted here.

The selection criteria for UN-Habitat’s Compendium of Promising Practices are as follows:

  1. The strength of argument for the initiative/project’s social, environmental and economic sustainability.
  2. The robustness of the evidence of the initiative/project’s effectiveness.
  3. The level of completion of the submission form.

Top-5 submissions will be profiled in the Compendium as the Most Promising Practices.

Top-17 submissions will constitute the Compendium of Promising Practices.

Top-25 submissions will be featured in a series of deep-dive interviews widely promoted on UN-Habitat Youth social media channels.

Early bird submissions (between the 1st and 31st of January) will make up Youth 2030 promising practices’ social media campaign.

Two thirds of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals are addressed locally. UN-Habitat is the UN agency mandated to contribute to the improvement of cities and towns by making them safer, more resilient and inclusive. We encourage submissions that tackle issues of sustainable urbanisation.

As 2030 approaches, it is essential to mobilise all stakeholders and adopt a whole-of-society approach in attaining the SDGs. Therefore, the initiatives that involve various stakeholders such as public and private sector, civil society organisations, religious associations or media in the spirit of the SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals are highly appreciated. If the initiative being submitted is characteristic of such sort of partnerships, please indicate it in the submission form. 

In the midst of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the world bore witness to young people taking action in the forefront of the fight against the spread of the disease. Therefore, we expect that some of the submitted initiatives can be directly related to COVID-19 response or post-pandemic recovery. If so, we kindly ask you to indicate it in the submission form.

The overall submission period is between the 1st of January and the 31st of March, 2022.

Key definitions

Public spaces that bring together community agencies and neighbourhood groups to offer a range of activities, programs and services.

As defined by the Interaction Institute for Social Change, equity is a state in which access to political, social and economic resources is done fairly. Youth 2030 defines equity as a process in which “all groups have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to improve the quality of their lives”, and equity as an outcome when “differences in life outcomes cannot be predicted on the basis of race, class or other dimensions of identity”.

A model advanced by sociologist Roger Hart in 1998, suggesting varied degrees (or ‘rungs’) of children and youth engagement when it comes to making decisions that affect them. The seventh and eighth rungs of participation refer to young people’s leading and initiating action as well as sharing decision-making with adults, respectively, and are considered including youth voices in civic co-creation in the most meaningful way. You can read more about Hart’s ladder of participation here (abridged version).

Economic activities that fall outside official regulation (taxation, monitoring and protection under the law) because the regulations do not apply, because of weak enforcement or because of evasion of regulation. Activities that sometimes fall within the informal economy include street vending, domestic service, home-based enterprises, waste picking and urban agriculture.

Population groups that are considered marginalised include women, children, LGBTQ+ people, individuals with disabilities, older persons, people with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, homeless people or occupants of informal dwellings, refugees or new migrants. These groups often are often prejudiced against, and have specific needs of which local governments are obligated to provide a number of services to meet their needs. “Planning from the margins” is a principle meaning that all residents benefit when the needs of marginalised populations are centred.

is a document guiding action towards sustainable urbanisation that was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2016.

An urban planning process that involves the entire community in the strategic and management processes of planning, with special attention to involving marginalised groups. Participatory planning aims to achieve community buy-in and prevent conflict between groups. Participatory planning should be learning-oriented and should promote mutual accountability between community and public officers to ensure the continued participation of the stakeholders. Stakeholders should be engaged at various levels and stages of the planning process including validation.

Promising practice in the sphere of youth engagement with SDGs are an initiative or a part of a larger initiative that is initiated and is being implemented by and with youth that proved to be successful in sense that they are potentially effective for SDGs attainment.

Focusing on exclusively youth-led initiatives will have little value in terms of displaying the landscape of youth action and overlook many truly inspiring and innovative partnerships happening between and among young people and various groups of stakeholders. It is critical to acknowledge that having different socio-economic, cultural and contextual settings, youth both across the globe and urban-rural continuum experience this period of their life differently, which has a direct impact on the way they interact with the world. To be able to meaningfully engage with this diverse demographic, we would need to depart from capturing youth-led initiatives, but look for meaningful partnerships and practises of involvement that can inspire replication and creative thinking.

In sociology, public goods are commodities or services that benefit all members of society. By contrast, private goods are inherently scarce and are paid for separately by individuals.

A process of taking into account local contexts in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, from the setting of goals and targets, to determining the means of implementation and using indicators to measure and monitor progress. SDG localisation entails awareness-raising and advocacy activities around SDGs on subnational level, implementation and monitoring of the locally set SDG agenda, and the subsequent reflections on the way forwards.

Social relationships that contribute to individual and collective well-being and productivity. Social capital refers to the value of social networks, bonds and trust.

People, groups, communities, agencies and other organised units that are impacted by a certain issue or project.

17 goals that were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. The SDGs provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.. More information about 17 SDGs, their targets and indicators can be found here.

A process of growth and development of cities and urban areas that promotes cities’ long term viability by reducing consumption, waste and harmful impacts on people and place while enhancing the overall well-being of both people and place. UN-Habitat as a UN agency is mandated to contribute to the improvement of cities and other human settlements by making them safer, more resilient and inclusive. The key document guiding UN-Habitat’s work in the field of sustainable urbanisation is the New Urban Agenda.

 In New Urban Agenda, sustainability includes the following four core dimensions:

  • Social sustainability refers to the New Urban Agenda principle “leave no one behind”, emphasising the equal rights of all people to the benefits that cities can offer.
  • Economic sustainability suggests that jobs are accessible to all and livelihoods are secured, while the cities are characterised by higher productivity and competitiveness.
  • Environmental sustainability calls for the development of cities that protect, conserve, restore and promote their ecosystems, water, natural habitats and biodiversity, minimise their environmental impact and change to sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Spatial sustainability relates to the long-term ability of cities to successfully plan for their increased urbanisation and growth.

A UN-Habitat publication, featuring inspiring initiatives of youth which will represent an exemplary set of practises developed with and by youth focusing on various areas where sustainable action is needed. The promising practises will be featured on the Youth 2030 Community of Practice Platform. They will be presented online, integrating media materials that cannot be included in printed publication. These promising practises will be featured in an exhibition online and the online movement sparked via social media channels.

A community engagement and learning platform that promotes and supports youth-led action in cities and communities. This sub-platform will be a part of the Social Shifters platform, a non-profit organisation helping the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to tackle the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

An impact measurement and reporting platform for youth groups and organisations who want to use data to understand how their work impacts their communities and identify areas of opportunities for further development.

This platform allows youth organisations to link their missions and focus areas to relevant indicators from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF) to monitor, analyse and report on the progress of their work to governments and key stakeholders, and contribute to urban agenda plans in their cities.

Stay Tuned with #Youth2030Cities

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