Resources and guidance

There are lots of great resources and frameworks that people can use to navigate, acknowledge, and overcome power intergenerational and age-related power dynamics. We’ll be sharing a few, and hope others will share theirs!

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It’s challenging to respond to this because this is not just about toolkits or resources. This is a BIG topic and the ability to manage it is so core to our work. It takes time. Also, managing power dynamics is also impacted by your design initiative sponsor (they are lending you their power, essentially), as well as the power that a design facilitator perceives that they have. And that’s not even getting to participants…

I would also note that how to manage this is different at each stage of a design process.

I’ve compiled a slide with an overview and some resources »

Thank you so much, Christine! These are fantastic! I’m specifically going to pull out a couple that I think everyone should see. :clap:

Here is the one that you mentioned in our Retro meeting a few weeks ago that I’m also really interested in - the Step Up Step back facilitation approach to create space and safety for all perspectives in the room:

This one that specifically talks about key shifts in the approach to technical assistance, which specifically calls out shifts to deal with power and gender imbalances to strengthen health outcomes, which were defined using HCD:

And finally this one, which is about shifting the power to young people in humanitarian contexts:

This is also a great case study from the Transform/PHARE project in Niger and Burkina Faso on the impact of power dynamics on project design, for a project aimed at increasing family planning uptake among young women.

It offers great information on how human-centred design was used to help understand power dynamics in the project contexts, and how insights generated from the HCD process helped to navigate these throughout the project design phase.

Here are both the English and French versions:

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This is timely. Most youth hardly understand the adults because they have needs, passions and dreams that they want to so badly achieve in life. It becomes a problem when the adults cannot understand them. On the other way round, the adults too mostly want to communicate their experiences but the youth can sometimes not understand. Who wants to be in control of whose life and dream is a people problem for the growth of youth.

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Hi @fayiaforay! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here.

I really hear what you’re saying, that there needs to be a sense of understanding both ways. There are a lot of stakeholders involved in programming for youth and adolescents, including both youth and adults, and it’s not always easy to have safe, open dialogues where everyone feels heard. One of the things that I’ve been reading in the resources is that some of the HCD mindsets, such as empathy and optimism, are really helpful to guide constructive, intergenerational dialogue.

I’d love to hear if you have any personal experiences with navigating power dynamics or openness between youth and adults in your work, and anything that you have seen to work well?

Wow. Amazing thank you.

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Here is a great piece from about using the power of play to overcome power imbalances when working with young people. Some of the key points highlighted are how play incubates empathy, create safe spaces for topics that might seem taboo, and allow us to get creative!