OCIC’s new Youth Policy-Makers Hub (YPH) is one of the new signature initiatives of OCIC’s Community Engagement and Learning programs. The YPH is an inter-generational initiative that will engage diverse youth from across Ontario in international cooperation policy processes in support of Gender Equality, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) action areas, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Global problems like gender inequality and climate change affect people of all ages everywhere. These complex problems require holistic inter-generational approaches, diverse mindsets, multi-disciplinary methods and multi-sectoral dialogue. OCIC recognizes the wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership that youth leaders bring to the international cooperation sector in Ontario and beyond. We want to help enable the active participation of youth at local, national and international policy-making tables to inform decisions that concern their lives, future and the planet.
An Online Info Session was held on October 30 to cover the program introduction, timeline, and FAQs.
For inquiries about the program and application process, please contact our Community Engagement Specialist, Eugenia Ochoa.
Now accepting Expressions of Interest
- involved in or leading policy-focused programs and processes at the local, sub-national, national or international level and interested in helping to strengthen the capacity of diverse youth leaders to take part in policy-making arenas?
- keen on learning and sharing your experience, expertise and ideas with others in the international cooperation and other sectors about youth-led approaches to policy-making processes with regards to gender equality and the other SDGs?
We are looking for diverse Allies of various ages and stages in their career (young leaders, mid-career professionals and senior leaders) who will:
- help guide the development of OCIC’s new Youth Policy-Makers Hub program, in close collaboration with OCIC staff and the Youth Policy-Makers;
- share their expertise and experience regarding youth-led and youth-focused engagement in policy-making and advocacy with the other Allies and Youth Policy-Makers in the hub and others in the international cooperation sector in Ontario;
- participate in knowledge exchange and mobilization activities; and
- be able to participate in YPH online and in-person meetings and other activities over the next 12 months (approximately 1-2 hours per month).
Please let us know if you have any needs for accommodation throughout the process.
Please review the YPH Program Concept Note before applying.
As an equity seeking organization, OCIC encourages expressions of interest from individuals who represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation.
OCIC calls for youth shakers, makers and doers. We are gathering activists, community youth leaders, artists, educators, and allies from across Ontario to co-create and engage in policy-making and advocacy initiatives towards gender equality, social and environmental justice issues.
Youth Policy-Makers will have the opportunity to:
- Partake in engagement and learning exchange opportunities to strengthen your capacity to influence policy making and advocacy processes
- Connect with a network of youth and allies through online webinars and in-person
- Take part in and/or lead online or in-person sessions with your communities and during key moments such as International Development Week, International Women’s Day, and OCIC’s Global Citizens Forum
- Apply for travel subsidies to attend sub-national, national or international meetings and delegations
- Get access to OCIC events and networking opportunities for the duration of the program
The application is now closed
Ongoing – Monthly meetings and learning activities online and in Toronto (where possible) (10 hours per month)
Ongoing – Youth Policy-Makers Hub representative(s) engage in and attend sub-national, national or international meetings (e.g., meetings with community and municipal leaders, provincial and federal representatives, and global meetings like CSW64/Beijing+25 – to be determined by the Hub and OCIC)
Week of December 9, 2019 – Inaugural Youth Policy-Makers Hub Meeting (online)
Week of January 6, 2020* – In-person Hub gathering & capacity building sessions in Toronto (e.g., policy and advocacy 101, media training and storytelling sessions and planning for International Development Week activities)
February 2020 – International Development Week (Feb 3-7, 2020) Youth Policy-Makers contribute to activities locally (e.g., SDG-focused meetings with community leaders/members of parliament (MPs), facilitating policy-focused sessions to engage other youth)
March 2020 – International Women’s Day activities
July-August 2020 – Development of a policy-focused session to be offered during OCIC’s Global Citizens Forum in November 2020
November, 2020 – OCIC Global Citizens Forum YPH session
November-December 2020 – Hub debrief and evaluation
*Costs for the January Hub Gathering in Toronto will be covered by OCIC. This will include travel and shared accommodation.
Selection Process and Criteria
Youth Policy-Makers will be selected by a committee composed of OCIC staff and members, youth leaders, policy and advocacy partners (at least 50% of the committee members will be youth (i.e. between 18-35).
We believe that lived experience, activism and community organizing and engagement are crucial in mobilizing towards social change & sustainable development. We welcome and appreciate a diversity of experience. You do not need to have formal work experience or academic background in policy and advocacy to apply however, you must be able to demonstrate an active interest in policy-making and advocacy processes and meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be between the ages of 18 and -35 years of age and reside in Ontario as of December 2019
- Participate in a 12- month program starting in December 2019, and a commitment to join the next program cycle as an Ally (2020-2021)
- Commitment to participate in monthly meetings and learning activities online and in-person Toronto (where possible) (average time commitment: 10-15 hours per month)
Applications from youth representing historically marginalized communities and those who are mis- or under-represented in policy and advocacy spaces will have priority focus, as well as those located outside the Greater Toronto Area.
As an equity seeking organization, OCIC encourages applications from individuals who represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. Please let us know if you have any needs for accommodation throughout the process.
How many youth will be selected to participate in the Hub?
Up to 15 youth policy-makers will be selected.
Do you have to be an OCIC Member?
You do not need to be an OCIC member at the time of your application. If you are affiliated with, have volunteered or worked with OCIC organizational and institutional members, please point this out in your application.
How long is the work term of the YPH?
Youth policy-makers will participate in a 12-month program starting December 2019, and commit to join the next program cycle as an Ally (2020-2021).
Where will meetings be held, and how often?
Youth policy-makers will participate in monthly meetings and learning activities online and in-person in Toronto (where possible). Those selected will be expected to contribute approximately 10 hours per month. Allies’ time commitment will be approximately 1-2 hours per month.
What are some types of national/sub-national meetings that participants may be able to take part in?
Youth Policy-Makers Hub representative(s) will engage in and attend a variety of sub-national, national or international meetings (e.g., meetings with community and municipal leaders, provincial and federal representatives, and global meetings like CSW64/Beijing+25 – to be determined by the Hub and OCIC)
Can I apply to be a youth policy-maker and an ally at the same time?
Youth Policy-Maker applicants that are highly qualified and show a closer fit to the allies criteria will be invited to join the Hub as an ally. If you are unsure of your fit, please email email@example.com
Are you interested in applicants who have had international experience and exposure, or primarily Canadian experience?
We welcome and appreciate experience and exposure at multiple levels – both local and global. We believe that lived experience, activism and community organizing and engagement are crucial in mobilizing towards social change & global sustainable development. If you’ve had a wealth of experience in local and global policy-making and advocacy, we invite you to submit an ally application.
If you live outside of Ontario or are looking for opportunities to connect with other engaged youth across Canada, check out the work of the other Regional and Provincial Councils:
- Inter-Council Network (ICN)
- Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC)
- l’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
- Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC)
- British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)
- Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC)
- Northern Council for Global Cooperation (NCGC)
- Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC)
- Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC)
Find more resources from our previous event “We’re Here and We’ve Got Something to Say: A Webinar for Youth on Breaking into Policy Spaces“: