We’ve been lucky enough to fund 12 projects in the Asia-Pacific since 2012.
Right now, we’re providing funds and capacity development to projects that are creating exciting new opportunities for future leaders in Cambodia and Timor-Leste. In everything we do, we partner with like-minded youth organisations across our region to upskill and build strength in our movement for a more just world.
But here’s where Oaktree is a bit different (and why we’re so effective):
We don’t work in-country. We know that our partners are the experts in creating change in their own communities and countries - not us.
Instead, we see ourselves as facilitators, providing technical, financial and organisational support to maximise the effectiveness of those on the ground.
OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19:
With the pandemic’s enormous impact on the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of young people across the globe, we’ve been working closely with the Australian Council for International Development and Campaign for Australian Aid.
To ensure young people are properly represented in decision-making processes, we’ve been a consistent voice for Asia-Pacific youth, their needs, and the incorporation of those needs into Australia’s international response.
Young people can be valuable leaders and decision makers, as long as they are empowered and given opportunities to participate. We believe that this is particularly true for the development sector, where organisations can benefit from the unique perspectives and insights of young people.
Oaktree’s International Engagement team have developed a practice note that explores the value of youth participation in development. It identifies specific contributions that young people can make in different development processes, provides advice in key thematic areas where increasing youth participation is particularly important, and provides initial guidance for organisations wanting to develop a youth strategy.
Case Study: Youth-led evaluation
We’re serious about embodying the phrase “Nothing about us without us”. So, we provide young people affected by the projects we fund with the opportunity to lead the evaluation of that very project.
In late 2017, Oaktree ran its first youth-led evaluation of a funded program. We trained up high school students who had benefited from the program on what evaluation techniques are, how to plan evaluations and how to conduct them. We supported them while they evaluated the project, and then presented their findings, at their school. Providing young people with the opportunity to lead and take charge was extremely valuable for the evaluation itself, the program and the young people involved. We documented our experience and learnings in this Case Study.