Meaningful participation of young key populations has been one of the priorities of Youth LEAD to address the lack of spaces where young key populations can participate and the lack of capacity of young key populations to participate effectively in curbing the AIDS epidemic. This continues to be a top priority of the Gap Report (2014) and the UNAIDS-Lancet Commission Report (2015), which call for increased investment in community empowerment and leadership of key populations and strengthening meaningful participation of key populations in all programming and decision-making processes in the AIDS response.

The inception of the NewGeneration Leadership Training Course in 2011, with support from UN partners and the University of Melbourne, provided a venue for young key populations to build their capacities on leadership, advocacy, and communications, and paved the way for young key populations in the countries in Asia and the Pacific to come together, discuss their issues, and plan on how to address them. Four years later, after two regional trainings and hundreds of country roll-outs, NewGen has been successful in instigating the movement of young key populations across the region: to some extent, even helped initiate the foundations of national YKP networks in countries such as Indonesia, Nepal, and Cambodia. This development warrants a stronger monitoring and evaluation system for NewGen to ensure that it continues to address the growing and expanding needs of young key populations beyond HIV and AIDS, to include sexual and reproductive health and rights and in becoming human rights defenders themselves.

The report, NewGen Review and Evaluation Report, showcases the transformation that NewGen participants have undergone after participating in the NewGen, and proposes opportunities for NewGen’s expansion as a program.

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Author: Jeffry Acaba, Youth LEAD