Before the Competition [GUIDE]

Get to know the 8 steps to getting ready in the run up to the youth-led changemaking competition. Also find printable forms and worksheets to help you get started. The most important and number one determiner for the success of a competition is the trust in the young people. They thrive on trust. If you are a teacher or work directly with young people, you can go ahead with the steps below. If you want to introduce youth-led changemaking to a school or institution but are not working there yourself, we advise you to first identify a teacher or principal at the school you want to work with and bring them on board with the idea. It is crucial that top leadership at the institution you want to work with / at, is on board with the idea and understands the aim.

One final thought: The steps below are the ‘extensive’ version, giving you the full overview. Some of the steps, i.e. Campus Scanning could also be skipped. You could also just jump the line, get students excited and launch a competition with them. Below, we are outlining the complete and full process.


With that said, let’s jump in…

  • Establish a Trust Account: The most important responsibility of a teacher or focal person is to ‘open a trust account’ in every student. Without opening a trust account in every student, it will be extremely difficult for a teacher to inspire students to explore their changemaking abilities. The teacher should make every student feel trusted. A teacher can open a trust account in every student by simply looking at them with delight and hope. Every positive look, word, gesture, appreciation is a huge deposit in the trust account of a young person. Every teacher involved in advancing youth-led changemaking should ask themselves: Am I making consistent deposits into the trust account of my students? Am I looking for ways to increase or strengthen the trust account of my students? Have I reached out to every student and made them feel that I really believe that they are born with changemaking potential and abilities? Our observation is that young people perform exceptionally well when their trust account is in surplus.


  • Campus Scanning: The focal person is invited to carry out a ‘campus scan’ to gauge the level of inclusion of youth-led changemaking in the culture and curriculum of the institute. Find the Campus Scanning Tool here (word filepages file )

  • Organize: An introductory session of the concept of ‘Youth-led Changemaking’ with the faculty members and students is advised. The purpose of the session is to create awareness about the concept of youth-led changemaking and inspire faculty members and students to participate in the competition. The focal person will take feedback from the faculty members and students after the session. You can find the template for a feedback form here ( word filepages file )


  • Identify: The second task is to seek an expression of interest from the interested faculty members and students for participation in the competition. The expression of interest can be taken on the ‘Youth-led Changemaking Competition Guidelines and Registration Form’ Template, which you can find here ( word file | pages file )

  • Form Teams: Students are encouraged to participate in the competition in teams. A student team should be comprised of no less than 3 and no more than 5 members. However, students are given the freedom to work alone as well.

  • Terms of Engagement: The focal person will explain the terms of engagement to all the student teams. Students are required to read, sign and submit the terms of engagement for the competition mentioned in the ‘Youth-led Changemaking Competition Guidelines and Registration Form’ Template (link to template above). Of course you are free to, and we’d actually recommend to, adapt the terms of engagement to your unique case and context. The model shared here has worked exceptionally well for YES Network Pakistan.


  • Conduct: The focal person / teacher is encouraged to conduct a baseline survey with the selected student teams. Find the baseline survey HERE ( word file | pages file )


  • Bank Account: In the case of YES Network Pakistan, the organization usually funds the competition at the institution. In that case, the focal person provides their personal bank account or the institutions bank account to YES Network Pakistan for the transfer of funds. These funds are then provided to the student teams. YES Network Pakistan usually has the agreement that the student teams will donate the initial amount and part of their competition profits back to YES Network Pakistan, if they earn money during the competition (you can also find this indicated in the ‘Terms of Engagement’ template above). Student teams don’t have to pay back anything in case of the loss of the initial ‘investment’. In the case of YES Network Pakistan, over 90% of the participating students teams do generate profit during the duration of the competitions and subsequently become donors to YES Network Pakistan. In this way, YES Network Pakistan can continue to engage more young people in Youth-led Changemaking, funded by the very Youth, they just empowered and invested in.

Now that you have a rough understanding of the pre-competition steps (again, you don’t have to follow every step but can take this as a rough guideline of what has worked well for YES Network Pakistan and the Changemaking competitions in Zimbabwe), get to know the 5 steps to pay attention to during the competition. Also find the printable weekly reports template in that section.


Click below to learn about the Role and Responsibilities of the Teacher / Focal Person during the competition.