Goalkeepers youth action accelerator

Goalkeepers Global Goals wheel logo


The gaps in resources and support for young people to engage with the issues that impact their own development and well-being compromises their ability to be agents of change in their communities. While young people around the world are raising awareness and mobilizing their peers to become actively engaged in their communities, most are volunteers who lack resources and representation in government. In fact, only a small fraction of donor funding goes to young people and youth-led organizations – and even when financial resources are available, the technical support (e.g. mentoring, technology, media engagement, security) and access to networks that are critical for driving change are missing. This is impacting our trajectory as a global community to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Coming of age in the Sustainable Development Goals era, young people today are leading the charge to get us over the finish line by 2030 – and will grapple with the aftermath if we don’t. Their continued success depends upon funding, technical support, mentorship, and equal access to data and decision-making spaces. Drawing on the collective expertise and experience of a core set of partners – including CIVICUS, the George W. Bush Institute, the Obama Foundation, Restless Development, Action for Sustainable Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – we set out to strengthen the technical capacities of young leaders to source, use, and advocate with data. Taking this hands-on approach, young people will become the official scorekeepers of the Global Goals – effectively showcasing that progress is possible but not inevitable and that young people play a critical role in the on-going fight to end poverty, improve education, empower women and girls, and much more.


  • Launch a one-year program that provides funding, technical and mentorship support to empower young people to generate and use data to keep score on Global Goals 1-6 – to tackle issues such as ending poverty, improving education, and empowering women and girls.
  • Build a strong network for young people to learn from leaders and experts in their fields and from one another to engage this younger generation in the design and implementation of local development plans.


  • A cohort of 26 young leaders from around the world were chosen to participate in this year-long program led by CIVICUS. The program took place from January 2019 through May 2020.
  • All Youth Accelerator participants built and improved their skills in areas like advocacy, monitoring & evaluation, data storytelling and data collection and management.
  • A progress tracking tool was developed for the young leaders to track their specific targets and progress on a quarterly basis. On average, the cohort exceeded their goals, achieving more than they originally set out to.
  • More than half of the participants gained access to new funding opportunities – and the majority built their personal networks, scaled their operations, sourced significant amounts of new data, drove accountability among decisionmakers, and much more.