How to Empower Youth to Become Change Makers for Rural Transformation

A toolbox for developing agricultural youth organizations
© GIZ/Sebastian Reichert

The session ”How to empower youth to become change-makers for rural transformation: A toolbox for organizational development of agricultural youth organizations” was organized by the Global Project Employment in Rural Areas with a Focus on Youth and the bilateral Project Food Security Through Improved Agricultural Productivity in Western Kenya as part of the online SNRD ABIVCD Working Group Conference. The session took place on Friday 30 October and attracted over 70 participants from all over the world – GIZ employees and external guests.

The overall topic of the session built on the major challenge of youth employment promotion as a key driver for rural transformation. Jobs in rural areas are scarce in most developing economies.

Against this backdrop, strengthening the self-organization of rural youth seeking employment in the agri-food sector presents an unprecedented opportunity for rural development. It implies opportunities for many GIZ-projects: 72 percent of session participants stated that they already cooperated with youth organisations as part of their project implementation.

The main part of the session shared insights from the process of the development of a handbook designed to improve the organizational development of youth organizations in Western Kenya presented by Eberhard Bauer, the consultant who accompanied the Organisational Development Support Processes for youth organisations in Kenya. A focus was put on the youth organisations in Bungoma, one of the three pilot youth organisations. Jan Moejes, the responsible development worker, pointed out the challenges the youth organisation in Bungoma had been confronted with, which were identified during a SWOT analysis. The chairman of the youth organisation Paul Wabomba Mutambo reported on how they perceived the organisational development process, the support it provided, their development and future plans.

To change the perspective towards linking value chain actors, Lüder Wehrmann from the Green Innovation Center in Mali presented an insight on how to empower youth to become change-makers for rural transformation through supporting youth microenterprises and linking them to existing producer organizations.

Entrepreneurship Business Training  ⎮© GIZ/Prisca Watko

What is going to happen next? We need you!

The organizational development process in the three youth organizations has been going on successfully for two years now and it is still ongoing in Western Kenya. However, new challenges such as COVID-19 are always coming up, so the handbook needs to be adapted constantly. Depending on the status-quo and the objective of a youth organization, further agribusiness training or coaching approaches might be a suitable option for your project’s implementation strategy.

As the handbook is a living document, we are looking for other projects (user cases) to include them in the further development of the handbook. In case you’re interested in learning more about the organizational development handbook please contact us!

Organisational Development Process  ⎮© Eberhard Bauer

Contact and further reading

Please check out our blog post in our Community of Practice Rural Employment, where you will find the complete slide deck and additional information on the Organisational Development Handbook​. For questions please contact Julia Bayer (

In terms of questions on the toolbox of the Green Innovation Centers kindly contact Sebastian Reichert (

To learn more about CBS click here and contact Annemarie Matthess ( or Veronika Kling (