Client: UNICEF Canada
Overlap Lead: Ryan Voisin
The well-being of a nation’s children is a powerful indicator of that nation’s future. Yet of the 29 richest countries in the world, Canada’s ranking is mediocre—sitting at 17th of 29 on UNICEF’s Index of Child Well-Being. For children’s self-reported life satisfaction, Canada sits at 24th of 29 countries.
To make Canada a better place for young people would require a transformation on a national scale. Unsure how to tackle this wicked problem, UNICEF paired with Overlap to explore options.
In 2014, Overlap worked with UNICEF Canada to imagine an organization or initiative on a scale that would impact child well-being at a national level. We convened stakeholders–including children and youth, in communities across Canada. Together with children, youth, parents, experts and child serving organizations, we created One Youth: A movement to make Canada the #1 country in the world for kids by 2030.
One Youth has three core goals: Designing solutions with children and youth, changing the current conversation about child and well-being in Canada, and better measuring outcomes that matter to young people. Overlap now leads the design initiatives of One Youth.
One Youth has engaged over a thousand children, youth and caring adults in a conversation about the future of childhood in Canada. Unicef Canada has made a youth-centred approach a core part of how they operate. Young people are helping UNICEF Canada design and implement projects including:
- The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-Being, a 125-indicator framework for measuring well-being, which has launched and is now being piloted by Waterloo Region as the benchmark for regional progress.
- U-Report, a polling application for gathering in-the-moment input from youth, is now live and in use as a policy advocacy tool.
- The Youth-Centred Design Toolkit, a guide and set of tools supporting organizations to design with youth, is currently being tested and receiving feedback form organizations across Canada and internationally.
UNICEF Canada’s human-centred design approach is being adopted by UNICEF more broadly, Overlap has been invited to use our process with UNICEF internationally, in New York, Geneva, Jakarta, and Amman.