DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (DYCD): Fostering Civic Engagement with Young People

Professional Trainings, Social Impact Strategy, Visual Communications
About This Project


Supporting the implementation of a Framework for Civic Engagement among community-based organizations (CBOs) serving youth across New York City


DYCD developed a universal Framework for Civic Engagement that lays out three primary domains for adopting civic engagement practices into youth and family programming across their city- and government-funded programs. The framework establishes Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills; Action; and Reflection, as well as an environment co-created with participants through pedagogy and evaluation, as the key concepts in developing civic mindedness among staff and program attendees. In 2020, DYCD hired TYTHEdesign to provide technical assistance to after school programs implementing the framework.


TYTHEdesign and DYCD embarked on a multi-step plan to ensure successful implementation of the Framework for Civic Engagement including, but not limited to, evaluation, capacity-building, resource creation, and case study development.

In order to narrow down our training topics and support services, TYTHE collaborated with evaluation consultant, A Good Question, to develop a survey to assess the capacity and readiness of youth-focused community-based organizations to implement civic engagement programming. The data collected from the survey was then used to design a set of stand-alone workshops offered to DYCD CBO Program Managers and Site Directors.

Across the term of our contract, we led a series of virtual stand-alone workshops and developed a number of materials to build the capacity of afterschool programs across New York City. Feedback after every workshop session helped shape the topics we presented and resources we created, including one-on-one support, activity guides, a Facilitator’s Guide, and a series of four instructional videos that support program leaders’ ability to turnkey civic engagement concepts to a variety of staff members.

At the conclusion of our contract, A Good Question conducted a follow up survey with focus groups to assess the effectiveness of our programming.


Capacity-Building Workshops for Youth CBOs

TYTHE developed a set of workshops that introduce concepts that create the conditions for meaningful civic engagement, including youth voice and choice, decentering the facilitator, project-based learning, and using arts and culture as tools for civic engagement. We facilitated 32 trainings and have trained over 400+ people from organizations across all five boroughs and grade levels. 100% of workshop attendees have said they have a better understanding of the framework and that they would take away a skill, strategy, or tool for implementation in their programs.


Civic Engagement Resource Hub and Support Materials

Over the course of TYTHEdesign’s three year contract, we created a multi-pathway database that collects all of our resource materials in a single virtual location–the Resource Hub. These resources include, but are not limited to, a project-based learning cheat sheet, a facilitator’s guide for program leaders, a vocabulary companion and planning tool, later combined into a Civic Engagement Planning Workbook, more than 40 slide decks, six activity guides, six case studies, four videos, two operationalized versions of the Framework for Civic Engagement, and an in depth Resource Guide.


Client: NYC Department of Youth and Community Development


Collaborators: Kristina Drury, Aliza Sarian, Lina Cherfas (A Good Question), and Hans Callenbach 


Year: 2020-2023