Department of Youth and Community Development: Framework for Civic Engagement

Professional Trainings, Social Impact Strategy
About This Project


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

DYCD has developed a universal Framework for Civic Engagement that lays out three primary domains for adopting civic engagement practices into the youth and family programming among 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 its staff and program attendees.


TYTHEdesign and DYCD have 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 guide creation, and case study development.
In collaboration with A Good Question, we developed a survey for distribution to youth-focused Community-Based Organizations prior to providing services to assess their capacity and readiness 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 CBOs Program Managers and Site Directors.


In both FY 20-21 and FY 21-22 we led a series of virtual stand-alone workshops to build the capacity of the afterschool programs, reaching over 100+ different program sites. Additionally, we provided one-on-one support and accompanying activity guides that highlight connections between the Framework for Civic Engagement and other frameworks utilized by DYCD.TYTHE also collaborated with DYCD to develop an in-depth Resource Guide for DYCD staff and CBOs to learn more about the framework, its connections to other DYCD philosophies, New York City’s varied opportunities for civic engagement at all levels, and a wide array of online resources with lesson plans, toolkits, and videos to help support integrating civic engagement into existing programming and developing stand-alone civic engagement programs.


Currently, FY 21-22, in collaboration with A Good Question, TYTHEdesign is developing a program model for DYCD’s civic engagement initiative, We the YOUTH, an annual cohort of New York City young people committed to advocating for youth rights across NYC.


Resource Guide for Civic Engagement

TYTHE delivered a resource guide that functions as an introduction to civic engagement and its potential within CBO program offerings. In addition to an overview of the Framework for Civic Engagement, the resource guide provides details on NYC-based opportunities for civic involvement, a glossary of terms associated with civic engagement, and a collection of resources for youth and adults, categorized by domain, theme, and available online tools.


Capacity Building Workshops for Youth CBOs

TYTHE developed a set of workshops that introduce concepts that create the conditions for meaningful civic engagement, including human-centered design, youth voice and choice, decentering the facilitator, and using arts and culture as tools for civic engagement. To date, we have trained over 200+ 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. 


Activity Guides 

Alongside the workshop offerings, TYTHE provides one-on-one support and accompanying activity guides that highlight connections between the Framework for Civic Engagement and other frameworks utilized by DYCD. These guides introduce civic engagement concepts like storytelling, community research, and participatory decision-making, while providing “grab-and-go” exercises for staff to lead with young people of all ages.


Client: NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)


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


Year: 2020-2022