READY Academy

Photo of participants at the READY Academy.

Key information

  • Organisation: Y+ Global
  • Country: South Africa
  • Region: Eastern and Southern Africa
  • Stage of innovation: Stage 5: Market ready
  • Start date: 2022
  • End date: 2026
  • Type of innovation: Movement building: convening or organising a movement
  • Funder: Frontline AIDS

Summary of intervention

Youth advocates have become critical voices in the SRHR and HIV response worldwide as we recognise the importance of listening to young people so they can define their priorities and represent themselves in decisions affecting their lives. This has led to increasing pressure on networks of young people to participate in programmes and advocacy events without investment in their capacities and structures. Advocacy work often relies on the same handful of youth advocates who have the skills to participate while excluding others. Some young people describe being pushed unprepared into discussions or onto stages without the support and training to succeed in these fora fully.

Recognising this, the READY Academy is leading an initiative to strengthen the capacity of young people living with, most at risk of and affected by HIV. It also supports networking and movement building for youth advocates working on global advocacy issues aligned to key strategic documents on SRHR and HIV. This is part of the Academy’s work towards a stronger movement of young African advocates and activists at the forefront of various HIV and SRHR issues.

The core Academy course focuses on issues relating to HIV and SRHR, building participants’ practical skills, e.g. in generating and using evidence for advocacy, developing advocacy and movement-building theories of change, and using theatre as a tool for advocacy in action. It also includes partnership building, public policy development and implementation, community engagement, and communications and messaging for advocacy.


Over 66% of participants rated their advocacy skills above average following the first Academy course, while 95% said they learnt something new. Participants felt confident they could link course content with their day-to-day work and incorporate the learnings into their advocacy work. The various interactive learning methods, including drama, online polling (Aha), and real-life stories, were considered beneficial.

next steps

The six READY Academy modules will be available for online and self-directed study using an online learning platform such as Moodle, with the option to receive a certificate for full completion. The Academy will target young people outside READY+ countries, and Y+ Global will support those enrolled to link with existing movements or initiatives in the region to strengthen the region-wide movement of youth advocates. Participants’ recommendations from the first course will be incorporated into the next iteration of the training, including standardising the curriculum, less technical beginner-friendly materials, and additional advocacy areas including working with anti-rights opposition, menstrual health, climate change, access to safe abortion and mental health.

For more information, visit our READY page.