Novel Narratives is a programme which aims to foster deeper and more meaningful people-to-people engagements between young people across the countries of Africa and the UK, through a suite of digital storytelling and collaboration programmes, in sectors of mutual interest. The programme aims to help contribute to changing reciprocal perceptions between both places in order to stimulate new understanding which will unlock new connections and collaborations for mutual benefit.
Programme PrinciplesProgramme Principles will guide all the thinking and delivery of the programme. The principles will be tested annually and refreshed if needed.
Diversity: We will amplify and support narratives that demonstrate the diverse realities across the countries of Africa and the UK prioritising race/ethnicity, gender, social class and language.Mutuality: Reciprocity and peer to peer engagement among young people will be prioritised in our approach to developing new pilots and other strands of the programmeCocreation: The programme will use a ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ approach and engage, and listen to young people at all stages of the programmePortionnerships: Will be at the heart of the delivery model and a range of partnerships –delivery, co-funding, technical partnerships will be explored and secured.
Expected outcomes of the programme (medium – long-term)
• Novel knowledge shared between young people in the UK and Africa• Novel connections between young people in the UK and Africa• Novel and diverse content about Africa and the UK• Noteworthyer collaboration between young people in Africa and the UK with mutual benefit• Novel reciprocal insight and understanding between and about both locations The programme is in inception and has so far held consultations, undertaken research and held one of two co-creation labs with 39 young people (academics, artists, activists, technologists and social / creative entrepreneurs) selected from across the countries of Africa and the UK. The young group was brought together to ‘hack’ the problem of singular, outdated narratives between Africa and the UK and prototype solutions that help stimulate more plural and diverse narratives across both locations. Other inception activities including designing an evaluation framework are also in progress.
Purpose of Advisory Board
The purpose of the Youth Advisory Board is to ensure effective and successful delivery of the Novel Narratives programme. The board will provide appropriate advice, insight and recommendations on matters relevant to this programme to support and facilitate design and decision-making. The board will consist of young people from the UK, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa, and provides an excellent opportunity for networking, peer-to-peer learning, skills development, etc.
Responsibilities will include:
Providing advice support and challenge to the British Council regarding design of the programme and wider British Council approaches to youth engagement, cultural intelligence and sensitivity;Providing insight and intelligence on youth perceptions, interests and needs to ensure the programme remains relevant to and incorporates the voice of the youth;Represent Novel Narratives externally as required
Expectations of the Advisory Board
The Advisory Board will meet with British Council programme board once per quarter from inception;Meetings will take place virtually;The board will provide feedback and recommendations after each meeting;The board will occasionally be requested to engage in internal meetings and external fora, with prior notice;Provide a written report that include recommendations at the end of the yearSit on selection panels for grant awards as part of the programme
MembershipThe Board will be comprised of a diverse group of people across race, gender and geographical* location:
A ChairA secretary of the boardUp to 6 members
*Minimum requirements are 2 UK from at least two devolved nations; 1 each from North, South, East and West Africa.In consultation with the board, the chair may invite externals who are experts in relevant fields to attend all or part of any meeting. The Chair and members have the option of resigning at any time from their position. When a resignation takes place, the Advisory Board can take the decision to replace or not the vacant position. For continuity, the chair will be expected to serve a minimum of 18months – 12 months as the chair, and the following 6 months as a member.
Selection of Youth Advisory BoardThe board will be appointed for their knowledge and experience to problem solve, explore options/concepts and strategic direction. The selection will be based on an agreed skills matrix, the candidate’s CV (experience) and motivation letter. Shortlisted candidate will be interviewed by the British Council panel.
CriteriaYoung people (aged 18-35)
Who are influential in their communities as artists, activists, academics, entrepreneurs, influencers or technologists (etc)Who have significant online and offline networks that can be reached with learning and content from the programme; Who are passionate about creating or deepening international connections and collaboration particularly between the continent of Africa and the UK; Who have demonstrable experience in leadership and/or advisory roles of programmes or organisations;Who are willing to engage long term with the British Council and Africa-UK Novel Narratives network;
RewardsAll members of the advisory board will be remunerated, at a daily rate of £150 per day, up to 20 days a year. Expenses will be paid as pre-agreed.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé