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BLOG: You(th) Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee: Finding Work for the Young Displaced in the Next Decade, September 2016

Barri Shorey, Senior Technical Advisor - International Rescue Committee

This month I will join the 10th Anniversary Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit (Sept. 28-30th, in Washington, DC). The theme of the Summit is, Turning Points: How Do We Achieve Results and Scale in the Next Decade? When asked by the Summit organizer Making Cents International to write about my perspective on achieving scale and results for young people in the next decade, my 10 years at The International Rescue Committee (IRC) immediately pushed me to think more specifically: how do we achieve scale and results for DISPLACED YOUTH in the next decade?  

BLOG: Here Come the Young, September 2016

Foreign Policy

While countries across Europe and East Asia are grappling with declining birthrates and aging populations, societies across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia are experiencing youth booms of staggering proportions: More than half of Egypt’s labor force is younger than age 30. Half of Nigeria’s population of 167 million is between the ages of 15 and 34. In Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, East Timor, Niger, Somalia, and Uganda, more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25.

BLOG: Senegal: A Rural Youth Employment Policy Champion, September 2016

Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

In line with the Plan Sénégal Émergent, the main medium to long term social and economic policy in the country, the Rural Youth Employment Policy bases itself on four main pillars: (i) economic stimulus for job creation; (ii) investment in human capital; (iii) strengthen rural youth participation in policy and decision-making in the country; and, (iv) streamlining the governance framework for effective action towards rural youth employment creation. The final goal is to guide the support to create from 100,000 to 150,000 jobs per year.

BLOG: African Youth Commit to Lead Change Through Volunteerism, September 2016

United Nations Development Programme

More than 100 youth from across Africa, converged at the UN Complex in Nairobi on 22ndAugust 2016 at a pre-TICAD VI summit workshop to map out strategies that would ensure development needs of young people would be prioritized during the summit and its outcomes. The event was co-hosted by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the Africa Union Commission (AUC) as a lead up to the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) summit which will be held in Kenya and for the first time on African soil since the inception of this development cooperation framing.

BLOG: Investment in Youth and Women Critical to Africa’s Development, says UN Development Chief, September 2016

United Nations Development Programme

“Africa’s large youth population presents an enormous opportunity for development", said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  “Harnessing the potential of Africa’s youth by investing in education, skills development, and other social initiatives can reap enormous dividends and spur the continent’s development.” Helen Clark made her remarks during the opening of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a conference held regularly to promote high-level policy dialogue between Japan, African leaders, and development partners. UNDP has been a co-organiser of TICAD for more than two decades.

BLOG: There's a Global Youth Unemployment Crisis. Here's What we can do About it, September 2016

World Economic Forum & Huffington Post

Unemployment — and the lack of necessary skills for employment, particularly among youth under age 25 — is one of the issues I hear about most as I speak with world leaders, hotel owners and employees in the thousands of communities where Hilton operates. It’s no surprise why: The Economist estimates that there may be as many as 290 million 15-to-24-year-olds not participating in the labor market. These 290 million bright minds — a group almost as large as the U.S. 

BLOG: When Women Social Entrepreneurs Collaborate, September 2016


On June 1st, the founders of ClickMedix and DC Greens combined forces and launched their big innovation — a mobile app and digital platform that allows low-income, Washington, DC residents to redeem vouchers prescribed by doctors for fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets. Both ladies would be the first to admit that these types of voucher programs exist in other cities. What they would say does not exist, however, is the kind of technological pairing that allows for cross-sector collaboration and data analysis — a key piece of the empowerment formula that many government, clinical and nonprofit agencies trying to transform health services are hungry for.

BLOG: 5 Lessons I Learned in My First Entrepreneurial Year, September 2016

Voices of Youth

I remember the first time I heard this word I hoped that being one is not as hard as pronouncing it. When we are little angels (kids), all we dream of is growing up to be distinguished doctors, creative engineers, innovative teachers or even inspiring artists. But how many of us ever aspired to be an entrepreneur? My guess is, not many. Perhaps the reason is that we, as Arabs and especially Syrians who are residing in the Arab shell, still lack role models of successful Syrian entrepreneurs. A lack of mentors and hardship in accessing information are other reasons to build a more solid brick in front of our high ambitions.

BLOG: A Community Worthy of Continued Investment, August 2016

Andrew Baird, Program Director, Workforce and Economic Opportunities, RTI International

“Community of Practice” is a term of art, not science. Many times these networks are deemed to exist, but are far from communal and not grounded in practice. In my career, I learned that you know a Community of Practice when you see one, even if it is sometimes hard to articulate why it's one. While at Making Cents International in 2006, we knew we did not see such a community in the youth economic opportunities space. There were communities built around financial inclusion, education, and entrepreneurship, but most did not focus on youth and few took a holistic view.

BLOG: Youth in Development: 'We're Tired of Being the Topic, not the Leaders', August 2016

The Guardian

Young people are already spearheading the social entrepreneurial movement across the world. My own first venture, which worked on rural solar/biomass-based electricity generation, was launched when I was 19. I faced some difficulties initially due to being patronised, and working with government officials and even private sector leaders was challenging. There are currently two ways the sector talks about young people – as the beneficiaries of “youth development” or as participants of “youth-led development” but a lot of the time it’s not clear whether as a group we’re being portrayed as the problem or the solution.


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