According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.
This year’s Workforce Development Track of the Making Cents conference saw more than a tenfold increase in proposal submissions and will feature a record number of panelists across nine distinct workforce themed panels. The lineup of proposals and participants provides terrific insight into the range and diversity of workforce issues that the development community and countries at large are grappling with, including public private partnerships, work-based learning interventions, soft-skills measurement, technology applications, career development practices and mentorship programs.
My name is Matthew French and I work for JBS International, Inc. This blog draws upon research conducted under contract with USAID’s office of Education (read the full youth engagement report here), as well as my own experiences working with young people.
Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN)
The Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship at Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) recognizes social entrepreneurs, 35 years or younger, whose nonprofit and for-profit ventures tackle significant social challenges through innovative business models. Now in its sixth year, the BHSI Fellowship is committed to empowering entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds by providing them a platform for growth. Fellows gain exposure to nationally-recognized business and civic leaders, establish a community of support with past Fellows, are awarded $10,000 in financial support toward their work and participate in CIW, a weeklong ideas festival featuring world-class speakers and thinkers, October 17–23, 2016.
Combatting youth unemployment in developing countries has become a priority issue of policy agendas. In the context of increased global food insecurity, emphasis has been put on engaging youth in agricultural development. Yet challenges lie ahead as currently agriculture does not seem a very interesting business proposition for young people. Many also lack the skills to be a successful farmer. Gearing investments towards a small group of motivated and entrepreneurial youth might be the best and most cost-effective approach to address the employment and food security challenges, according to professionals that attended the food security exchange week workshop on youth.
First person accounts of “lived experience” have the power to change global narratives and effect real change, as seen in movements as diverse as marriage equality, Black Lives Matter, eliminating extreme poverty, fighting climate change, and promoting girls education. Would better first person accounts counter unfair youth development narratives? i.e. Blame youth, fear youth, give up on youth…
The over-arching conference theme considers the space that microfinance could occupy, if it fully embraces new technology, and the detachment it will suffer if it does not. This conference will be a key platform to debate the trade-offs, make the case for digital innovations, and critically examine what aspects of traditional service delivery need to be preserved. Importantly, it will be done by putting the experience of real institutions under the microscope.
The emergence of bootcamps in developing countries signals determination of local people and businesses to participate in the digital revolution, but does not guarantee immediate results. The potential impact on employability can be substantial, but needs further testing. Recognizing the need to better understand the impact of bootcamps on employability, the World Bank ICT Innovation Team launched a Rapid Technology Skills Training Program focused on programming skills, which are among the most demanded (and the most deficient) by employers.