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.
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?
Recent progress against poverty has been steady across the globe (fi gure A). But in most regions, poverty rates in rural areas still stand well above those in urban areas. These trends refl ect the continuing challenges facing rural areas linked to the social, economic and political marginalization of rural people. Small family farms dominate rural landscapes across the developing world, accounting for up to 80 per cent of food produced in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, while supporting livelihoods of up to 2.5 billion people (IFAD 2015). Yet these farmers face long-standing barriers to accessing technology, finance, knowledge and markets. At the same time, pressures on the rural natural resource base are growing, linked to population growth, unsustainable agricultural practices, urbanization, mining, land-use conversion and deforestation.
The World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Young Leader of the Year, an award launched in commemoration of the International Youth Day 2016. WFUNA supports and encourages youth engagement and participation in the United Nations Associations and United Nations Youth Associations around the world through the WFUNA Youth Network. With this initiative, they want to highlight the contributions of thousands of young people to their organization and share their achievements with a wider audience.
Every summer, millions of young people across the United States look forward to getting their first job—an important early work experience that can put them on the path to a meaningful career. Despite signs of an economic recovery, nearly 20 percent of young people who want to work cannot get jobs. Summer youth employment programs (SYEP) help to address this challenge by connecting youth to opportunities to build skills and gain work experience. However, most cities cannot keep up with the demand for positions, especially for summer jobs that are linked to career pathways.
Skills-building initiatives for youth have become a prominent component of youth development work in developing countries, working across a number of sectors and themes. However, ensuring participation of youth beneficiaries that are most likely to benefit from these skill-building initiatives remains a challenge for many. Some program implementers have taken deliberate steps to facilitate effective targeting, recruitment, and retention of youth in skills-based programs.