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.
On 8th March 2016, Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate women’s day under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Although Uganda has made major strides towards gender equality, having achieved a Gender Parity Index (GPI)1 of 1 in primary school enrolment, the struggle for equality in the labour market is still an uphill task. Being young and female continues to pose a twin challenge for the current generation of young women seeking employment. Findings from the 2015 School to Work Transition Survey (SWTS) conducted by Uganda Bureau of Statistics and ILO reveal that young women (15-29 years) are faced with a number of disadvantageous gaps in the labour market: higher unemployment rates, wage gaps, higher shares in vulnerable employment and longer school-to-work transitions.
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.
Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. In fall 2016, 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and civil society organizations across the U.S.
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…