E-discussion on Youth Employment


The United Nations Programme on Youth organized a 4-week e-discussion on youth employment -from 11 October to 7 November - to contribute directly to the online 2011 World Youth Report.

The e-discussion was intended to serve as a forum for young people and youth-led organizations to share their own views, experiences and recommendations on preparing for, entering, and remaining active in the labour market. Throughout each week, a broad theme was explored in depth from a social lens through diverse views and perspectives.

arrow Week 1 - Employment & Youth: the situation of young people in the labour market and key trends (11 -17 October 2011)
arrow Week 2 - Preparing for Work (18-24 October 2011)
arrow Week 3 - Looking for a Job (25-31 October 2011)
arrow Week 4 - Youth at Work (1-7 November 2011)

A BIG Thank you from the United Nations
UN Programme on Youth (UNPY)

Dear participants,

Many, many thanks to each and every one of you for your valuable contributions to the e-discussion! We have enjoyed following the conversations from week to week, and learned a great deal from your experiences and views. We look forward to reflecting these in the upcoming online World Youth Report!

In particular, we would like to extend tremendous thanks to our dedicated lead moderator, Sarah Huxley, for thoughtfully and attentively guiding us through the e-discussion. On behalf of Sarah and our team at UNDESA, we wish to also thank our distinguished weekly moderators for their insight and energy in delving into the weekly sub-themes. Additionally, we give special thanks to all of the dedicated volunteer resource persons (mentioned below by Sarah) who have actively contributed to this initiative through keeping the discussions flowing, translating posts, and spreading the word.

With appreciation,
United Nations Focal Point on Youth
Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

A BIG Thank you from the moderator, Sarah Huxley

And so the e-discussion on youth employment has come to an end. For me personally it has been a truly dynamic and engaging experience.

Many thanks to all of you who have individually contributed from all corners of the globe!

On behalf of the focal point on youth team within UN DESA and myself, we have several people that deserve a special mention…

All the Volunteer Moderators:
Sergio Andrés Iriarte Quezada, ILO (Week 1)
Maria Cavatore, Plan International (Week 2)
Julian D. May, Kathleen Diga, and the team at University of KwaZulu-Natal (Week 3)
Luis David Sena, Youth Delegate (Week 4)

In addition, we would like to thank several resource volunteers, who kept the discussions flowing and/or provided translations throughout the four weeks. These individuals are:
Nikola Panduric
Saji Prelis
Kirthi Jayakumar
Marcelo Renjel
Steffi Jochim
Amadou Moctar Diallo
Lara Kaplan
Hira Hafeez
Eddie Ombagi

Finally, there were some very committed individuals who were present throughout the duration of the e-discussion, continually sharing and contributing their thoughts. These included:
Ayshahm, 24 from Kenya
Seabe M., 23, from Botswana
Yasymn C., 24, from Guadeloupe
Loubna, 23, from Morocco

Keep following the International Year of Youth Facebook page for details on the forthcoming 2011 World Youth report.

In the mean time, wishing you all the very best with your futures,


Meet Our Weekly Moderators:


Sarah Huxley, Lead moderator

Sarah Huxley has been passionately and actively engaged in youth focused development work since 1999. She has worked for a range of organisations including small NGOs, international agencies, DFID and the UN. Much of her work has involved designing and implementing projects, programme management and policy research in Nepal, Uganda & the UK. Sarah's special areas of interest and expertise include participation, youth policy, gender, education and protection.

Week 1: Sergio Andrés Iriarte Quezada, ILO

Sergio Iriarte Quezada is the Knowledge Management Officer of the International Labour Office’s (ILO) Programme on Youth Employment. Previously, he worked at the ILO’s Evaluation Unit contributing to the assessment of national and regional projects and programmes. With a background in economics and development, Sergio has been working with youth employment issues since 2008.

Week 2: Maria Cavatore, Plan International

Maria Cavatore has completed an MA in Development studies from the University of London. She has supported children and youth programmes in Latin America and Africa for the past 6 years. She now works as a governance programme Officer for Plan UK in London.


Week 3: Julian D. May and Kathleen Diga, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Julian May is a Professor in the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, where he completed degrees in economics and development studies, and which is the UN Academic Impact Hub on Poverty. He has worked on poverty reduction policy options and systems for monitoring the impact of policy, including social security grants and land reform in Southern and East Africa and in the Indian Ocean Islands. He is a Research Associate at the Brooks World Poverty Institute, the Comparative Research Program on Poverty, the Department of Social Policy at Oxford University and the South African Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town. He has published extensively, and in August 2009, was awarded a South African Research Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment by the National Research Foundation.

Kathleen Diga is a PhD candidate and Project Manager under the South African Research Chair Initiative in Applied Poverty Assessment at the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her main focus of research is in the poverty and economic dimensions of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D). Prior to joining UKZN, Kathleen worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a research officer under the ICT4D Africa (Acacia) initiative in Johannesburg and Nairobi.

Week 4: Luis David Sena, Youth Delegate

Luis David Sena, 24 years old, is the Senior Market Risk Specialist in the Division of Risk and Research Department of the Superintendence of Banks of Dominican Republic. Luis was also recently selected as the Youth Delegate of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations. Among his goals is to contribute to the training of young Dominican leaders. Luis obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, and has significant volunteer experience with international non-profit organizations.