“Sustainable Development demands full human rights for all women and girls.” — UN Secretary-General Six years ago on 6 February, the international community including civil society and United Nations agencies gathered at the United Nations Headquarters
Highlights from UN Entities
The final report of the Youth System-Wide Action Plan “Youth-SWAP” is out. The report presents findings from the 2014-2016 Global Youth-SWAP Survey as well as narrative examples of UN’s work in the field covering Brazil, China, Egypt, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sri Lanka. The report took stock of the United Nations work on youth and aims to use the information to bolster inter-agency collaboration and programming in youth issues at the global, regional, and national levels. This will also provide the baseline data to inform the new United Nations Strategy on Youth, which was requested by the Secretary-General in 2017 to incorporate his vision on conflict prevention, the UN Pillars, and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. More.
The Department of Public Information (DPI)’s Africa Renewal interviewed Rita Kimani, 25, one of the UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development to help promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among fellow youth. Through her initiative, FarmDrive, Rita uses data analytics and mobile phone technology to connect smallholder farmers with lending institutions in rural Kenya. The company developed a mobile phone app which is used by rural farmers to track their revenues and expenses and also apply for credit or loans. Through Farmdrive, Rita helps bring the youth voice to engage in the design of programmes, specifically in the Agricultural sector. More.
Coding is a specialized technique that enables users to create computer software, apps and websites. Training more females in this area is one way to close the gender gap in computing. Africa Renewal interviewed one recent youth female graduate, Angela Koranteng, who concurred that in most cases, unlike girls, boys are exposed to technical matters in childhood so not many young African women can imagine themselves as coders. In a survey by the US Department of Labor, findings revealed that even in most developed countries, the computer field is disproportionately dominated by men. However, more and more opportunities are being provided for girls to learn code: technology institutions are working to increase financial support and awareness about computer programming through conferences where girls can discuss career prospects. Gender equality enthusiasts are optimistic this increase in women coders will help close the gender wage inequality gap. More.
The Department of Public Information (DPI)’s Africa Renewal interviewed Samuel Malinga, 26, who founded Sanitation Africa in 2015. The youth-led company engages in turning human waste into briquettes for cooking and agricultural manure. For his innovative approach to waste management, Samuel has been recognized by several organizations, including the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a philanthropy that awarded him a grant to expand his operations. In 2014, Ventures Africa, a business and lifestyle publication, listed him as one of the 40 African innovators to watch. Samuel recently visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York to share his experiences and to participate with other sixteen young leaders to draft a one -year-plan on how to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure their achievement by 2030. More.
Twenty Young Peacebuilders between the ages of 18 and 25 years from twelve Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries will travel from the 24 to 28 February to Amman, Jordan. The young peacebuilders will attend the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) peace workshop. The workshop is organized in collaboration with Generations for Peace (GFP). The participants are a network of young peacebuilders who are equipped with the tools to address stereotypes, prejudice and polarization. They will analyze conflicts, practice peace tools to build bridges between cultures and religions and design a peace project which they will implement after the training. The aim of the workshop is to build more inclusive and peaceful societies in communities and globally. More.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ (UNAOC) Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) supports youth-led organizations to foster peaceful and inclusive societies by providing seed funding to outstanding projects that promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Grants of up to $25 000 are awarded to qualifying projects that demonstrate innovate and effective approaches to interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of the UNAOC. The YSF will support projects entirely developed and managed by youth and for the benefit of youth. The age restrictions for applicants is 18 to 35 years. Deadline for applications is 16 February 2018. More.
On February 23, in the framework of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will collaborate with national institutions and other relevant partners, as well as young women scientists and school girls from Costa Rica, to commemorate this day with an event. Several activities highlighting successes and the contributions of women and girls in science will also take place. More.
The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the youth development consultancy institute (Etijah) organized a theatre workshop in Ramadan City to create a community based activity aimed at raising awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and inequitable gender norms. Inspired by a desire to cultivate awareness and plant the seeds of behavioral change, a team comprising 25 refugees from Egypt and Syria was formed. The group named themselves “Nawah” which is the Arabic translation of “Seed”. The main objective of the performance was to raise awareness of the impact of GBV in society and mobilize the community towards combating violence against women. The activity additionally serves to strengthen social cohesion by encouraging Syrians and Egyptians to work together. Similar activities are being planned for the safe spaces in Damietta and Giza governorates in Egypt. More.
The ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships is a resource to improve the design and implementation of apprenticeship systems and programmes. The toolkit presents examples of good practice from ILO constituents around the world, and demonstrates how quality apprenticeship systems and programmes can be developed in practical terms. This first volume, the “Guide for Policy Makers”, presents the defining features of the ILO approach to quality apprenticeship systems and aims to support policy-makers in their design and further development of these systems. More
The ILO report focuses on the issue of interactions between labour market institutions and policies and their effects on youth labour markets. The report primarily focuses on policy-relevant results on the impact of specific complementarities on youth labour market effects of minimum wages, to provide concrete indicators on the implications of different policy and programme choices. The paper also reports the findings of a meta-analysis of the youth employment effects of minimum wage legislation. The paper’s mandate is from a 2012 resolution that called for action to tackle the unprecedented youth employment crisis through a set of policy measures. More.
The ILO publication, “Guide to International Labour Standards and Rights at Work Concerning Young People,” is intended for ILO constituents and youth employment stakeholders. The guide focuses on key provisions to ensure decent work for young people and provides the necessary information on their rights at work, as a relevant complement to the ILO’s “Rights@Work for Youth” toolkit. The guide is also meant to be a reference for the development and implementation of policies and measures aimed at enhancing labour market outcomes for young women and men worldwide. More.
The ILO paper provides practical guidance on the quality dimensions of “youth employment offers”. The publication is a result of a pilot exercise conducted by ILO in support of the national implementation plans of the Youth Guarantee in Latvia, Portugal and Spain. The information contributed to national policy dialogue between policymakers and social partners to enable them to assess the quality of youth employment measures to implement public policy. More.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) report presents a systematic collection and assessment of impact evaluations of Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMPs) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report compiles a novel meta database and provides a narrative review of 51 studies. The report findings revealed that ALMPs in Latin America and the Caribbean are particularly effective in increasing the probability of having a formal job, compared to other labour market outcomes. Other related findings were in the area of training programmes which were found to be more effective than other programmes and that ALMP intervention in the region benefitted women more than men, and youth compared to prime-age workers. Read the report here.
Youth in Action
In January 2018, members of the youth sustainability organization, Green Hope Foundation, conducted a field trip for young people with the aim to engage them to raise awareness about mangrove conservation. A group of over 20 youth kayaked to the mangroves off the coastline in Dubai. The activity also involved several hours of cleaning the litter which was polluting the environment and disturbing the ecosystem. It was a day of conservation action and the group followed up with a workshop to raise awareness about environmental conservation. More.
Structured Programme for Management Students to Implement UN Global Goals using Design Thinking and Other Management Tools
UniGlow, a social enterprise formed as result of a student project at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, has come up with a structured program to implement the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) at the local level. Branded as champions for change, the programme trains students on management tools such as cause and effect analysis and design thinking to solve issues linked with SDGs in small target groups, which are later scaled up, based on the results. This then creates a global impact, all stemming from local Actions. More