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Youth Flash Newsletter September 2013

ICT for youth development

Photo Credit: UN photo

In this issue of Youth Flash, you will find the following:

Feature Article:

  • ICT for youth development

News from UN offices

Youth in Action



Featured Article

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By Douglas Court*

Technology – specifically ICT – has played a central role in young people’s rise to prominence on a global scale. It has helped them mobilize, collaborate and given voice louder than before. It has brought them together in response to social concerns. It has connected them across vast geographical barriers. For young people, access to information means better access to capital, markets and training needed to pursue a career or studies; increased participation in political processes, and recognition of youth as responsible citizens in today’s society. Access to technologies, the internet and information, facilitates youth entrepreneurships, which is often considered as an effective mean to address youth employment crisis.

In 2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimated that young people under the age of 25 accounted for 45% of total internet users. Globally, 36% of young people aged less than 25 used the internet (compared with 34% of those 25 years and older), with vast disparities between developed and developing economies. In the developed world, 77% of young people under the age of 25 used the internet compared with 71% of those 25 years and older. In the developing world, 30% of the under 25-year-olds used the Internet compared with 23% of those 25 years and older. Despite these trends, the total number of internet users in the developing world far outstrips those in the developed world.

Youth are undeniably pioneering the use of ICT, and driving trends in what is a dynamic and major growth industry. While the good news is they are using ICT – the challenge is to inspire them to use it to change their world in a positive way. National and international policy and regulatory bodies – governments, civil society and the United Nations – can help by recognizing and encouraging the accelerated use of information and communication technologies in development strategies and frameworks for the future. With this in mind, the BYND2015 Summit on Youth and ICT – hosted in Costa Rica from 9-11 September 2013 – assembled more than 500 young participants from diverse nationalities to celebrate and showcase the power of ICT for development; and discuss ideas and proposals for how the technology can be leveraged across different sectors.

The Summit assembled some 600 young people from 68 nationalities onsite, with a further 8000 from 173 countries actively tuning-in online to contribute to the Summit’s crowdsourcing initiative, and to participate in the remote workshops and mini-Summits hosted by the BYND2015 Summit hubs situated around the world – mobilized in most instances by ambitious and committed young people themselves. The hubs model provides a new example for engaging young audiences; and further shows that when opportunity and responsibility are given, young people rise to the occasion and put their full weight and energy behind a worthy cause. Their level of engagement was staggering, not only ‘following’ the event but actively sharing proposals and ideas that helped shaping the initial Summit outcome, presented in the form of a young people’s declaration.

The declaration provided an initial outcome from the event available in time for the start of the General Assembly; and serves as a high-level framework to encourage and guide Member States in the development of their own ICT based youth initiatives – further mandating universal access to information and communication technologies for young people, regardless of social circumstances. The declaration document is unique, in that it represents the combined voice of thousands of young people from all around the world who offered their ideas and priorities via an innovative online crowdsourcing process spanning months prior to the event. In total the crowdsourcing yielded more than 1000 unique ideas from around 3000 contributors in the two months leading up to, and then during the Summit. Many of the online conversations were happening in multiple languages, including Arabic, English, Spanish and French, Portuguese as well as Indonesian. The online components then merged with open drafting consultations at the event, the result being a truly collaborative work which takes into account a vast array of viewpoints from youth of diverse backgrounds. Their message is unequivocal: that in order to compete in the global digital economy they require access to the technology, tools and training that many take for granted, and which the development community is far too quick to overlook.

For young people, BYND2015 is the start of a new inclusive global dialogue, leading to a world where information and communication technologies can overcome major development challenges of our time by creating new opportunities for young people everywhere. ITU intends to take on board their concerns and ideas; and to continue to engage them in shaping and implementing international ICT policy. Access the full declaration as well as additional information about the BYND2015 Summit at

Douglas Court works with the International Communication Union (ITU) that organized the BYND2015 summit.


Youth Flash Newsletter

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Global Education First Initiative Anniversary Event: Delivering on the Global Education Promise

A Combined event for the Global Education First Initiative and Learning for All was organized on 25 September in celebration of the first anniversary of Secretary-General’s Education First Initiative. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Kim, and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown convened a High-level Roundtable on Learning for All: Coordinating the Financing and Delivery of Education. Education activist Malala Yousafzai gave the keynote speech, followed by an interactive panel discussion.

Youth Employment Network

The Fund for Evaluation in Youth Employment: Call for applications

The Fund for Evaluation in Youth Employment provides technical and financial support to qualified organizations for designing and conducting their impact evaluations. The Fund’s fifth call for applications will concentrate on youth entrepreneurship programmes in Africa and the Middle East. The projects whose objectives involve creating self employment opportunities, developing entrepreneurial and self employment skills and competences, and improving access to finance will be eligible to apply.

The Fund will provide seed funding ranging from US$5,000 to US$180,000 to the selected evaluations. The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) will provide co-funding to carry out two impact evaluations. Proposals must be submitted using the online application form by October 7, 2013, 11:59pm CEST.

Information note:

Application form:

Free E-Coaching programme for young entrepreneurs

Youth Employment Network (YEN) invites young entrepreneurs, who have started or are in the process of starting a business, to apply for the YEN E-Coaching programme. The task-oriented online coaching programme matches E-Coaches to young entrepreneurs (16-35) based on area of expertise, type of industry, location, language and time availability. E-coaches provide guidance to young entrepreneurs and accompany them through the process of setting up their business over a period of up to 12 months. Since 2012 YEN has supported young entrepreneurs from 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia.

Apply by Monday, October 7, 2013:

ILO Youth Employment Programme

The ILO calls for good practices on youth employment

Has your organization implemented a programme to support young people in accessing decent work? Do you want your practice to be recognized and widely disseminated?

This is your opportunity! The ILO Youth Employment Programme is launching a call for submissions of good practices that have proven effective in promoting decent work for young people.

All applications will be assessed based on 6 specific criteria: (i) relevance, (ii) effectiveness and impact, (iii) sustainability, (iv) innovation, (v) replicability, (vi) efficiency. An evaluation committee composed of experts and young specialists on youth employment will identify the good practices from the programmes submitted. The best submission will receive prizes and three of them will be featured in an MTV video.

The deadline to submit proposals is the 5th October 2013.

For more information visit:


Voices of youth

Voices of Youth (VOY) is UNICEF’s largest digital community for young people – a place where you can get inspired, involved and have your voice heard.

VOY is dedicated to giving all young people the opportunity to share their thoughts on issues such as health, education, human rights, violence and many more. The site is available in English, Spanish and French, and features interviews with inspirational youth, news and special features, monthly debates, and resources and materials that can help young people to take action in their communities.

If you’re committed to building a better world, join the thousands of young people from all around the planet who are already part of VOY:

Follow VOY on Facebook (Voices of Youth) or Twitter (@voicesofyouth)


Youth at the 2nd Africa Caribbean Pacific/European Union/UN-Habitat conference

As part of the Second International Tripartite ACP/EU/UN-Habitat Conference on "Sustainable Urbanization for Poverty Eradication" that was held in the Rwandan capital Kigali, UN-Habitat’s Youth Unit exhibited its work with the Ministry of Youth and ICT and Kigali Municipality. Among the projects showcased was the Kimisagira One Stop Youth Employment and Productivity Center a partnership between UN-Habitat and local governments.  The One Stop Youth Centre model recognizes that youth engagement and empowerment through training and capacity development is pertinent to addressing the challenges faced by young people such as employability. The centres provide skills training that contribute towards building a pool of skilled and employable young labour force.

Currently there are 22 One Stop Youth Employment Centres, in Rwanda. The Ministry of Youth and ICT is planning to scale and replicate the centres nationwide through the Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities Centers (YEGO). These centres provide mechanisms to harness and consolidate youth-serving resources and channel them to a constituency of young.

For more information:

Announcement of 2013 Urban Youth Fund winners

The 5th Call for Application to the UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund was made earlier in the year and the selection process has been ongoing to arrive at a shortlist of projects.  More than 8400 applications were received from around the world. Through a rigorous screening and assessment process, 59 projects from 40 countries have been selected to receive the grant that ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. The Urban Youth fund is a grant programme run by UN-Habitat and aimed at urban based youth-led organizations in developing countries, who are striving to improve living conditions for themselves and for their communities through innovative approaches to employment, good governance, the environment, ICT, women and health and shelter and secure tenure. This year’s grant recipients will be announced on World Habitat Day which falls on 7th October 2013. The announcement can be found on UN-Habitats You Fund page at:

Exploring youth and land issues

UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN) have initiated a Youth land project to respond to the knowledge gap around the youth dimensions of land by building a solid knowledge base and looking into developing land tools to improve the youth responsiveness of policies and processes.

The first phase of this joint project was launched with a 4-day workshop held at the UN Secretariat in New York.  5 youth organizations from Brazil,  Kenya, Nepal, Yemen and Zimbabwe will be funded to undertake youth-led action research projects in their respective countries to identify the barriers youth face in accessing land and in participating in land governance, and consequently to highlight some good practices for youth engagement in land issues.


Laos celebrates International Youth Day 2013

At least 1200 young people attended the celebration of the International Youth Day in Savannakhet Province, southern Laos. The event included dance, music and drama performances by popular singers and dancers. The event highlighted how the Youth, in particular girls, can be a driving force for development in the country.

The event stresses that youth are shaping the country's present and future. The opportunities and choices young people make during adolescence will enable them to begin adulthood as empowered and active citizens. The celebration also focused on the links between the well-being of youth and the achievements of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
More information is available here:


School-age youth in Gaza

School-age children caught in conflicts suffer the impact of loss of normalcy, in addition to deaths of loved ones, displacement, and shortages of foods and goods. Attending schools allows Palestine refugee children—whether they reside in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, or Syria—a safe space to play and learn. Attending school provides structure and support in an increasingly turbulent and ever-changing setting.       

In addition to providing students an education, schools give children an opportunity to begin to heal the wounds of war. This improves the situation of young people who were severely traumatized by war.  From the first day at school, the students enjoy activities that give them an emotional outlet to express their feelings – through paints, plays and other events. Attending such schools improve their ability to express loss, interact with peers and recover from distress.

Helping young refugees in Syria

Children are vulnerable to the conflict in Syria, with displacement depriving many of an education. Partnership with the European Union has enabled UNRWA to provide Palestine refugees from Syria with education and special care by recruiting psychosocial counselors. Students who have settled in Lebanon and Jordan after escaping the violence in Syria are learning to engage with their peers at school. Aya, who now lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon, explains: “When I’m acting or dancing with them, I feel like I’m living a new life – one with a better story than mine. But sometimes I like to play my real role, so people can know how terrible our living conditions are.”

UNRWA believes that education is one of the most vital investments that communities can make. During times of emergencies, UNRWA is committed to supporting the educational goals of Palestine refugees, helping them build bridges to the future for themselves and for their children.

The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE)

Open global survey on youth volunteerism

The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) is promoting an open global survey to establish the ten (10) most important areas of interest that youth volunteers of different regions worldwide are more active and/or interested in. This is one of the steps to the development of their Global Youth Volunteers (GYV) initiative, an envisioned platform that seeks to engage and connect every young volunteer and their initiatives worldwide, through strategic regional partnerships, with three focus areas:

1. Follow your passion;

2. Build your skills;

3. Multiply your Impact

To answer the Survey, please go to:

For more information on GYV, visit:
any additional information, you can e-mail the IAVE Youth team at


89plus Marathon at the Serpentine Galleries London

On October 18 &19, 2013, the Serpentine Galleries, London, will stage the 89plus Marathon. 89plus is a long-term, international, multi-platform research project that is mapping the generation of innovators born in or after the year 1989 - the beginning of the universal availability of the Internet and the fall of the Berlin wall. hosts an open call for artists, writers, architects, filmmakers, musicians, designers, scientists and technologists. There is only one rule: you must be 89plus—born in or after 1989. Please submit as soon as possible to be considered for our various upcoming events and projects at

More information at


Disclaimer: Reference herein to any organization, view, or event is intended for explicit description only and does not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendation by the United Nations, or anyone else.

Commonwealth Youth Programme

Commonwealth Youth Development Index Report 

The Commonwealth Youth Development Index Results Report (YDI Report) identifies and analyses key trends in youth development across the Commonwealth. The report lists the key findings and provides a breakdown of youth development according to each of the indicators. It explores the key factors that correlate with youth development, not just in the Commonwealth, but around the world.

The YDI Methodology Report provides a thorough explanation of the methodology and construction of the index, as well as the rationale behind each of the indicators. It shows how each indicator is weighed and where the data was sourced from.

Find full report here:


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