Global Context Matters

The Global Context Matters track explores how social, health, and environmental factors impact youth security and economic opportunity. As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates, young people are especially vulnerable to social, health, environmental and economic shocks. Global trends like the reduced bargaining power, economic insecurity, and an uncertain job landscape for example, long raised critical questions about widening inequality. The global pandemic has put the resulting vulnerability of our systems and young people into stark relief. This challenge is made more acute when we consider the significant impact on economic opportunity by cross-cutting issues like gender, conflict, mass migration, climate change, and other social and economic shocks prior to or resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
At the same time, youth around the world are leading efforts to respond to the impact of COVID-19 in their communities, from tacking gender-based violence to the environment to combating misinformation and holding governments accountable. We have an opportunity to make youth engagement central to the post-COVID-19 response: how do we take advantage of that? What are some of the emerging trends and what is the role of young people in a local, national and global COVID-19 response? How can we support young people’s economic and social inclusion through youth engagement, programs and policies now and as we rebuild in a post-COVID-19 world? 
 
During this track session we explored how the current global context has impacted youth. We heard from organizations and young changemakers who are exploring the role of youth leadership and engagement around the world. 

Live Track Event

On August 20th from 9:00 am – 11:30 am EST, the YEO Network convened the second in a series of at least five (5) online Global Youth Economic Opportunities (GYEO) Summit events that follow our technical tracks in skills development, workforce readiness, self-employment and entrepreneurship, and cross-cutting topics such as gender, conflict, systems change, policy, and more. Visit our each track page to register for upcoming events and learn more from past virtual series. 

Date & Time:

Thursday, August 20th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am EDT  

Format:

Two and a half hours, online. 

Schedule of Events:

9:00 am – 9:10 am - Welcome & Opening

9:10 am – 10:10 am - Track Opening Fireside Chat

10:10 – 10:15 am - Transition to Breakout Sessions

10:15 am – 11:15 am -  Four concurrent 60-minute breakout sessions 11:30 am -  Event Close

Fireside Chat Speakers 

Michael McCabe, USAID
Michael McCabe, USAID

Mike is the Agency Youth Coordinator and brings over 28 years of professional experience managing international development programs. In his current role, he is responsible for helping integrate youth engagement and youth development issues across the Agency, oversee the Youth Policy implementation, and serve as a senior representative on youth issues in the interagency and external community.

Asonele Kotu - FemConnect
Asonele Kotu - FemConnect

Asonole is a former YouthLead ambassador and founder of the FemConnect app, which provides women access to self-administered contraceptives. She is focused on empowerment, online education, and networking experiences where young women can engage and collaborate through technology. Before venturing into her own business, she worked in roles where she was exposed to various skillsets ranging from PR, marketing, resource mobilization, digital marketing, and many other skills in various industries.

Gustavo Murillo, Accountability Lab
Gustavo Murillo, Accountability Lab

Gustavo currently works at Accountability Lab Mexico, a global non-profit organization supporting active citizens, responsible leaders, and accountable institutions and leads the Mexican Network for Public Service, a value-driven movement of young people in public service. He is a member of the International Republican Institute’s Generation Democracy Network and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.

Breakout Sessions

VSO International & Afrika Youth Movement
Empowering Youth Networks to Achieve Influence and Collective Economic Impact 

Through this session, we discussed the important role that youth networks play in the effective advancement of youth livelihoods through various experts from local, national, and regional levels. The session commenced with an exploration of VSO’s Youth Network approach which is providing the necessary social capital, safe spaces, and framework to build the capacity of highly marginalized youth in rural/peri-urban communities. Examples from Kenya on the use of social accountability tools, and in Uganda on participatory action research, were shared to take the audience on the change journey that took place in these communities, which also influenced national level policy actions and interventions. Regional context was provided by Afrika Youth Movement by sharing the theory of change of the movement, the joint tools on the impact of youth-led networks and the approach to activate collective action through networked social movements by sharing relevant experiences and examples. Session attendees learned about how these collective approaches are enhancing a wider understanding of the systemic level changes required to achieve better livelihood, and on how youth have successfully influenced their external environment to secure collective economic gains.

Track Technical Content

Plan International, Citi Foundation, & Youth Employment Funders Group
Raising Youth Voices: Strategies for Meaningful Youth Engagement in Youth Employment Initiatives  

How can we better support meaningful youth engagement to ensure the aspirations and priorities of young people are consistently reflected in programs, their rights are protected, and their voices heard? Plan International, Citi Foundation, and the Youth Employment Funders Group presented preliminary insights from a white paper and roadmap exploring the engagement of young people in youth employment initiatives. The white paper provides a common understanding of what meaningful engagement of young people in youth employment programs means, and recommendations for strengthening youth engagement in programming and decision-making processes. Participants gained a deeper understanding of what youth engagement looks like in employment-related interventions and guidance on how interventions could be mainstreamed in policies and programs.  

Youth Systems Collaborative, Education Development Center (EDC), & International Youth Foundation
Youth Voices: Rising to Change Local Systems

What are effective approaches for facilitating locally-driven systems change for youth? We know from experience that youth inclusion is an essential aspect for lasting, meaningful improvements. However, youth are often left out of local decision-making processes. 

Moderated by the Youth Systems Collaborative (YSC), this session will featured two TEDx Talks by EDC and IYF, addressing how to engage youth in the systems change process.

In the Philippines, Youth Development Alliances (YDAs) provide youth leaders the opportunity to work with local government representatives to improve policies and services to meet the needs of youth. EDC will share best practices in creating and supporting YDAs, and the experiences of youth YDA members.

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YOUTH, COVID-19, AND CRISIS RESPONSE IN CONFLICT AFFECTED AREAS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

About

COVID-19 is driving major disruption to everyday life, and young people in challenging and conflict-affected situations face particularly acute risks. However, young people are on the front lines of fighting the pandemic, delivering life-saving services to the most vulnerable in a conflict-sensitive way. Youth are also critical actors in rebuilding societies and preventing unrest in post-crisis situations, as we have seen during Search for Common Ground’s efforts to mitigate the Ebola pandemic in West Africa and other crisis situations. The webinar will not only examine the protection and prevention needs of youth amid the pandemic, it will also draw from youth experiences in crisis response and dialogue facilitation to highlight how young people are helping build their communities’ resilience against COVID-19 and other crises. Last, it will examine how international and national policymakers and practitioners can partner with and support youth peacebuilders during this critical time.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Webinar

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COVID-19 Analytical Snapshot #17: Impacts on migrant children and youth - Understanding the migration & mobility implications of COVID-19

About

These COVID-19 Analytical Snapshots are designed to capture the latest information and analysis in a
fast-moving environment. Topics will be repeated from time to time as analysis develops.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Report

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COVID-19: What is at stake for youth development?

About

Undeniably, youth play a crucial role in the action plans to limit the spread of the COVID-19 and its adverse impact on public health, society and the economy at large. Young people are also among the most vulnerable groups who suffer from the pernicious consequences derived from this crisis.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

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COVID-19 Pandemic: Youth Engaged in the #NextNormal

About

UNESCO’s “My COVID19 Story” campaign was launched in April of 2020 to serve as a platform for youth around the world to share their voices and highlight their different lived experiences during the pandemic, including their feelings, perceptions, and innovative initiatives to find solutions to the crisis. In total, the written and video testimonials that UNESCO received represent all regions of the world, proving once again that they are key actors when it comes to developing innovative solutions to the global challenges that the world faces.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Campaign

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Youth, strategic partners during the COVID-19 crisis

About

COVID-19 has left profound social and economic consequences around the globe. Labeled by the UN Secretary General as the worst global crisis since World War II, COVID is not only a health crisis affecting every country in the world, but also a major learning, cultural and economic crisis. The spread of the disease brought a disastrous impact on vulnerable communities around the world, exacerbating profound and latent inequalities as well as social mistrust in societies. The impact of the health crisis in youth has been tremendous. They are amongst the most vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic, with many at risk of being left behind at this crucial stage of their life development.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Article

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UNIANYD Statement on COVID-19 & Youth

About

The unprecedented global health crisis we are facing is affecting all parts of society
and changing lives and livelihoods. In all types of crises and times of need, from
climate change to armed conflict or political unrest, young people and youth-led
organizations have been quick to take action and respond to the needs of others.
The same is happening now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While attention is currently focused on those most immediately affected by the
virus, there are many indications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-lasting
social, cultural, economic, political and multidimensional impacts on the whole of
societies, including young people, as highlighted by the Secretary General’s Report
“Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity” (March 2020).

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Report

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Decent Jobs for Youth: Global Survey on Youth & COVID-19

About

To bring youth voices to the forefront of action and policy responses, the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth (DJY) and its partners including the International Labour Organization, the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, AIESEC, the European Youth Forum, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the United Nations Human Rights Office conducted a survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth.

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Report

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5 Things Young People Can Do to Join the Global #COVID19 Response

About

We are all impacted by COVID19 – A.K.A. the Coronavirus – one way or another. No matter where we are in the world and where in the age spectrum we sit. However, some of us are at higher risk – for instance, older people and people with severe underlying health conditions. Some of us are more impacted than others due to individual, community or geographical circumstances.

UN - Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth

Cross-Cutting Topic Areas

Content Type

Blog