Check out the World Youth Report launched on 15th July 2016…
Many of us in the anglophone Caribbean remain isolated from our neighbours in Latin America, missing opportunities for ideational exchange, policy dialogue and solidarity in communities of practice. In spite of the socio-economic, cultural and linguistic diversity within the region, Latin America and the Caribbean suffers from the maintenance of unhelpful geopolitical divisions which hide historical ties and situational similarities.
That’s often been the case in youth development where we …. So, I was particularly pleased to have been able to participate last year in a seminar organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on Social Inclusion and Youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. I was joined by members of the Caribbean youth movement – Tijani Christian – Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC); Tarun Butcher – Belize CARICOM Youth Ambassador; Renee Cozier – Researcher at the UWI St. Augustine; and Rashad Brathwaite – Legal Advisor to the CRYC.
We benefitted from dialogue with youth development practitioners, researchers and youth leaders of grassroots, national and transnational movements across Central and South America. We took note of shared challenges – particularly between small Caribbean states and Central American states – in relation to youth crime and violence, educational quality and political and policy participation. We took note of the programmes and projects implemented in other countries and relished in their admiration of our ongoing efforts towards a regionally-coordinated youth development framework in CARICOM. I contributed a presentation on the situation of youth economic exclusion in the Caribbean sub-region – “From Addressing Youth Employment and Work Challenges to Promoting Youth Economic Citizenship” – arguing for a shift in the policy discussion away from exclusive focus on temporary responses to cyclical changes in economies to focus on the adoption of integrated approaches to youth economic citizenship which will encourage longer-term employment, financial inclusion and economic empowerment of young people.
One of the panels at the seminar presented interesting findings from a study conducted by ECLAC on educational, health, security and political dimensions of youth social inclusion in selected Latin American countries. We were fortunate to receive a copy of the study which we hoped to share with our anglophone CARICOM network – BUT it was only available, at that time, in Spanish!
However, ECLAC has now made the book available in English, along with a Toolkit on analysis and policy design for youth social inclusion. Please use the links below to download these resources:
Soto, H., Trucco, D., & Ullmann, H. (2015). Towards the Social Inclusion of Youth: Tools for analysis and policy design. Santiago, Chile: United Nations/ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our team is growing!
Please visit the “Meet our Researchers” page to get to know a few new faces.
50/50 Youth Members now meet in two Working Groups to discuss research, policies and programmes which contribute to positive youth development. Some members may participate in both groups.
The Research Working Group of experienced academic researchers will be focusing its energies on helping to build up the evidence base for youth development. We look forward to publishing more and sharing new research resources with youth development stakeholders.
The Policy and Advice Working Group of youth development practitioners also contribute to the cluster’s research agenda but will also offer their expertise through policy advice and capacity-building initiatives for regional youth organisations.
Looking forward to engaging you.
This year, SALISES’ annual Caribbean Child Research Conference (CCRC) will move outside the Jamaican capital of Kingston to central Jamaica. The 2016 event will be held in cool Mandeville, Jamaica under the theme, “Promoting the Rights of Children in extremely difficult circumstances”, from November 2-4, 2016
Deadline for Adult Researchers : July 15
Deadline for Child Researchers: September 30
The annual CCRC is a regional interdisciplinary conference covering a range of child related themes. The conference aims to share research on children, strengthen the network of researchers on children’s issues, and encourage research in areas that are often “under-researched”.
The Caribbean Youth Development Conference (CYDC), having been convened in Kingston, Jamaica by the 50/50 Youth Cluster of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), in partnership with the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC), and with the support of national, regional and international development agencies, has reached agreement among its delegates, representing youth development stakeholders across the Caribbean, on directions for youth inclusion in sustainable development in the Caribbean, Post 2015.
The CYDC has now affirmed the commitment of stakeholders to, individually and collectively, advance an evidence-based, youth participatory, transparent, professionalized, sectorally-integrated, regionally-inclusive and collaborative framework for Caribbean youth development.
The Agenda for Action document outlines the recommendations of the Conference in three areas: Youth Development Research; Public Sector Youth Policy; and Projects and Programmes in Support of Youth Development.
To see the specific recommendations, download the full document here and share with others. Organisations are welcome to submit Letters of Intent to SALISES, to signal any initiatives they wish to undertake in support of the Agenda.
50/50 Youth is grateful to all those who contributed research papers, reflections on practice and concept notes to the inaugural Caribbean Youth Development Conference (CYDC) which was held at the UWI Regional Headquarters from 30th September to 2nd October, 2015. Your contributions enabled a wide range of stakeholders – Ministers of Youth, Permanent Secretaries in Ministries of Youth Affairs, Directors of Youth, Regional Youth Leaders, National Youth Leaders, community youth representatives, academics and youth workers – to think critically about the directions for sustainable development in the Caribbean. Among the commitments made by delegates are agreements to:
- Ensure that each country has an evidence-based youth policy, formulated through a youth participatory process and which is implemented via participatory youth projects and programmes
- Strengthen Youth Governance Structures (particularly National Youth Councils in each country), including in capacity for evidence-based engagement in development work
- Ensure effective regional monitoring and oversight of youth-specific elements of development agendas – (including a ministerial monitoring mechanism; a strengthened regional youth division in CARICOM; and strengthened youth capacity for regional oversight – CRYC, CYAP etc)
In the coming weeks, 50/50 Youth will release the details of these and other recommendations of the conference as a part of a Regional Agenda of Priority Actions for Research, Policies and Programmes for Caribbean Youth, Post 2015. We anticipate that various stakeholders in the sustainable development process will take responsibilities for specific actions which will contribute to positive youth development outcomes. For our part, 50/50 Youth will advance the evidence-based elements of the agenda, including actions related to training, mentorship and participatory youth development research.
There is a buzz today about “Youth Civic Engagement” – it’s the theme of the United Nations International Youth Day which is celebrated annually on August 12th. The day, regardless of the annual theme, is an event aimed at celebrating the contributions of young people, as well as the initiatives which support positive youth development and empowerment.
The recent interest (as the UN views it) in youth civic engagement somehow suggests something novel about youth contribution. Indeed, a lot of the narrative on “youth” has been negative in the past decade – focusing on the challenges of being young and the problems youth create for societies (read as crime and violence, sexually transmitted diseases). The latter focus does a disservice to the long history of volunteerism and social action by young people all over the world. For me, growing up in Jamaica and the United Kingdom, “giving back”, “getting involved” and “changing peoples lives” were not considered novelties for youth – it was expected of young people. Whether through church, school or community groups, young people were actively encouraged to engage in whatever was happening. (I don’t ignore the fact that levels and spheres of engagement may have varied widely). I only want to acknowledge that many social movements and organisations around the world were initiated by and advanced through the innovation of young people. Unfortunately, some of these movements and organisations have evolved into systematically youth-exclusionary frameworks and the history of youth contribution has been erased. (I am thinking, as I write this, about a recent post by John Rapley on brixtonsubversity which notes the youth civic history of football clubs).
How curious, then that international organisations and governments should only “recently” become interested in youth civic engagement! I suppose though, that the opportunity presented by this IYD’s theme, is to acknowledge, recognise and demonstrate the youth civic engagement which continues today – in the background – but still influential.
Happy International #YouthDay and I hope you will all take advantage of the opportunity to show people how you contribute and encourage others to press on for positive change.
Please do check out the latest Special Issue of Social and Economic Studies (SES), edited by Aldrie Henry-Lee. Against the background of the 25th Anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) which was celebrated in 2014, this timely collection of papers entitled: “Reflections on adherence to Child Rights in the Caribbean” offers discussion on various aspects of the situation of children in relation to:
- awareness of child rights;
- violence against children;
- children’s play;
- rights to participation; and
- social rights to education and health services.
The collection includes pieces presented at the Caribbean Child Research Conference which has been hosted by SALISES since 2006 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Henry-Lee. To secure your copy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our Conference website to view the Draft Programme for the upcoming Caribbean Youth Development Conference. We have an exciting line up of presenters scheduled.
We are likely to have to make some adjustments to this First Draft before September but all updated versions of the programme will be posted to the website.
Hope to see you there!