November is a special month in Jamaica not only because it is celebrated as Youth Month but also because it is the time of year when SALISES, Mona hosts the annual Caribbean Child Research Conference (CCRC) in Kingston. This year, the conference was convened over two days from 5th -6th November under the theme “Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities”.
50/50 Youth Chair, Terri-Ann Gilbert-Roberts, spent time at the conference engaging in discussion with some 400 participants on various aspects of the context of policies and programmes for children with disabilities. The CCRC is a unique forum for child participation in research and so we sat down with Dr. Aldrie Henry Lee who is a Senior Fellow at SALISES Mona and the Chair of the annual conference to find out more about the CCRC. Dr. Henry Lee is also Chair of the SALISES Social Policy Cluster and an associated of 50/50 Youth.
Calling all primary and secondary school students! Click to Like the CCRC Facebook Page and learn more about attending next year – maybe you will be the next Outstanding Child Researcher! 🙂
…STAY TUNED for clips from interviews with the top researchers seen here posing with their prizes
Young Leaders in Research – the 2014 outstanding Child Researchers posing with their prizes.
The Global Forum on Youth Policies has re-affirmed support for the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY). In spite of obvious organizational and logistical challenges the forum has established a platform for enhanced global co-operation on and transformation of the Global youth development paradigm. However, to effectively transform the global youth development ethos from the prevalent deficit discourse and tokenistic approaches to a positive and transformational youth development paradigm the global youth movement/alliance must undertake to:
- Establish a multi-billion dollar global youth development fund to support youth development research, youth advocacy, human capital development, youth economic empowerment, youth innovation and political participation, among others.
- Actively support the revitalization and strengthening of independent and democratic youth networks and platforms.
- Implement a global and adequately funded strategy to revise, review, strengthen and re-position national, regional and international youth development agencies. This should also include facilitating the development of a professionalized youth development framework and culture.
- Establish an international working group or other relevant cooperation framework including the UN Agencies, Commonwealth Secretariat, Council For Europe, African Union, European Union, ACP among others to facilitate more unified and strategic interventions in youth development.
- Establish a Global Youth Empowerment Index or other relevant framework of standards/indicators to facilitate objective and independent assessment of global youth empowerment ethos. The agreed framework must be supported by universally accepted conventions mandating member countries of the international community to undertake biennial or triennial assessments and submit reports on the status of youth empowerment in respective countries. Independent multi-sectoral assessment teams should preferably undertake these assessments.
- The CARICOM Secretariat and OECS Commission must get their act together and, strategically position themselves to better support the regional youth development agenda. This must include providing or actively facilitating the provision of strategic support to independent and democratic youth networks and platforms.
- Youth development stakeholders must immediately act upon the recommendations of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development, UNDP Citizens Security report, Eastern and Southern Caribbean Youth Assessment and other relevant recommendations to enhance the youth policy development environment and transformation of the regional youth development ethos.
- Actively engage with and support appropriate youth development initiatives by the University of the West Indies and other relevant academic institutions. In this regard the initiative by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Economic and Social Studies, Mona Campus to establish a Youth Cluster Research group must be actively supported. Continue to engage with this and other complimentary initiatives to strengthen the policy development environment through active research , knowledge development and credible monitoring and evaluation initiatives. This includes encouraging emerging collaborative efforts between Caribbean participants at the recently concluded Baku Forum and the SALISES 50/50 Youth Cluster to develop appropriate supporting protocols and initiatives for youth policy development in the Caribbean.
- Actively support SALISES 50/50 Youth Research Cluster proposed 2015 Regional Academic Conference on Youth Development.
- Without further delay undertake a comprehensive review of inter-agency cooperation in youth development and develop an functional strategic framework (Youth movement, Governments, Private Sector, Civil society and UWI )for active cooperation on regional youth development initiatives and agenda.
The storm clouds are gathering. The rising tide of dis-content may soon assume ‘tsunamic’ proportions. It is no time for subjective agendas, insularity and mediocrity among the youth development community. Let us seize this historic opportunity to transform the global, regional and national youth development. This is a vital and critical success factor to transform the prevailing climate of hopelessness and despair which has dampened the dreams of our post-emancipation heroes and threatens to derail the Caribbean Independence project. La luta continua!
Henry Wallice Charles
During the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, 50/50Youth Member, Henry Charles was asked to share his perspective on youth policies. His presentation, infused with history, was well-received by the group. Listen in… “Youth Policy is Not a Shopping List”
Special thanks to Ms. Tricia Teekah of the Guyana National Youth Council who shot and shared this video.
We spent three days with over 700 youth activists, academic and technical experts, legislators and policymakers from over 165 countries exchanging information on the state of youth policies. What an experience! I wish we could have provided you with the live updates during the conference as intended. However, with over 700 people connecting to a single internet access point, connectivity was challenging. However, we are glad that you can view video excerpts from the conference here: http://vimeo.com/ypforum2014 and read the Baku Commitment to Youth Policies issued at the end of the Forum.
Over the three days, participants in the First Global Forum on Youth Policies exchanged information on progress in their countries and regions with respect to:
- The status of implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 200 and Beyond which is now 20 years old;
- Guiding Principles for Youth Policy: Rights-based design; inclusiveness; participation; gender-responsiveness; comprehensiveness; evidence-base; full resourcing and accountability
- Best practices in national and regional youth policy formulation and challenges in implementation in respect of an impressive array of thematic areas: education, employment and entrepreneurship, peace and security, health, participation, volunteerism, environmental protection, gender equality, justice, urbanization and housing, social inclusion, information communication and leisure.
- Methods and approaches to securing commitments to the common denominators of a “modern” youth policy – compiling the evidence base for policy formulation; securing youth and stakeholder participation; formulating the legal frameworks and instruments; securing political leadership/commitment and mobilization of resources; securing cross-sectoral/transversal commitments to implementation across government and non-governmental stakeholders; and building effective monitoring and evaluation systems.
Some of the key debates which caught my attention (and perhaps remain unresolved) include:
- How best do we ensure accountability for implementation of youth development priorities? By Youth Laws or by Youth Policies and Strategies?
- What is the role of regional organisations in youth policy? Should there be a single Regional Policy or a regional action plan for coordinating national policies?
- Youth Participation is critical at all stages of the policy process (formulation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and revision) but which are the best ways to secure effective participation?
- For example, with respect to monitoring, are National Youth Councils the right entities to be involved? What about governments?
- Do these organisations have the capacity, the independence and objectivity?
- What is the role of academic institutions in the monitoring process and in supporting youth participation?
One of the benefits of the conference was that it facilitated time for a small Caribbean Working Group to meet to discuss the implications of questions like these for the region and to discuss some next steps in advancing youth policy in the region.
Out of those discussions, new partnerships have been formed between SALISES 50/50 Youth and the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) and representatives of National Youth Councils, Ministries and Departments of Youth and other youth practitioners. We have plans to work together to build the regional capacity for youth policy analysis to ensure effective monitoring of the state of policy responses to youth development needs in the region. This will serve as a means of advocacy for national accountability for formulation and implementation of youth policies.
We also have the endorsement of these stakeholders for our plans to celebrate Caribbean Youth Day next year on 30th September, 2015 with a special Caribbean Youth Development Conference. The conference will provide an opportunity for you to join the discussion in person and connect with some of the interesting and knowledgeable people we have been interacting with in Baku and other forums.
Stay tuned for announcements on these two new initiatives!
FYI: We have a new email address so you can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org