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2014 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference
October 6-8, 2014
2013 Conference Presentation Material Now Available
To view presentation material from the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, visit the 2013 Program page here. Click on the session title to access the presentation material for that session.
Go to the interactive online program here.
The conference goal is to strengthen the impact, scale, and sustainability of youth economic opportunity programming. The 2013 event contained two Spotlights: "Opportunities for Rural Youth" focused on how to support youth in rural areas. "Power of Technology" showcased how to utilize technology in your programming.
Spotlight on Opportunities for Rural Youth
Youth economic opportunity programming increasingly endeavors to reach young people in rural areas, in particular to curb urban migration, reduce rural poverty, and to spur agricultural development. While there is a growing body of research and practitioner experience, there is much to learn. Practitioners, policymakers, funders, researchers, and educators largely recognize that the characteristics, assets and needs of young people in urban and remote areas are distinct.
This year’s Spotlight on Opportunities for Rural Youth highlighted some of the critical issues facing youth in rural areas; and the roles stakeholders have to play in order for more young people living in rural areas to have access to (formal and informal) employment and entrepreneurship opportunities that break cycles of poverty and transform rural economies. It also brought to light the lessons learned various stakeholders have gained from working to support youth in this context, along with the questions they had. A diverse range of stakeholders addressed complex challenges together and defined next steps to fill knowledge and practice gaps while promoting cross-sector collaboration. The Spotlight examined agricultural and non-agricultural activities (e.g., tourism, manufacturing, and services) in rural and peri-urban contexts.
Spotlight on the Power of Technology
The Spotlight on the Power of Technology returned for a second year, as stakeholders continue to seek concrete examples of how technology is being used effectively in youth economic opportunity programming and how organizations are effectively supporting young people in their efforts to start a business or get a job in growth-oriented ICT sectors. The synchronous emergence of mobile technology, ubiquitous access to high-powered tools, and powerful data analytics carries the potential to widen or converge inequalities across regions and between generations. The Spotlight challenged our understanding of how technology creates and enhances youth economic opportunities.
The Conference Learning Tracks
Youth Enterprise Development
The Youth Enterprise Development learning track will share transferable information about how to support the mindsets, skillsets and toolsets that adolescent girls and boys and young women and men need to start and grow a successful business now or in the future. Youth enterprise development is particularly interesting in a year when we’ve seen an explosion of youth-led start-ups and the emergence of infrastructure to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the global south. A diverse range of individuals and organizations from around the world will share their actionable research, transferable tools, and innovative programmatic approaches and policies.
Submissions should focus on proven approaches and/or tools that have proven results with a specific youth target population (e.g. micro “necessity” entrepreneurs, growth-oriented “opportunity” entrepreneurs, etc.).
The Workforce Development learning track will address solutions to common challenges and build a body of knowledge and evidence about effective workforce development programming strategies related to youth. Workforce development programs help youth and adults acquire skills, knowledge, and behaviors that help them identify and obtain secure livelihood opportunities. These programs can be broadly targeted formal education programs supported by national or sub-national governments, or more narrowly, industry or target population-focused programs. Many stakeholders working in this sector commonly face challenges of how to address: significant mismatches between the supply of labor and labor market demands; outdated education and training programs; poorly trained teachers and trainers; limited ability to identify and assess high potential domestic and global markets; the lack of effective labor market intermediation, and too little private - public sector coordination that results in workforce planning.
Submissions should focus on approaches to workforce development that show promise in addressing these or other challenges identified in the field.
The gender learning track will address the role that sex and gender play in shaping economic opportunities for adolescent girls and boys and young women and men. Understanding how to apply a gender lens when programming for youth economic opportunities enables stakeholders to identify constraints and opportunities that can increase effective participation levels of both genders, or determine when gender-specific programs are most appropriate. Some organizations are taking comprehensive approaches and using a range of interventions to be gender aware in their programming, and also support adolescent girls and boys and young women and men specifically in their efforts to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Organizations may differ in their strategies to building human, social and financial assets. It is important to learn about what is different about these strategies and how they are achieving impact.
Submissions should focus on presenting challenges, solutions, innovations, trends, and research related to the role of gender in program design for youth economic opportunities.
Financial Services and Capabilities
The Financial Services and Capabilities learning track will examine what it takes at the macro, meso, micro and client-levels to offer appropriate financial services to the developing world’s growing youth population. This learning track will push the boundaries of what is known in youth-inclusive financial services to look at how the public and private sectors can better work together in order to address financial capability, to address policy and regulatory challenges and to develop appropriate financial products for youth. It also will enable participants to better understand the YFS impact on youth, their families and communities; the financial services providers; and the broader financial services marketplace.
Submissions should focus on increasing the understanding of financial services that target youth during different life stages, examining motivations for designing youth-targeted financial services, defining the role of financial education in improving outcomes for youth, and examining the return on investment of youth financial products and services.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessments (M&E) learning track will address the need to better understand which M&E approaches and tools are working well within the youth economic opportunities field, and which should be improved or discarded. Participants are especially interested in learning which approaches and tools they can use in their own programming. These M&E sessions will be “how to” workshops to improve and advance M&E work in the YEO field, and thus contribute to building the evidence base of “what works”. This track also emphasizes that M&E is about learning (i.e. integrating M&E into program design and using M&E findings to inform the development of programs).
Submissions should advance understanding in M&E approaches and tools, and be geared to an audience that already has a basic understanding of M&E.