EVENT: How Can Women and Girls Use Technology to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? May 19, 2016

Technology Salon
May 19, 2016 (All day)

The Women Deliver Conference happening next week in Copenhagen is world’s largest global conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the last decade. There are four days of events, many of which we can watch via the livestream or follow online. Please RSVP now to join the WD2016 discussion through a special in-person event here in Washington, DC, focusing on a topic that seems to be largely missing from the conference agenda: How women and girls can use the tools of technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

BLOG: A Phone of Her Own: How Mobile Access Can Change Women’s Lives, March 2016

World Bank

Mobile phone ownership gives women the ability to open a mobile phone-based bank account, an important gateway to financial independence. A private account gives women in developing nations control over their money as well as the ability to put food on the family table.  A mobile phone also gives women the ability to open a business in a remote village, without having to trek to a distant city to register that business. And, with a phone, women in developing countries can more easily schedule a clinic appointment or register their children for school.

BLOG: How Coding Bootcamps are Helping to Tackle Youth Unemployment, April 2016

The World Bank

The emergence of bootcamps in developing countries signals determination of local people and businesses to participate in the digital revolution, but does not guarantee immediate results. The potential impact on employability can be substantial, but needs further testing. Recognizing the need to better understand the impact of bootcamps on employability, the World Bank ICT Innovation Team  launched a Rapid Technology Skills Training Program focused on programming skills, which are among the most demanded (and the most deficient) by employers.

BLOG: Obama Hails Young Inquiring Minds at His Final White House Science Fair, April 2016

The New York Times

Six White House Science Fairs later, Obama hailed an amazing new collection of young minds yesterday. It’s been heartening to see how this administration, despite funding blockades by Republican lawmakers,  has never flagged in its push for better science education as a path to renewing a culture of innovation. (Substantial credit is almost assuredly due John P. Holdren, the president’s science adviser.)

BLOG: Is Technology Really Helping Youth to Progress, April 2016

The Commonwealth Youth Programme

Technology is progressively ingrained into our lives, slowly but surely replacing tasks that we once used to do on pen and paper. In education, technology is more and more becoming part and parcel of development and is a necessary requirement in the learning process. This huge reliance on technology, however, does not mean everyone is granted the same access to technology. Technology is part and parcel of everyday life, writes Juliana Chia, 24, a Correspondent from Singapore, who challenges youth to raise questions about inequality of access that puts some students at a disadvantage.

BLOG: Technology, Sound Record Keeping and Access to Finance Could be the Keys to Youth Unemployment in Kenya, March 2016

The World Bank

Youth in Kenya are experiencing much higher unemployment rates than the rest of the Kenyan population. In 2014, Munga and Onsomu, reported that youths aged 15-19 and 20-24 years had unemployment rates of 25% and 24%, respectively about double the overall unemployment of 12.7% for the entire working-age group. Despite this, the Kenya youth are slowly transitioning from the risk averse mentality; that is, one has to be employed and depend on a monthly income in order to earn a living.

BLOG: Tunisia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Why Youth and Tech are Vital Elements, April 2016

Next Billion

In February, The New York Times reported on the state of joblessness and resulting desperation among educated young people in rural Tunisia. This was the same demographic that protested in 2010, overthrowing the Ben Ali regime and sparking the Arab Spring. Five years on, an arid employment landscape (62.3 percent of college graduates are without work, as are 37.6 percent of young people) have fueled renewed protests. And yet, despite promises from the current government, jobs have not arrived. The article ends with the mayor of provincial Kasserine lamenting silence from the capital: “No one comes here to trace a vision for the region.” 

REPORT: Launching a Generation of Global Problem Solvers, March 2016


We can use digitization along with the Internet of Everything (IoE) to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems— water scarcity, hunger, income inequality, environmental degradation, poverty, migration… and unemployment. Yet, with the wealth of opportunity digitization can bring, we live in a world of complex global challenges that deeply impact our society—from climate change to health and economic challenges. The challenge of unemployment looms large, especially among youth with an unemployment rate that is practically three times higher than that of adults. 

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BLOG: How a Switch to Competency-Based Hiring Could Help Solve the Youth Employment Crisis, February 2016

The Rockefeller Foundation and Innovate+Educate

What’s more, these strategies are proving to be good for business. Many bosses are reporting that “blind hiring reveals true talents and results in more diverse hires,” whereas traditional hiring practices allow managers to pick hires based on whom they’ve connected with personally, or who has the shiniest resume and pedigree—factors that fail to accurately predict job performance. As most companies know, the better the hire, the more likely the person is to stay at the company and perform at a high level, reducing costly turnover and repeat training.

Four Recommendations to Screen Low-Income Youth Into Formal Employment

Making Cents International

You have 100 formal employment jobs to fill with high-potential, disadvantaged youth and ten times the number of applicants. What to do? Recommendations include the importance of a well-defined candidate competency profile, Managing candidates’ expectations of both the training program and the nature of the job, Scaling up youth development models requires standardization of all operational processes and learning from peers can support organizations to quickly implement improvements to their screening processes