Why is there the need to dedicate a working group to this now?
It is about providing enough food, jobs and income for a growing population, and youth being key actors in food systems transformation. This became clear at the UN Food System Summit (UN FSS) and in a digital and interconnected world.
Rural youth employment is a topic at the interface of rural development and economic development. These topics are often forgotten, which is why the existence of our group is especially important.
What are the main goals of the group?
An exchange of information and knowledge with a broad range of stakeholders. Varied perspectives from civil society, research, the private sector, political partners, the African Union Commission, and partners at the country level. This contributes to better projects and donor coordination, with collective influence and engagement in policy processes, such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) or the UN FSS.
Anna, how do you see the potential of this working group in boosting coordination on rural youth employment – among donors but also going beyond donors?
By providing a joint space to exchange evidence-based approaches, develop ideas, get updates on current issues and major trends, share information and opportunities, and organize webinars and contributions to international processes.
The group is committed to increase youth engagement. Platform members can participate, but we also welcome youth organizations, the private sector, producer organizations, think tanks and research institutes.
How can coordination benefit the work that you do as individual donors and organizations?
Our respective organizations benefit from the coordination promoted by the group. FAO, for instance, seeks to build synergies while avoiding overlaps, so this group is a great platform to join forces and build long term collaborations and share networks and resources. This helps each member make a more significant impact.
Sven, what have been the main achievements of the group in the past year?
The group was established in 2018 and has helped put rural youth employment high on the international agenda. In the past year, the group has engaged more intensively partly thanks to the GDPRD secretariat’s support. We attracted a broader range of members, not only donors but also implementing organizations and policymakers like the African Union, European Union, research networks, and civil society organizations. We are especially happy to include the voices of youth organizations and networks in our discussions.