While the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD) is celebrating its 20th year of existence in 2023, the Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Rural Youth Employment is celebrating its 5thanniversary. The youngest TWG of the Donor Platform was formed as an outcome of the 2018 Annual General Assembly that focused on rural youth. The aim of the TWG is to catalyse donor exchange and to advise donors, governments, and civil society organisations on the most effective ways to create employment opportunities and to support the empowerment of youth to productively contribute to and benefit from sustainable rural livelihoods.
Over the past decade, there has been a notable increase in youth-specific employment programmes and financing, especially in Africa. With the aim of increasing impact of the youth employment programmes, many of these programmes have benefited from diverse innovations, going from programme design and targeting to increased involvement of governmental and non-governmental actors, as well as methodology and even governance structures.
Efforts towards more and better jobs for rural youth go hand in hand with efforts towards inclusive, sustainable, and resilient rural transformation. More coherent policies and better coordination of invested resources towards agreed goals is fundamental. Many development projects have started incorporating a comprehensive and integrated approach for RYE, which includes promoting job creation and improving employability. However, the scale of impact of these projects will remain limited unless national governments have the capacity and make deliberate efforts towards greater coordination of ODA and other donor-funded programmes around a coherent (national) rural youth employment strategy. Strategic coordination at the national level will help the extensive network of donors and development practitioners to move in alignment with one another. Such coordinated action is key given the need to scale up action on youth employment. With only seven years until the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the youth employment targets of the 2030 Agenda will not be met unless there is a collective and coordinated action by all stakeholders to address the youth employment challenge in all its dimensions.
This session aims to draw lessons learned on the effectiveness of interventions towards promoting more and better jobs for rural youth within a broader food systems approach. In particular, panellists will highlight the importance of enhanced donor coordination, both at global and country level, to advance the rural youth employment agenda. The role of different stakeholders in ensuring a youth-inclusive food system transformation will also be discussed. It will be an interactive session enriched by practical experiences from government officials, development partners and youth representatives.
AGA 2023 photos: ©IFAD/Flavio Ianniello