The purpose of this seminar was to bring together communication practitioners from DAC member and observer agencies and ministries, civil society and international organisations to explore, contrast and draw lessons from experience in youth engagement in support of development co-operation. Throughout the seminar, experiences was shared by presenters and discussed in an open, informal setting under the Chatham House Rule. It was hosted by the OECD Development Communication Network at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.
This session addressed the pressing need to step-up engagement with youth in light of the post-2015 agenda. The roundtable discussion also explored the existing and expected challenges faced by members when engaging youth, and opened the floor to a discussion on ways forward.
Youth engagement starts with global awareness. In many DAC countries, the last 20 years have seen a remarkable increase in the number and quality of development education programmes. This session provided an opportunity to hear lessons from member countries and civil society actors, in order to identify ways to improve our approach to engagement both inside and outside of schools as the new, universal framework to achieve the SDGs is designed.
Social media has been used by government, international organisations and civil society as a tool for awareness-raising and advocacy — but what constitutes good practice? How can development communicators better harness the multiplier effects of social media, influence the debate, engage youth and, importantly, measure the impact of their activities? This session featured examples of campaigns by Norway and UNICEF, and included an overview of the work being done by the OECD to identify good practice for social media use by governments.
Youth advisory bodies have been established by a growing number of civil society organisations and other development actors as a means of institutionalising youth engagement in the policy making process. Some of these organisations have partnered with development ministries and agencies, as well as the diplomatic representations to the United Nations. How can this model best be replicated by DevCom members?