Conference Program

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

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Session Overview - All times EDT

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2.3.3: How to Make Space for Youth in International Development Work: Up-and-coming Ideas from the Up-and-coming - Workshop
Tuesday, 01/June/2021:
2:30pm - 4:00pm

Technical chair: Kate Grantham
Location: Room 3

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(conference registration required)


2.3.3: How to Make Space for Youth in International Development Work: Up-and-coming Ideas from the Up-and-coming - Workshop

Yasmin Rajwani, Natasha Cortes

University of Ottawa, Canada

Youth can offer valuable contributions to development discourse and practice. Despite this recognition, youth often experience difficult channels to true involvement in international development practice. Amid a professional world that values years of experience and institutional qualifications, organizations are in need of adopting meaningful and mutually beneficial engagement mechanisms for youth as they step into the development space. In this workshop, we will explore ways in which organizations might be inviting of, rather than discourage youth engagement. This workshop will aim to explore common organizational gaps that may just be leaving out some of the most integral voices in development work. We will discuss the following questions: In what ways have we made space for these perspectives? And in what important ways are these voices left out? Are youth engagement programs well prepared to build the next generation of development leaders, or do they risk falling into recurring colonial cycles? How do we create effective and creative youth channels beyond predetermined spaces that improve PR?

Some of the main themes explored in this workshop will include: compensation and recognition of lived experience as an asset; considering which youth are invited into international development work, and decolonizing a system that excludes youth voices.

In this workshop, co-founders of the IDS Community Platform Yasmin Rajwani and Natasha Cortes will explore some of the push-and-pull factors for engaging youth in development, ranging from youth volunteer initiatives to recruiting entry level positions. This roundtable style workshop will consist of a brief presentation of the key issues at stake, followed by an open discussion, allowing participants to ask questions, engage in topics of interest to them, and interact with fellow attendees.