Creating Pathways to Opportunities for Youth

Save the Children's Youth In Action Final Learning Event

Youth in Action (YiA) is a six year learning and livelihood program. In partnership with Mastercard Foundation, the program has improved the socio-economic status of over 41,000 out-of-school girls and boys in rural Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Uganda. YiA provides foundational skills and training to help young people find safe, viable, and sustainable livelihoods for a better future. The program is designed to achieve its goals by using participatory facilitator-led sessions, real world practice, and positive interaction with peers and community mentors. 

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From May 23-24, 2018, YiA program teams, as well as development partners, government stakeholders, and donors came together to celebrate YiA in Kampala, Uganda. Building on YiA’s extensive research and learning from all five countries, the learning event allowed participants to connect and learn about how youth livelihood programs are leveraging resources and opportunities to enhance the socio-economic status of young people in rural Africa. Participants were also inspired to act through the words of YiA’s beneficiaries, who told the audience first-hand about their successes. 

NTV Uganda, one of Uganda’s leading television stations, was a key communications partner for the event, and devoted its entire morning show to bringing the event’s message to a national audience. During this opportunity, Samuel Mukirane, Save the Children Uganda Regional Western Area Manager, and Stanley Phiri, Deputy Director, Save the Children Malawi, spoke in depth about Save the Children’s work, the YiA program and the needs of rural, out-of-school youth in all five countries. This discussion highlighted the need for programming to address the gender barriers that girls and boys face in accessing education, livelihood opportunities and access to financial services. 

 Event attendees heard directly from Ugandan youth, who challenged the audience to see the potential in youth and to work with them to prepare them for successful futures.

Event attendees heard directly from Ugandan youth, who challenged the audience to see the potential in youth and to work with them to prepare them for successful futures.

Through YiA, Save the Children has reached thousands of hard-working youth. Event attendees heard directly from three inspiring Ugandan youth, who challenged the audience to see the potential in youth and to work with them to prepare them for successful futures. Attendees also heard the stories of youth in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia and Malawi, such as Diarra. Diarra, from Burkina Faso, had never had the chance to go to school. Through YiA’s work to address gender barriers leading to early marriage, Diarra gained foundational skills and started her own business before her marriage. Hana’s story presents a different challenge – high rates of female migration in Ethiopia. Through YiA, Hana received the skills and knowledge that allowed her to stay in her community. 

 Diarra - Burkina Faso

Diarra - Burkina Faso

For the past six years, YiA has illustrated the importance reaching youth such as Diarra and Hana through holistic programming and multi-sectoral collaboration. Youth from all five program countries have found success and are challenging themselves and their communities. Save the Children is also working to leverage YiA’s research and learning in future programming. For example, YiA is highlighted as a key program case study in the new Save the Children Common Approach Life Skills for Success, including being promoted as an adaptable model for work with rural young people. Therefore, while YiA’s programmatic lifespan was a “quick” six years, its legacy is set to continue.

 

Policymakers and Practitioners Use of Evidence

Interviews from 'Putting Children First' Conference, October 2017

In this short film we find out from key staff from development and donor agencies, including the World Bank, UNICEF, UK Department for International Development and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, how they use evidence to inform their work. With thanks to the researchers funded by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Programme who conducted these interviews during the 'Putting Children First' Conference in Ethiopia on the 23-25 October, and to all those who participated from:

• UNICEF • The World Bank • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa • UK Department for International Development • BRAC International

Tackling Child Poverty With Research Evidence

Interviews from 'Putting Children First'

Key staff from development and donor agencies including UNICEF, Save the Children, The World Bank and BRAC, share their insights into tackling child poverty with research evidence With thanks to researchers funded by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Programme who conducted these interviews during the 'Putting Children First Conference' in Ethiopia on the 23-25 October 2017, and to all those who participated from:

• UNICEF • The World Bank • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa • UK Department for International Development • BRAC International • Save the Children • Young Lives

Realising SDG1: Six Actions for #EndingChildPoverty

Communiqué

A Call to Identify Solutions and Take Action to Tackle Child Poverty and Inequality in Africa

 

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Over 170 participants came together for the International Conference  "Putting Children First: Identifying Solutions and Taking Action to Tackle Poverty and Inequality in Africa" in Addis Ababa on the 23-25 October 2017, to share research and experiences on finding solutions to fight child poverty. The resulting communiqué is a shared document formulated as a direct result of conference activity.

Whilst appreciating the commitment of African Governments to foster An Africa Fit for Children and also recognising the positive developments thus far, they noted with great concern that;

  • Africa will account, over the next 15 years, for a fast-rising share of the worlds children in extreme poverty.
  • Children across the world are the people most likely to be poor.
  • Whilst poverty affects girls and boys in both visible and immediately measurable ways, it also exists in numerous unseen ways.
  • Poverty is reinforced by inequality, and these inequalities deeply affect the life-chances of children in the poorest families.

In light of this our collective voice amplifies efforts to support better policy for children. We know that effective responses to child poverty are both available and affordable, and we call on African Governments, alongside their national and international partners, to implement six recommendations:

 
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Recognise child poverty as a priority area in national strategies, policies and programmes.

 
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Develop programmes specifically targeted to address poverty and deprivations among girls and boys at all stages of childhood.

 
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Measure child poverty in its various dimensions.

 
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Strengthen existing national information systems to focus on and distinguish the situation of the poorest families and most deprived children.

 
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Strengthen research and analysis on the many dimensions and cause of child poverty, in order to inform and motivate policy action.

 
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Establish an African Child Poverty Centre in Africa led by African researchers and supported by other associated networks.

 

"Putting Children First" event calls for action to tackle child poverty

Despite important strides in the fight against poverty over the past two decades with nearly 1.1 billion people escaping extreme poverty since 1990, child poverty remains widespread and persistent, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. From 23-25 October, policymakers, researchers and NGOs will come together to identify solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa at the Putting Children First conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As children across the world are most likely to be poor, with 50 percent of extremely poor children living in sub-Saharan Africa the event aims to build on the momentum of the SDGs to ensure that children remain at the centre of the agenda in Africa and other parts of the world.

Agnes Akosua Aidoo, African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), who will be presenting at the event said:

Poverty affects children in lifelong ways, from malnutrition, poor health, lack of success in school, harmful labour and overall poor quality of life. Not only is this extremely damaging for children and their families, but it has a lasting and detrimental impact on the prosperity and wellbeing of their countries. Child poverty is everyone’s problem, and national governments should make addressing it their absolute priority

 H.E. Ms. Demitu Hambisa, the Minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ethiopia will also be speaking at the opening session, alongside Leila Pakkala, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF.

This conference offers a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research and an opportunity to share knowledge and experience. Keetie Roelen at Institute of Development Studies explained:

Responses and solutions to child poverty are both available and affordable. The provision of social protection that has children at the heart, has now been widely tested and proven in many African countries. However, much room and urgency for improvement remains. Learning about what works and innovative solutions for children in poverty are needed, most of all, in places where there is instability, conflict and weak institutional capacity to deliver

The meeting will be framed around four overarching themes:

  1. Setting the Scene: Who and Where are the Poor Children?

  2. Child Sensitive Social Protection: Making Social Protection Work for Children

  3. Ensuring Access to Basic Services for All: Reaching and Linking the Poorest and most Marginalised

  4. Supporting Secure Transitions to Adulthood

Co-hosted by a cross-section of policy, NGO and research organisations, this event will bring a diverse range of perspectives into the discussions:

This conference aims to bridge the gaps between policymakers, practitioners, civil society and researchers (pdf) in recognition of the importance of and opportunity for using knowledge and evidence generated from well-focused research on children in poverty in Africa to inform the design of more effective and policies programmes - and to address the multi-dimensional and complex challenges of poverty.

Ultimately it aims to ‘make evidence matter’ for the poorest and most marginalised children. This is in order to inspire action and mobilise champions among policymakers, politicians, civil society and other key decision-makers throughout African societies.

Conference: "Putting Children First"

Putting children first: identifying solutions and taking action to tackle poverty and inequality in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 23/10/2017 - 09:00 to 25/10/2017 - 17:00

This three-day international conference aims to engage policy makers, practitioners and researchers in identifying solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa, and inspiring action towards change. The conference offers a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research.

The conference will be framed around the following themes:

  1. “Setting the scene: Who and where are the poor children?” This theme aims to provide insight into the plight of overlooked children, to strengthen data collection and measurement efforts to ensure that no child is overlooked in the future.
  2. “Child-sensitive social protection: Making social protection work for children”. This theme aims to promote a better understanding of how social protection can be improved to help children, including links to services and the adoption of more child-oriented approaches.
  3. “Ensuring access to basic services for all: Reaching the poorest and most marginalised children”. This theme aims to gain insight into how access to services can be secured for the most excluded and marginalised, including views on how to remove specific barriers and involve a social workforce and community-based mechanisms.
  4.  “Supporting secure transitions to adulthood”. This theme aims to explore how the ‘youth bulge’ can be considered a ‘demographic dividend’ and how young people can be supported in the transition to adulthood with regard to education, work, family and aspirations.

More detailed information about the themes, key questions to be considered and the conference objectives can be found below:

Ending Child Poverty and SDG's Interactions for the Best Interest of the Child

United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2017

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2017, will be held 10 July - 19 July 2017. The theme will be "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world". The Global Coalition to End Child Poverty & World Vision will be holding a side event on Wednesday 12th July 8:15 - 9:30 am.