Youth Civic Participation in Action: New publication highlights global momentum for youth civic participation across the world

Innovations in Civic Participation recently released a new publication providing brief snapshots of youth civic engagement programs and policies in 101 countries spanning six continents.

The report, Youth Civic Participation in Action: Meeting Community and Youth Development Needs Worldwide, builds on information ICP has gathered over the years from previous participants of the International Association for National Youth Service global conferences, from partners throughout the world and as part of various ICP projects.  The snapshots are not intended to be comprehensive, but instead provide a brief glimpse into how youth civic participation is taking shape in various countries.  The publication highlights the growing international movement in which more and more countries are supporting youth and community development by expanding youth civic participation opportunities.

Programs for civic participation can take many forms and work best when adapted to the needs and resources in the local community.  As a result, the snapshots in this publication describe programs ranging from intensive, highly-structured, government programs to infrequent volunteering with community-based organizations; from service-learning integrated into primary, secondary and university curricula to young people creating their own organizations to engage others in addressing issues that matter most to them.

This report demonstrates that young people worldwide are active in addressing the needs of their communities through service including medical students meeting health needs in rural areas in Latin America, young people supporting disaster relief efforts in Asia, service programs bolstering social services as an alternative to conscription in Europe, peer mentoring to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and young people sparking grassroots campaigns for community development in the Middle East.

Throughout the world, young people are building their skills while meeting critical community needs through service. To learn more about these efforts, please browse through the snapshots on the publication website or view the full report. We will do our best to update the online space with new information as it becomes available. If you have news about youth civic participation programs or policies, please send it to me at Hammelman [at] icicp.org.

Global Conference on National Youth Service Offers a Unique Opportunity for Youth Service Practitioners and Policymakers Worldwide

On October 25-28, 2010, the International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS) will convene youth civic engagement professionals for the 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service in Alexandria, Egypt. (Registration is now open. Click here to register!)

The 2010 Global Conference is organized by IANYS Secretariat – Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) – in partnership with the Library of Alexandria and the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo.

It is an exciting opportunity for professionals in the field of youth development to come together to exchange knowledge and discuss current developments with other policymakers, practitioners and researchers.  Participants will include professionals in the field of youth civic engagement from across the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region and from around the world.

The 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service will draw considerable attention to the importance of youth engagement throughout the world, with tremendous benefits for youth community engagement efforts. It will provide a significant opportunity for increased networking and collaboration among youth service stakeholders from different countries globally.

Participants at the 8th Global Conference in Paris

The conference will also enable youth policy practitioners to learn from other professionals, ranging from those working in well-established and successful programs to those just beginning to consider the potential of youth service.

The 9th Global Conference will take place over the course of three and a half days and will include a special multi-session track on the connection between youth service and employability; a track for policymakers and others interested in National Youth Service policy development; and sessions to explore other theoretical and practical themes of service, such as peace building and post-conflict reconstruction, service and technology, impact evaluation, private sector funding for youth service and more.

This programming will provide participants with the chance to hear perspectives related programs and policies at all stages of development and will also provide important insight into how successful youth service programs benefit all young people and communities. More information, including the preliminary conference agenda, can be found at www.icicp.org/ianys

The last conference in Paris in 2008 saw the largest single gathering of participants and the most diverse representation of countries in IANYS history, with more than 120 participants from approximately 40 countries attending.  Given this growing interest in youth civic engagement globally, IANYS expects a similar level of participation at this year’s conference in Egypt.

As today’s youth population is the largest in history making the transition to adulthood, coupled with the significant challenges facing the world today, it is vital that we tap into this valuable resource in every nation around the world. Through this conference, participants will help advance youth service as a strategy across the world by contributing ideas, knowledge and experience.

New Libraray in Alexandria, Egypt

The location for the IANYS 9th Global Conference, the new Library of Alexandria, is a state of the art establishment in Alexandria, Egypt, with a library that holds millions of books, four museums, four art galleries, a planetarium, nine permanent exhibitions, eight academic research centers and more! The city of Alexandria, known as “the Pearl of the Mediterranean”, is equally captivating, with its abundant historical landmarks, multi-periodic architecture, limitless antiquities and stunning Mediterranean Sea coastline.

Announcing the IANYS 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service

Guest post by ICP Intern Christina Sewell

Calling all Civic Engagement Enthusiasts!

The International Association for National Youth Service Invites You to its 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service in Alexandria, Egypt this October


The International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS) is pleased to announce that its 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service will take place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Alexandria, Egypt, from October 25-28, 2010.

The Conference will be organized in partnership with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy & Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), the IANYS Secretariat.

This global event is designed for organizations and individuals interested in creating high-quality youth service programs, advocating for government support in this endeavor, and/or undertaking evaluations and research of Continue reading

Celebrating Women, Celebrating Civic Engagement: A message from Queen Rania of Jordan

Guest post by Talloires Network Intern Alissa Brower. Cross-posted from the Talloires Network blog.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, this article places a spotlight on one female leader who has had a great deal of influence on civic engagement in the Middle East. Recently, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy & Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo hosted Jordan’s Queen Rania Al-Abdullah who spoke to students about their impact in society and the difference they can make in the larger community.

The objective of Queen Rania’s speech was to encourage students to realize the kind of difference they can make in society and take advantage of attending a university that provides support for civic engagement and community service.

Her majesty started her speech with a story that symbolizes where civic engagement and understanding can start. The story itself can be considered a celebration of women making a difference in the world, as it involves a young girl who wanted to change the living conditions of a less fortunate community. The story begins with Raghda visiting an elderly community outside of central Cairo. Raghda met a woman who invited the girl into her home. What Raghda saw when she Continue reading

Youth Service is a Powerful Strategy for Youth Employment

Reports from the US and many other regions in the world continue to show that young people are bearing the brunt of the recession.

In the US, the Center for American Progress reports that minority workers, teens and less-educated workers have unemployment rates far above the national average. The latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in July 2008, 3.4 million young people in the United States were unemployed representing a youth unemployment rate of 14 percent, the highest rate recorded for July since 1992.

According to the National Youth Employment Council, “an unprecedented “age twist” in employment rates occurred in the US over the past 8 years with older workers (55+) improving their employment rates strongly while teens and 20-24 year old males reached new post-World War II lows.”

This trend is true in many parts of the developing and developed world. In several countries, young people represent the largest cohort in society yet experience some of the lowest employment rates.

The Middle East/North Africa region has an unemployment rate near 15 percent, the highest of any region in the world. Young people in the region experience even greater unemployment with average rates of 25 percent, far exceeding the world Continue reading