By | 15 May 2017

Pretoria, 12 May 2017- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will launch its first Innovation Day on Youth Participation in South Africa on 16 May 2017 in Pretoria. In 2016, UNFPA South Africa completed a scoping report that aimed to review the current UNFPA engagement in responding to young people’s health and development and map out gaps that, within its mandate, could be considered priority areas for future interventions. The report noted that “it remains a challenge to demonstrate concrete sustainable results [in terms of youth participation]: to move beyond doing things for rather than with young people, to engage with existing civil society and youth networks, and to ensure that there is a space for adolescents to participate, not just older young people”. It was precisely for this reason that UNFPA sought to find new innovative ways to work with adolescents and young people and strengthen its network with youth organisations in South Africa.

Innovation Days would essentially help find new solutions or methods to a situation that young people reacting to. There is a strong potential for innovation in this sector, where only limited and traditional solutions have been tested. Innovation Days are therefore an important platform created to bring together various partners to brainstorm opportunities and challenges that could benefit from innovation. The day will include using methodologies drawn from design thinking and creative problem solving to come up with new solutions that can help reach greater results. Innovative solutions to the following challenges will be discussed

  • How to ensure that young people’s voices are factored in the decision-making process?
  • How might we ensure that youth participation is more representative of the diversity of young people?
  • In what ways might we reach a critical mass of young people in participation platforms?
  • How can we increase the credibility of youth work and volunteering?

The media are invited to the launch which will be held at UN House, Metropark Building, 351 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria on 16 May 2017 from 08:30- 15:00.

For more information and media enquiries, please contact Ziyanda Ngoma, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) | | 072 299 0868