Govt urged to ensure youth participation in SDG activities
BI Report || BusinessInsider
The government should ensure youth participation in sustainable development goal (SDG) activities, speakers believe. Photo: Courtesy
The government should ensure youth participation in sustainable development goal (SDG) activities, speakers said in a discussion on Sunday.
“The youth should be involved and encouraged to provide inputs to local and national SDG accountability mechanisms,” said Najeeba Mohammed Altaf, the researcher of Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.
She came up with the observations in a virtual discussion titled ‘Youth, SDG Accountability & the Voluntary Local Review: Situating Bangladesh’s Experience’ on Sunday. Non-government organisations, the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh in partnership with the ActionAid Bangladesh, organised the discussion.
Given the recent proposal brought forward by the GED to form divisional-, district-, and upazila-level councils for SDG implementation and coordination, there needs to be an assurance of youth representation at each of these levels, Najeeba said.
The creation of a specific SDG-related and youth-based council can be and should be established as has been seen in Hawaii through the Hawai’i Youth Climate Coalition in 2019, the Citizen’s Platform said.
Rather than solely focusing on skills for employability, youth-based skills training programmes deployed by both government and non-state actors should also involve training to collect data, through modern ICT solutions, relevant to the protection of youth’s well-being and rights, it suggested.
Farah Kabir, country director of the ActionAid Bangladesh, said Bangladesh prepared two voluntary local reviews (VNRs) in 2017 and 2020 to assess the implementation status of the SDGs, but youth and marginalised communities were not well involved.
The VLRs need to be prepared through the district, sub-district, and community level, especially young men and young women below the 35 years age group, she added.
Among the 122 indicators of SDG, eight are directly focused on youth employment, various injustice, educational rights etc.
“Undoubtedly, we need to pay attention to assessment, evaluation, and voice to youth,” said Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of the Citizen’s Platform.
He also emphasised having disaggregated data and mapping when it comes to empowering youth locally.
“Though we have been able to increase dialogue and participation of youth, we are still being lagged behind in transparency and accountability,” he added.