Saturday, April 21, 2012

CrowdOutAIDS and Opportunity for a young researcher

The strategy docs, fresh from the printer!

CrowdOutAIDS Strategy is finally launching! The process of crowdsourcing a new strategy to improve the way UNAIDS secretariat engage young people in development process kicked off last year October. Between then and now, over 5,000 have been engaged online and offline.

Young people were given the space to share their views on what they think is wrong with the current system. But it did not stop there. They also provided solutions to the critical issues raised.

This coming week, CrowdOutAIDS team will launch the New Generation Leadership Strategy document in Nigeria. Actually, majority of participants in the crowdsourcing process were from Nigeria. Not only did they actively participate online, about 8 Offline Open Forums were held in different parts of the country.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibe, and Nigerian Government representative, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi (Minister for Youth Development) will be present to receive the document from the youth representative- Gabrial and Wemimo.

The event will be held in a local community- grassroots involvement is key. Not the usual fancy-hotel conference rooms. Talk about walking the talk already!

If we want to really better engage young people in development process, then we have to first start by creating a level playing field. Close the yawning gap between elite youth and those at the grassroots. Also involve young people all through the process of creating programmes that concern them. These are new principles the new strategy is bringing into focus.

I hope the UNAIDS will embrace the document whole heartedly and ensure local organizations and government institutions imbibe the principles to improve youth engagement.

Meanwhile, as the process wraps up, there is an opportunity for a young researcher at CrowdOutAIDS! If interested, click here to read the TOR.

It is an honor to have served as the Blog Editor and Online Curator for this project. The team, from the lead @MikaHild to the others are a very passionate and dedicated set of people! I totally enjoyed working on this project with them. It has been an interesting process of learning, unlearning and growing.

It is not over yet! We'll keep working for a positive change!

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