On the 25th of August 2015, during the Stockholm World Water Week, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) launched its Youth Engagement Strategy. This event brought together many people and young people from diverse horizons. Several short presentations focused on the need to involve more youth in the water sector and showcased interesting youth initiatives. Indeed, 43% of the world’s population are children and youth (15-24 years old), and 87% of them live in developing countries, where they are and will be agents of change.
The aim of the GWP Youth Engagement Strategy is to “provide a framework to guide [the] organization and Network in engaging with young people, youth organizations, and young water professionals, and to empower them to become agents of change” (Dr. Ursula Shaefer-Preuss, Chair of Global Water Partnership).
During the development of the strategy, GWP applied their own recommendation, as they consulted young people and youth organizations, including the Water Youth Network. It was a great opportunity for us to actively participate to decision-making processes and future programming. The Strategy recognizes that Youth Engagement is a cross-cutting issue and should therefore be aligned and included within all programs, activities, and core strategies. Its strategic goals are very similar to the Water Youth Network objectives (#inform, #engage, #empower): catalyze change in policies and practice, generate and communicate knowledge, strengthen partnerships. We strongly believe that involving young people in all GWP activities will help realizing these goals.
We are now looking forward to seeing and collaboration on the implementation of the GWP Youth Engagement Strategy!