The matchmaking workshop entitled “Empowering Youth through Decent Jobs: Working together in Asia” was held at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel in Mumbai, India on 31 October 2019. The matchmaking workshop was co-organized by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI) and supported by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) as well as a2i – innovate for all, Government of Bangladesh. The matchmaking workshop took place on the sidelines of the South Asia Youth Skills and Solutions Forum.
The workshop brought together government representatives, non-governmental organizations, academia, private sector, and many other non-state actors working on various aspects pertaining to youth including skills for employability, quality of jobs as well as social challenges. The main areas for matching related to Skills and Decent Jobs for Youth, Youth Entrepreneurship and Self-employment. Seventeen (17) organizations from eight (8) countries joined the workshop. During the event, eleven (11) organizations presented their best practices and initiatives on empowering youth through decent jobs. Sixty-two (62) successful matches were facilitated through the unique “Matchmaking Methodology” of SSN4PSI.
Ms. Jean Gough, welcomed the collaboration between UNICEF and the Network, noting that, “this is a clear example of South-South Cooperation in Action”. She also liked the “Matching approach” facilitated by the Network. She expressed appreciation to the Government of Bangladesh and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). In the case of UNOSSC, she noted that “in the UN we are being asked from the very highest levels to work together and this is a good example”. Mr. Denis Nkala gave a background on the reasons for the creation of the SSN4PSI and indicated that it has demonstrated its usefulness beyond its initial design. “We have realized that it is a good tool for matchmaking across many sectors”, he said.
Mr. Simon Pickup, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, UNICEF Bangladesh, and Mr. Asad – Uz- Zaman, Policy Specialist, Head of Future of Work team, a2i – innovate for all, Government of Bangladesh and Coordinator-Secretariat of South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI) moderated the session.
After the 11 presentations, it was clear that the power of Network’s approach is giving people the opportunity to talk about why they are entrepreneurs or tackling social challenges for the youth. Many had experienced challenges and decided to make better for young people in similar or worse situations. Motivational words such as, “You are not alone” or “Never, never, give up” showed the determination that has resulted in many of the speakers making breakthroughs in supporting Youth.
On the way forward, the Network and UNICEF will explore the collaboration between the Network and UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited initiative. Furthermore. The Network Secretariat led by Mr. Asad Uz Zaman, will follow-up on the matches and also document the case studies presented for uploading on the UNOSSC learning platform, the South-South Galaxy.