USAID Youth-led Innovations: The Journey to Self-Reliance

USAID Youth-led Innovations:
The Journey to Self-Reliance


April 19, 2018, 1:00 4:30 P.M. (EDT)


W Hotel 
515 15th St NW 
Washington, DC 20004

Join USAID staff including Administrator Mark Green, top young social entrepreneurs, partners, donors, and other young global leaders in honor of Global Youth Service Day. The event highlights leadership in engaging youth-led and youth-related innovations sustainable development outcomes in areas including topics such as:Youth’s Role in Stemming Conflict, Migration, and Gender-based Violence, Building Economic Opportunity, Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods, Adolescent Health and Well-Being, Youth and Humanitarian Response, A Future in Agriculture and Food Security, Transforming Education and Workforce Opportunities, Preparing for Partnering and Parenting, Building a Civil Society and Youth Leadership, or Youth Leveraging Technology.

View where young changemakers are active.
Learn about innovations from young changemakers:

Youth-Led Innovations: Accelerating the Journey to Self-Reliance

Youth’s Role in Peacebuilding and Violence Prevention

Sharekna, FHI 360, Tunisia

The Sharekna project brings a “positive youth development”-centered, community-led approach to Tunisian communities that are vulnerable to extremist recruitment. The project engages youth in community mapping, then youth and community stakeholders come together to share findings and develop collaborative action plans that address priorities for engaging youth.


Building Economic Opportunity, Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods

Aliança Empreendedora, *Lina Useche speaker, Brazil

Lina Useche is co-founder and CEO of Aliança Empreendedora, an award-winning youth-led non-profit organization in Brazil that supports low-income microentrepreneurs through partnerships with companies, NGOs and governments across the country.

Hebron Youth Development Resource Center, *Omar Dahman speaker, IREX, West Bank

The YDRC provides a unique safe space for male and female youth to learn, interact, and lead. The YDRC has just completed a youth-to-youth entrepreneurship training program, where business students at universities train school students to create business models resulting in several business products. They are currently planning to start Hebron's first co-working space.

Adolescent Health and Well-Being

Sehat Kahani, *Makkiya Jawed speaker, Pakistan

Sehat Kahani aims to democratize healthcare by building an all-female health provider network to deliver quality healthcare solutions. Through our specialized telehealth platform we have designed digital health solutions to reduce the disease load of hospitals by treating primary and secondary diseases via virtual home base in less than 3 clicks.

Participatory Youth Researchers, Waves for Change, South Africa & Liberia

Through safe spaces, caring mentors and ‘surf therapy’ sessions, W4C provides child-friendly mental health services to at-risk youth and gives them the skills to cope with stress, regulate behaviour, build healing relationships and make positive life choices. Local youth employed by W4C are trained to capture and analyse data, run focus groups, and perform interviews with staff.

Data Zetu, IREX, Tanzania

Through the Data Zetu program (“Our Data” in Swahili), funded by PEPFAR, IREX is partnering with youth-led civil society organizations who are using innovative technologies to facilitate knowledge sharing and conversations among Tanzanian youth on critical issues including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and sexual and gender based violence.


Transforming Education and Workforce Opportunities

Bridges to Employment, DAI, El Salvador

Unable to obtain a job, vulnerable youth who resist joining a gang or refrain from engaging in other illicit activities too often see migration as the only viable option for gaining income. Bridges to Employment partners with local institutions to assist vulnerable youth in 1) continuing their formal education, 2) advancing their professional development through market-relevant technical training, life skills training, and on-the-job training, or 3) becoming entrepreneurs.


Preparing for Partnering and Parenting

Growing up GREAT!, Institute for Reproductive Health, Democratic Republic of Congo

Growing up GREAT! is a socio-ecological intervention designed to improve gender equality and body literacy outcomes for very young adolescents targeting in-school and out-of-school 10-14 olds in Kinshasa, DRC. Intentional youth engagement is a priority and Growing up GREAT! is engaging VYAs as project implementers, holding youth council meetings, and training VYAs to carry out a youth evaluation to explore changes since project start.

A Future in Agriculture and Food Security

Don’t Lose the Plot, Mercy Corps, Kenya

A reality television show that encourages Kenyan and Tanzanian youth into farming as a business and, as a way of improving their livelihoods. The contestants participate in weekly competitions – each striving to be the most profitable, business minded and resilient farmer in the group competing for the grand prize, an 1-acre plot worth $10,000.

Shipping Container Farming, *Flavien Kouatcha speaker, Save Our Agriculture, Cameroon

An organic agricultural production unit built in shipping containers for breeding fish and growing organic vegetables using fish excrement as a natural fertilizer. This innovation addresses two problems: the challenge for farmers to transport their food from rural areas to cities and the decreasing involvement of youth in agriculture.

Youth on Wheels, Chemonics, Uganda

65 male and female youth were recruited from local commercial motorcycle transporters, called “Boda Boda” drivers, and trained to deliver agriculture extension services. The down-time between passengers allowed them to double as extension agents supplementing their transport business with seasonal income. Through the initiative dubbed “youth on wheels” the new extension workers supported and trained an average of 100 farmers each.


Building a Civil Society and Youth Leadership

National Youth Bunge Association, Richard Todosia Ruto, Kenya

The NYBA is an umbrella organization of 23,000 village bunges representing one million youth across Kenya. The NYBA empowers Kenyan youth to increase their economic opportunities, create self-reliant organizations, improve their voice in local, regional and national policy dialogue, and expand access to youth-friendly essential services. Many village bunges successfully operate businesses in a wide variety of fields.

Addressing Closing Space, Innovation for Change, Global

The I4C network is hosting local innovation labs across the global south to surface ideas within their regional networks including youth-led organizations that become solutions to strengthen existing civic space. These can take the form of a training, a software development activity, or an advocacy campaign. I4C is in the process of prototyping a network-wide innovation pipeline to fund ideas from initial prototype solutions that can be scaled up to network-wide use.

Tanzania Bora Initiative, *Abella Bateyunga speaker, Tanzania

TBI is a non-profit organization that focuses on influencing good governance and social-economic transformation. TBI’s programs focuses on Youth and Women and employs media, arts, innovation, data and ICT to promote good governance and encourage citizens to take charge in social economic and political development of Tanzania. TBI is one of the partners implementing Data Zetu project


Youth Leveraging Technology

Mobile Application to Secure Tenure, USAID Land and Urban Office, Tanzania, Burkina Faso & Zambia

Youth are often the first adopters of mobile technologies, which can help empower them to participate in community decision-making regarding land and resources. MAST provides participatory approaches and mobile technology tools to efficiently, transparently, and affordably document land and resources rights. Local youth are trained to collect and validate land data as empowered “intermediaries”, working together with community leaders and local officials.

YouthMappers, USAID Global Development Lab, Global

Capitalizing on web-based open geospatial technologies, and a network of universities around the globe such as Nepal and Jordan, our mission is to cultivate a generation of young leaders to create resilient communities and  to define their world by mapping it.

Leveraging Technology for Youth-Led Change, Creative Associates International, Caribbean and Nigeria

CFYR empowers teams of youth from across the Caribbean to create community maps about local resources vital for community planning, education, and violence prevention on OpenStreetMap on their mobile phones. In the NorthEast Nigeria Intellectual Fellowship young Nigerians brainstorm and articulate the challenges of addressing violent extremism utilizing social media and run the #NotAnotherNigerian campaign as a tool to counter violent extremism.