“I am always hungry, as oftentimes my family and I skip meals. I want to go to school like my friends, but my parents always say it is too expensive. If I go to school, then I can’t work to help them buy food, and then I am hungry again. I am helpless when it comes to changing my situation, I have no voice and there are few people that see things the way I do.”
Ever wonder how a World Bank flagship report gets written? A team of experts drafts an outline and shares it with stakeholders for their comments, suggestions and inputs. Based on this feedback, the team drafts the report and shares the draft for further comment, before publishing the final draft.
Today, we are proposing to write our flagship report on youth employment in Africa differently. We are launching a wiki platform and inviting the world to participate in the writing of the report. The wiki contains the preliminary outline which you can revise and rewrite. I emphasize that the outline is preliminary; it contains assertions that may not be borne out by further analysis (I know because I wrote some of them). So please add to, subtract from and edit the outline.
Why are we doing this? First, the topic of youth employment in Africa is so important that we need to engage as many people as possible in finding solutions. And second, young people are so tech-savvy that this may be a way of harnessing that talent and energy.
As you can imagine, the idea of writing a report on a wiki platform raised some questions, even from my teammates ("if you needed brain surgery, would you crowd source that too?"). But we decided that the benefits outweigh the risks.
And if we succeed in collaborating with a large number of people, we could call it the world's development report.