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A wiki on Africa Youth Employment

Shanta Devarajan's picture

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.

 

Writing a report on a wiki is the logical extension of the World Bank's open knowledge and open data programs (link to these), not to mention this blog.

 

And if we succeed in collaborating with a large number of people, we could call it the world's development report.

 

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on
You are writing the report and you need feedback from the ground, right? You don't want to do the due diligence of actually using the data you have gathered but you want other people to write the report for you? Amazing!

Submitted by Anonymous on
To commenter above: what is amazing is your negativity To world bank: is this report part of the WDR?

I appreciate your frankness, but just to clarify: we do plan on using the data we gathered and undertaking the analysis. However, we don't think we have a monopoly either on the data or on the analysis. That is why we are inviting others to contribute their data, and to review our analysis critically. If they have a different take on the analysis, they are invited to revise the text accordingly. We firmly believe that this kind of give-and-take will lead to a much better product.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Hi Shanta, First let me congratulate you on yet another awesome project proposal. However, I was dismayed to see that contributors do not even get moral rights towards their contributions. This is actually the first time I have seen were contributors are asked to waive their moral rights ... including the right to attribution. I thought this was a bit unfair. And I thought for those who read the shrink wrap agreement it might not look good to know, one basically assigns all rights to his or her work to the Bank. I hope there is something that you can do about this. Cheers,

Shanta can follow up to make sure this is correct but as I understand it, reports like this one will now be published in the World Bank's Open Knowledge Repository (https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/) and subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License which means anybody will be free to use and re-use the content of the work for commercial and non-commercial purposes. As for the specifics of author attribution, most Bank reports have a page of acknowledgments for authors. Also, it seems normal for people referring to content in a publication, to just attribute it to the name of the publication when there are a large numbers of contributors (for example, the World Development Indicators). It would seem reasonable for the final version of the Africa Youth report to include in the acknowledgments section the names of all those who contributed content to the wiki, and for the report to be available via the Open Knowledge Repository under a CC-BY license. What do you think Shanta?

Shanta - I'm very keen to see this initiative it succeed. I like say that with our open initiatives the World Bank is becoming every more "open about what we know" and "open about what we do" This project affirms that we're also "open about what we don't know" and importantly "open in how we work" Can you share more about how your team plans to manage this process? I note you have some moderators but what kind of role do you think Bank staff will have in the overall structure, message and conclusions? How do you plan to drum up engagement among the audiences you're interested in hearing from? Happy to help however I can!

Submitted by OLUGBENGA ADESANYA on
Youth development forms the basis of revamping Africa, home to sixteen out of seventeen poorest nations in the globe. Human capital s at the center of every economic growth template that could be conceived for the dark continent.The wellbeing of this class of citizenry should be given top priority by the governments at the tiers of governance exploiting the PPP option with the organised private sector in the constituent countries. The curricula and teaching methods should be revisited to ensure the turning out of graduates that are development mindedand at the same time potential wealth creators. The dregs of society are almost 80% youth. Development and belonging programs should assist the process of rehabilitating the destitute young citizens who are experts in street begging, prostitution,drug rings, internet fraud and other social vices. Suffice it to say that girl child education, child traffiking and early parenthood can be tackled headlong with the adoption of well articulated rebuilding and educational programs in partnership with existing institutions and regional learning centres. Youth development managers should 'redesign' the young African mind to move away from gnawing and locust tendencies to ensure the raising of young nation builders and wealth creators.

Submitted by Wisdom of Crowds on
"Young people are so tech-savvy that this may be a way of harnessing that talent and energy"- this is an amazing initiative which provides an opportunity for young people to have a say on an issue that affects them the most. This would definitely bring in various perspective into the picture and allow greater participation for people who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities. I do agree with Rights of Attributions to Contributors- how you plan to address this? Lastly, how and when can we get involved?

Submitted by moses on
Each Nigerian man/woman must for himself/herself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a true Nigerian man/woman. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let people label you as they may. Be a true Nigeria:

Submitted by jihen on
youth people in african country are the greatest part maginalized . In the same time , the condition of youth is depending on the level of developement of africain countries. Then , in emergent countries the conditions are more better but so far those of developped countries . Because africain countries have many goals to reach like : national competitiveness , better condition of doing business , democray and efficient institution , the promotion of investment in innovation and research and developement , better educational policy oriented to new technologie , etc. In the same time , social conditions in africa are less developped and especially for youth people . This reslult was justified by the data of new millenium goals of developpement . In my opignion , i think the promotion of youth people begins at the level of education , social relationship and exchange with other culturel . if we do that , we can begin the improove of african youth people.

Submitted by Anonymous on
WE ARE TIRED OF ALL THESE REPORT WRITING WORLD BANK PLEASE COME TO THE FIELD AND YOU WILL MEET PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO WATER, FOOD, ELECTRICITY,COMPUTER LET ALONE INTERNET, BUT WITH AMAZING IDEAS BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION. THIS WILL CREATE EMPLOYMENT AUTOMATICALLY BECAUSE THERE ARE UNCOUNTABLE NUMBER OF YOUTHS WHO ARE MORE THAN READY TO VOLUNTEER. PLEASE WORLD BANK GET TO THE FIELD AND MEET THOSE WHO ARE GREATLY AFFECTED AND THEY WILL TELL YOU JUST WHAT YOU CAN DO TO TAKE THEM OUT OF DESPAIR.

Submitted by Anonymous on
ALL COMMENTS SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IF YOU PREACH TRANSPARENCY..

Submitted by Reemisitswe on
Awesome idea! What better way is there to share knowledge besides the way we Africans know how best to. Through "shared knowledge passed on from one person to another and from one generation to another." Look forward to contributions and solutions coming from my neck of the woods!

Submitted by abeer on
hi it's great idea but is egypt one of these countries you write about , if so, i'm willing to help.

Submitted by Akinleye Dayo on
A recent graduate of economics in one of famous Nigeria university.Willing to assist in carrying out this great survey

Submitted by emysam on
million of africa youth are hard working types but the problem faceing us in africa is encouragement, if the world bank can come up to assist the africa youth it will be a great thing and also a good achievement

Submitted by abeer on
hi, is that report includes Egypt ?????????????

Submitted by Mapi on
No, the report only includes countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted by Ben Ovio on
The continent of Africa is shaped like a question mark. Africa is however the answer continent. Many years of African youth quest for university education has not yielded a positive result. Its time to move on. The revolution and advocacy on youth employment should now be focused on industry-relevant skills training programme, structured industry-based apprenticeship and mentorship programme is a catalyst for youth employment. The next decade should see a revolutionary shift in our thinking and policy thrust. A continent-wide programme of Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) should mobilise African youths to acquire skills that would enhance employability and entrepreneurship. The era of paper qualifications and white-collar job syndrome should be jettisoned. An action-research project in this area is important. I am committed to undertaking this pilot action-research project in partnership with the World Bank.

Submitted by Mwene Mahanga on
AFRICA needs only that kind of training for it's youth since that is what most countries we call the 1st world resorted to centuries ago. A country where i come from UGANDA has failed on all fronts since we lack qualified youth to do the basic things reaching to the extent of importing furniture made out of wood saw dust yet we have real good timber which we instead export to far East. An Asian sets up a so called industry and he has to import all the skilled man power just because we all studied basic IT with no research to support that education. Vocational training is seen as curse here since most guys who go there are viewed as failures in education, we all want DEGREES.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Economics graduate in Botswana and would like to participate and assist, as the youth we are badly hit by unemployment, technological changes affect Africa because even though in universities we are learning some advanced material its not applicable because they hire loooking @ the experience not adaptability aand being quicker to grasp new concepts for development, experience is killing us even though we know we can do the job.sometimÉs they say someone is overqualified

Submitted by Bessie on
As a young Economics graduate,who has just joined the work force,it is amazing all that we get to realise when school is over. Just like anonymous has said above, the issue of experience is one of the major hindrances to youth employment in our country (Botswana), as most have the skill/qualification,but not much experience. Also, there seems to be a mismatch between the school curricula and the industry's needs, making it difficult to absorb a large number of graduates into the market. So,how far with the project,World Bank? Would very much like to be involved..

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