Wanted: South Asian Youth Leaders who want to make a Difference!


This page in:

Update: The participants have been announced!

Thank you so much for the overwhelming interest and applications that you've sent. If you were not selected, we will continue to work together on sharing the ideas in your essays that you've submitted over the next few months. Thanks again! 

Are you from a South Asia Region (SAR) country, 18-25 years old and engaged in youth activities and development initiatives? 

Apply to join the World Bank & IMF’s Annual Meetings from September 23-25, 2011 in Washington DC, USA.

Application deadline: August 19, 2011. Details below.

The goal of the South Asia Youth delegates is to foster an understanding of youth issues in the sharing, exchange of ideas, and the for young people to more fully engage the World Bank in issues relating to youth.


The demographic dividend in South Asia is both a challenge and opportunity facing the region. With millions of youth entering the work force every year, there’s an incredible need for more and better jobs in the region.

To enjoy all aspects of life, you need a productive job that removes you from the daily struggle of making ends meet. Governments have an important role to play, providing information, incentives, and an economic environment to foster adaptation and mitigation actions, engaging in new opportunities such as those stemming from climate finance and green technologies.

South Asia is unique in the multiplicity of its challenges and opportunities to generate productive employment. What role can youth and governments play in order to address these challenges? This is the reason why the World Bank’s first South Asia Region flagship report will focus on More and Better Jobs.


By participating in the annual meetings, youth leaders will:

• deepen their knowledge and understanding of the World Bank
• provide strategy inputs on how youth can engage with the World Bank on development issues that are important to them
• interview delegates from their countries with flipcams to discuss issues related to youth and employment
• share how their understanding of the World Bank may have changed over the experience
• be empowered to become actively involved in youth issues and encourage effective networking across regions for knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices

Selection and Eligibility Criteria

• Submit a completed application.
• Provide a short record of your involvement and track record on youth issues and development activities.
• Provide a short essay on what More and Better Jobs in South Asia mean to you?
• Demonstrate effective communication and excellent written and oratory skills.
• Citizenship from a South Asian country within the age group of 18-25.
• Have an interest in youth engagement and development affairs.

Selected candidates will be expected to film some of their experiences and interview other participants and delegates attending the Annual Meetings. They will also share how youth can better engage with the World Bank to enhance mutual understanding on youth issues. Other items may be expected and will be communicated to participants.

Airfare, accommodations, and meals will be covered by the World Bank.

Submission deadline and further information:

Application Form

The applications must be submitted by August 19, 2011 to Joe Qian through email: [email protected]. Successful applicants will be notified by Thursday August 25, 2011.

To be plugged into the World Bank in your country, talk to us on Facebook!

World Bank Bangladesh

World Bank Nepal

World Bank Sri Lanka


Joe Qian

Communications Officer

Join the Conversation

August 10, 2011

Good to know that world bank is doing development projects in india. United hands makes noise, People united could do wonders. Employment and unemployment is what we think and how is ones attitude. The sky is the limit, lot of oppertunities are around us.
While people cry of unemployment, they are wanted in several sectors, some aim only for Government Jobs, they dont consider other jobs as Jobs. If one is determined to work there is lot of oppertunities, one can create it, or go out and accept what is available. Finding labour is becoming very hard in many sectors. Let us try to make a difference by doing what we can. As Kennedy pointed out we should learn to Ask what we can do for the country, what we can do for ones own survival, if one sits quitely and expects job to come and knock at the door, Job may not knock but poverty can.

Luuk van Breda
August 09, 2011

Dear Joe,

In the last 12 months, I have been involved in discussions about how to change the issue of the 220 million+ unemployed undergraduates worldwide.
This is not including the ones between 15 and 25 years of age worldwide without even that opportunity.
I would like this conference to address these issues there they would effect the next 2/3 generations.
The 3 T education is appropriate and should still be implemented and worked through he core, but with a changing world we should change some of the curriculum from theory to practical.
We know that the commercial world spent millions of retraining students getting into the market, however when we would spent 5% to 10%, before they reach the marketplace, the success rate would be much higher.
We talk about entrepreneurs, but the figures show that 98% goes bust within the first 2 years, we should talk about enterprise and have people develop their own ideas & concept at an early age.
After my research there are many other issues to be solved and one of the biggest is communication, not the web or facebook etc, but business is still based on face to face trusts.
I will leave the applicants to discuss there interests in context with the WB, but hope that place could be made for the above, there it will inflict on all their lives in the future.

With kind regards

Joe Qian
August 12, 2011

@Luuk: Thank for your insight, there will be much more research and information on the issues you mentioned on the upcoming More and Better Jobs report that will be launched in September.

@Livingston: I've always been a big proponent of Gandhi's wonderful quote of be the change you want to see in the world. It definitely takes initiative, courage, and strength to find an opportunity that we find to rewarding. However, as the old adage says, it takes a community to raise a child and some are more fortunate than others depending on their circumstances. More equal access to opporunities is important to breaking down these barriers and I think those who apply and are selected to be a part of this will be able to expand their horizons greatly.

@Eka: Yes, the World Bank is very active in Indonesia.
Website: http://go.worldbank.org/KGGQ93XLM0

@Nazmus: Thanks for your support, we hope to listen and see what are important to young people in South Asia and perhaps increase mutual understanding and knowledge sharing.

Eka Chandra
August 12, 2011

i'm from indonesia..i wanna to join but it's so far..hehe

i'm as youth want take part to change our world..
ouh i don't know,,does indonesia have world bank too??

Nazmus Sakib
August 12, 2011

Whoever is behind the idea of this event is extraordinarily brilliant. I think this event will bring real good news to the youth of this region who want to do something for the people. This lifetime experience will bring unique opportunity to us to better understand not only World Bank in particular rather a whole bunch of other issues related to the development of South Asia.

I wish a great success to this event and very eagerly waiting to join you guys in Washington DC.

August 16, 2011

Dear Joe,

This is Rahman Shafiee from Afghanistan. I am very interested to apply in this event. In fact, I am 23 years old and I am currently working in Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Programming and Economics Unit. Our Unit mostly focuses on developmental and Post-Conflict recovery indicators so I can assure that my current area of work mostly focuses on how to improve the current situation of Afghanistan and other developmental indicators related to the country. Meanwhile, I am directly involved in finding employment opportunities for youth, mostly those who are freshly University graduates. I have got some focused areas where I provide employment opportunities, including Translation and Interpretation, Transcription, Media Monitoring and Marketing. Most of these opportunities are as freelance worker.

Previously I was actively involved in some Youth Organizations here in Afghanistan especially in Kabul and more specifically Kabul University (the biggest University in Afghanistan); indeed, most of our work was unofficial because it was hard to work under a formal youth organization inside Kabul University due to the political issues. Our focus has been mostly on how to capacitate the students of Kabul University through Training and Capacity Building, essay writing competitions, reading competitions and etc.

I would appreciate if you would let me know about the eligibility of my participation in this event. I am willing to learn more and practice it in my country.

Best, Rahman Shafiee

August 12, 2011

Dear Joe,

I belong to Pakistan and the Province where I am living is Balochistan. Youth activities here in Balochistan are on very large scale and fortunately I am a part of it. I am 25 years old. Let me know about my eligibility please. I will surely participate in the meeting with all my stuff regarding Youth Activities.

August 13, 2011

Dear Joe,

I want to participate. But i have a question.

Do we need to provide you the record of our involvement in some organization?
I mean do we have to attach some certificates that proves that we really participated in that organization?

Please reply soon.


August 13, 2011

A friend at work forwarded the link to this page to me recently. I think it will certainly be a great avenue for the youth to get a deeper understanding of how the World Bank works in general, and their efforts in South Asia in particular. As a young citizen in the area, I must thank you and your team for this initiative, Joe. Often, we agonize over the state of affairs in our country, but don't really know how or where to start working from. Hopefully, this will help us get some direction in that respect.

I am really excited about this opportunity and have been working on my application since. You guys are doing great work indeed!

“If you plan for a year, plant rice; If you plan for a decade, plant trees; If you plan for a century, Teach the Children.”

August 13, 2011

I'm from Sri Lanka. Well, It's a world of new opportunities everywhere. New technologies, new jobs, exciting new careers and many more. However, there is a problem. The problem is how these new opportunities are shared among youth.
What i see is only a privileged set of people gain the fullest advantage of the available resources, while poor, underprivileged young people suffer a lot.
Even finding a small job is a dream to them, when they lack top contacts, a good family background, money and most importantly lack of good English language skills.
I personally believe, it's time for a change. We mush help youth who are less fortunate than us to overcome the barriers and to enter this new, beautiful world no matter what is their culture, race, religion or family background. People should not be recognized based on their family or which school they attended, but for their talents, for their creativity they bring in to life and for who they really are.

My wish is a world of equal opportunities, more and better opportunities for all the youth!

August 13, 2011

I am going to turn 18 this October but i have a lot of interest/experience with various organisations and youth activities... is it possible for me to apply?

charles c j
August 14, 2011

great deed

Mohammed Ismail
August 14, 2011

What world bank is donating to india its not a matter what our millionairs and what our government doing and what we people do for that. First we have to be become one heart, one mind and one hand then go to solve these problems.

Mollah Ishtiaque Fazlul
August 14, 2011

Bridging the distance between the policy makers and the people the policies are intended to should be the first step in dealing with a problem like unemployment. The youth who are to enter or have already entered the job market should be thought of as a part of the solution, not the problem.

Providing the youth of South Asia the chance to be the part of a solution is a wonderful initiative from World Bank. I am sure that the participants will come back home with wonderful life changing experience.

August 15, 2011

Dear Joe,

I wanted to know how many delegates will be selected from a country? I am from Bangladesh and I am very much interested to take part in this meeting.

It will be very much appreciated if you let me know as soon as possible.

Joe Qian
August 16, 2011

@Momina, yes anyone from 18 to 25 is eligible to participate. We welcome your application from Balochistan!

@Ali, perhaps sharing your experiences and what you've learned from your involvement would likely mean more to us than certificates.

@Mahima, Thanks so much for your encouragement and I really like that quote. Our upcoming flagship is on More and Better Jobs so the experts in the institution will share how education and employment are complementary and what can be done to best realize both.

@Shriwanthi, Thanks so much for your feedback, I completely agree with you. We are currently coming up with a youth strategy and hope to reach out to those who are less privalged and hear their voice. Please let us know if you have any good ideas on how best to do this!

Joe Qian
August 16, 2011

@Sriharsha: The rules stipulate 18-25, we will hopefully continue this initiative in the future so we encourage you next time!

@Charles, Thanks. Let us know if you have any feedback.

@Mohammad, how do you suggest this unity is fostered?

@Mollah, thanks so much for your insight! I completely agree, those who have successful entered the labor force should willingly serve as mentors and help those who are "up and coming."

@Faiyak, it depends on the quality of the applicants but we would ideally like to have one candidate from each country.

@Rahman, thanks for your note and all the information that you've shared with us, yes you are eligible to participate. Thanks!

August 16, 2011

Dear Joe,

This is a great oppurtunity for young people in South Asia to put forward solutions to create greater employmet. However, am I right in assuming that the topic is not just restricted to "jobs" but livelihood oppurtunities on the whole? I would be grateful if you could kindly provide a clarification in this regard.


Pralhad Giri
August 16, 2011

Hi Joe! I want to participate. I have a lot of visions and leadership skills. My Date of birth is 2.5.1972. Please suggest me the best.

By Pralhad Giri
Kathmandu, Nepal

Usaith Uwize
August 17, 2011

Dear Joe,

With all due respect i appreciate you and the world band for their efforts and contribution. People and organizations like you are the back bone, the spirit of the future youth. I am from Sri Lanka, a south east Asian.
The bitter truth is most south Asian people tend to have a total different perception towards education. Degrees and qualifications are too cheap. And its very easy for a person to get a degree now. Every week there is some new institute popping up providing some qualification.
The problem we have is in our perception, the very core of our cultures and societies. Every one wants to be a doctor or an engineer. Why not a business man? why not a lawyer? a dentist? an archaeologist? It is difficult to increase the demand for job vacancies, no matter how much we pool in and spend the market forces are going to play the action and sooner or later there is going to be fluctuations in the labor market.
The youth should know what they want? what their dream is? what there job should be? every one cant be a doctor. It takes you time to realize who you are and what you want. Once you've realized and past that stage you will be able to market yourself. Target the appropriate field and job. There is vacancies right now that need individuals. Its just that we don't know how to market ourselves, which education category is suitable for us, they are in the dark blinded by there fantasies.
Half the people actually don't know what they are exactly up to when they enroll to an university, thats why we see less amount of first classes.
The world and the job is not their for the one who is the most brainiest, the academically qualified or etc. Its out their for the ones who are SMART.Education is not important but proper and suitable education is important. We have to help the youth realize what they want? make them understand reality, make them adaptive and creative. We have to influence their perception and how they look at things.
I apologize if i had mentioned anything wrong

Best Regards,

Joe Qian
August 17, 2011

The perspectives you have brought are fascinating and I thank you all for participating.

@Ambika,the sessions will be multifaceted and include all facets and aspects of development. However, South Asia is launching a report on More and Better Jobs and we'd like to ask what you think about the issue and help us get the word out. The link I share is the schedule for the last meetings to give you a sense of what you would possibly do at these sessions. http://go.worldbank.org/6CIRLCONV0

@Pralhad, please go to the website and click on "Information for Visitor." http://fundbankmeetings.org/

@Thanks for your perspectives Usaith! There's definitely two dimensions to education, access and quality which are improving at different rates.

I agree with you on practical knowledge. I recommend to young people out there to try to experience different things before you decide on a career, although I'm relatively young, I had 5 different jobs in different fields before working which I believe created skills that I still use. My personal perspective and pick something you love and are passionate about as your performance will directly be enhanced. You probably won't be a world class doctor/engineer/lawyer if you're not passionate it about.

August 18, 2011

I was just wondering if you guys will prefer people who already have the US visa?I mean what if someone is a deserving participant, has no visa but a strong application..

Sunita Tiwari
August 19, 2011

I am from Nepal and I am really interested to join here and share some of works I have done. Recentely I am working as a Program Coordinator and I am also a member of International Youth Network called Activista which is currently working in 29 countries worldwide. Along with other youths, through this network, I have run several campaigns especially on Hunger and Right to food and youth issues, but I m afraid that only youth between 18-25 can join or youth slightly above can also join.

sonu rani das
August 19, 2011


I am from Bangladesh and i am (Dalit) means untouchable people. I am very interested to part in this meeting .I done some youth volunteer work . Please suggest me best.

It will be very much appreciated if you let me know as soon as possible .

Thank you.

August 19, 2011

Hi Joe,

Is a participant from Indonesia eligible to apply? Is there any opportunity for South East Asian Youth Leaders, too?

Thank you.

August 22, 2011

Dear Joe:

have you started getting back to the applicants? Ever since I applied, I have been checking my mail every hour!! still haven't got anything from you..

I am very worried about not being selected...would you please post the names of the candidates here once you are done with the selection process? That would save many of us from the pain of anticipation. haha!



August 19, 2011

Dear Joe,

Is there a similar opportunity for youths in South East Asia to participate in this event? I am from Indonesia and I would like to apply for a youth delegate position. Thank you :)

August 19, 2011

Hey I've mailed my application long time back but there was no confirmation that has somebody received it or not.
Kindly help me :)

August 19, 2011

Hey I've mailed my application on the 17th itself but haven't received and confirmation. How do I make sure that you've received it or not.

Dulal Biswas
August 19, 2011

Bangladesh: Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty and improving the lives of its people. About 80 million people still live below poverty line—as measured by income, consumption, and ability to meet basic human needs—making Bangladesh one of the poorest countries in the world.

Poverty reduction was due in large part to strong, sustained economic growth.
Another significant factor was government investment in the areas of health, education, social safety nets, and support for micro-credit programs, which provide poor people with loans for creation of small business enterprises. But the progress was facing daunting challenges because of incompletion of national reforms in areas like health, electricity, and banking and increasing losses by government-owned enterprises.

Lack of confidence of the people in the integrity and efficiency of the country's political and administrative institutions which was hindering healthy economic activity. The population growth rate also remained unsustainable.

Poor people in Bangladesh have low levels of education. They have limited access to land and hold low paying, physically demanding, and unattractive occupations, such as casual wage labor. In both urban and rural areas, the poor lack access to modern amenities and services, and they also live in houses of inferior quality.

In 90s population growth rate was brought down to 1.5 percent , it was a major social achievement and an essential requirement for poverty reduction. Vulnerability of poor people to economic downturns and natural disasters were significantly reduced through government safety net programs. The number of children completing grade five increased by 12 percent, and every year around one million jobs were created for new entrants to the country's work force, many of whom were women.

Bangladesh made commendable progress in reducing child malnutrition. Literacy rate was increased by 12.5 percent, and there was equal rate of boys and girls in primary schools enrollment.

Bangladesh's total population living in poverty has been reduced to a great extent.
But the condition of the people living in absolute poverty has changed little because
of continued population growth.

Bangladesh is the home of over 140 million people, having nearly 950 people per square kilometer. Annual population growth rate of 1.5 percent, lower than the rates in the neighboring countries; is still not low enough to allow significant overall poverty reduction.

Reducing poverty and improving living conditions Bangladesh will need to sustain its macro-economic growth at levels higher than in the past; reform public institutions; improve social services; and make stronger efforts to increase participation by the country's poorest people in the economy.
It is clear that if Bangladesh is to achieve the MDGs in full and become a truly hunger-free and poverty-free country, then the common people have to be empowered.

Empowerment encompasses mental empowerment to unleash their human spirit.
Social empowerment is to ensure their freedom of movement. Information empowerment is to provide them the necessary information. Organizational empowerment means to ensure their freedom to form own organizations. Economic empowerment denotes to ensure that they receive the necessary skills and financial support for creating self-employment, and Political empowerment is to ensure that they receive their rightful entitlements.

To create a better future, they need an enabling environment to move forward.
Such an environment requires transformation of policies leading to decentralization and devolution.
To create an enabling environment which is critically important for those who are disadvantaged in the society.
To ensure a corruption-free environment, which is most important for the poor as they are hurt most by this evil.
To establish social justice rather than to patronage the powerful vested interest groups.
To establish people's rule to build up honest, competent and committed individuals who has commitment to people.

August 20, 2011

I have posted my application on the 17th but haven't received any confirmation.

August 21, 2011

Dear Joe,

I have not received a conformation slip of my application.
Is it ok.

I had mailed you thrice for my queries.So,it may happen that it may go to spam and I might lose deserving opportunity.
.I am really worried.Please let me know

August 21, 2011

hello this is tanvir i want to take part in the leadership prog ...please let me know what can i do now .my d.o.b is 30.10.1987

August 21, 2011

Hi Joe,
I am one of the applicants from Pakistan. Can you please announce publically as to who gets selected?

M. M.
August 22, 2011

I've been checking this page daily and I must say it's quite an impressive initiative. I've a request, though. Please do let us know here when you've notified the successful candidates. That'd mean a lot. Thanks.

August 22, 2011

Thank u joe:)

Plz let me know, would u people inform about selection to only selected candidates? or every applicant about the status of his/her application.

August 22, 2011

Dear Joe:

have you started getting back to the applicants? Ever since I applied, I have been checking my mail every hour!! still haven't got anything from you..

I am very worried about not being selected...would you please post the names of the candidates here once you are done with the selection process?



Joe Qian
August 24, 2011

Hi all, thanks so much for all your hardwork on your applications. On the Visa issue, we will try to help you expedite the process as much as possible.

Bhanu, please do share your thoughts with us on how we can make this space better.

J, we plan to have one candidate from each country through this process. However, even if you're not selected, I will be working with you to share your ideas with wider audiences since many of you have espoused excellent ideas. Stay tuned over the next few weeks!

August 22, 2011

Dear All,

THis came to my knowledge quite late but still I have applied in time. I have mentioned in the application that I am few months older than 25, I hope this would be considered! THis conference would be a great learning point for youth. I am sure the guys will learn a lot and help in development of the nation. I am currently working on youth empowerment only....lets see if I can be the lucky one to learn from it.

Looking Forward !!!

"Service before Self"
Prakhar Bhartiya
Youth Alliance

August 22, 2011

Dear Joe,
Is is anyway possible to hear the name of the selected candidates?? I am checking my mail every second or so, and i would really like to hear the names if i am not selected....

Joe Qian
August 22, 2011

We really appreciate the overwhelming feedback and number of applications, it's been difficult to decide because there are so many exceptional ones. We are currently and reviewing them on an individual basis and will announce the winners by the end of this week. Thank you for your patience!

M. M.
August 23, 2011

Thank you, Joe for your prompt response!

Good luck to all the applicants! May the best man (youth :P) win!

August 23, 2011

Respected Sir,
Plz convey the result through email to every applicant if they selected or not selected...! we feel better insted of searcing names....!

Thanking you, sir.

Sreenivasan T,
South Asian.

August 23, 2011

Hi Joe i Want to know some information. I am from Sri Lanka, how many will be selected from Sri Lanka. And by when the winners will be announced and once the announcement is made will it be made public?

Tanvir Alam
August 23, 2011

May I know who are the successful participant from Bangladesh/

August 23, 2011

When will the results be declared? A date please

August 23, 2011

Dear Joe,

Results were to be announced today right?


Joe Qian
August 23, 2011

Really appreciate the outpouring of enthusiasm for the initiative! Given the overwhelming amount of candidates who applied, we have been reviewing them individually so everyone receives a fair chance.

We will have the results available by the end of the week and notify the winners via email and through this blog.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to contact you directly if you were not selected since we are unable to send out so many emails. Thanks again and looking forward to seeing you guys in Washington!

August 24, 2011

Hi Joe,

I have concerns over visa for participant form Pakistan.

According the State Department website (http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4788.html?post=Islamabad&x=…) the waiting time for the appointment for a US Visa is 12 Days and then the processing takes an average of 45 Days. As we will have a week long holiday for the festival of Eid next week, the US Embassy would also be closed for that duration meaning that it would be virtually impossible for anyone to get a appointment for the visa, let alone the visa itself before the 22nd of Sept.

I think the results should have been announced by now as the selected participant from Pakistan would miss out. Considering that Pakistan is an important part of South Asia, there should be representation from Pakistan.

Bhanu Joshi
August 24, 2011

Thank You for this information Joe.

Really looking forward to the results. I stumbled on this page today and I can already see the mode for the discussions being set here.

Thanks Again