Magdalena Fulton (Washington, DC)
Building on USAID’s decades of experience working with young people, this policy provides guidance on pursuing smarter, more innovative, and more cost effective approaches to empowering youth to contribute to and benefit from their countries’ development efforts. The policy is closely aligns with Creative’s mission and vision of accelerating economic growth, strengthening societies, and responding to the needs and aspirations of people everywhere, especially young people.
USAID’s Youth in Development Policy aims to improve the capacities and enable the aspirations of youth so that they can contribute to and benefit from more stable, democratic, and prosperous communities and nations. Specific areas of opportunity for Creative, per our holistic approach to working with young people, include:
- Youth Economic Opportunities: Programs in this area need to address both the demand and the supply side of job creation, promote self-employment and entrepreneurship, engage youth productively in agriculture and value chains, and expand access to services for economic success. Through our workforce development and livelihoods practice areas Creative is working to expand economic opportunities for youth who are at-risk and live in some of the most crisis and conflict effected countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.
- Youth Learning: There is increasing attention to the quality of educational systems to ensure schools teach the information and skills youth need in order to enter the workforce or participate in civic life. Creative has worked in the area of relevant education and system strengthening and has also invested in life skills education to reach the most vulnerable, at-risk youth populations.
- Youth Peace, Security and Democracy: Achieving the benefits of investment in young people depends on a secure environment and a belief by youth that they have a stake in governance, peace and democracy. Through Creative’s work with young people to combat violence, lower high school dropout rates and overcome the challenges of the school to work transition we have reduced the number of young people who are recruited into criminal networks, armed groups, youth gangs, and trafficking, all of which contribute to sustained violence, extremism and insurgency.
Creative is excited about the prospects and mandate of this policy and is committed to expanding our work with young people to empower them to create and contribute to a more prosperous and peaceful world for us all.
Magdalena Fulton, Senior Associate for Youth in Development, Creative Associates International.