Background and Objectives:
The Global Partnership Initiative for Urban Youth Development (GPI) is collaboration between selected cities worldwide and UN-HABITAT, intended to address the growing need for the engagement of youth as full partners in urban development and governance issues. Youth comprise a significant and growing proportion of the world's population, and indeed are the majority in many developing countries, most especially in their rapidly expanding urban centres.
In 2004, UN-HABITAT launched the GPI in Barcelona at the World Urban Forum, formalizing the agency's commitment to engaging with youth across the world in shaping and achieving development and governance goals. Two years later, the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada, had a strong focus on the role of youth in urban spaces, and on how youth in both developed and developing countries are already taking leadership roles and helping shape their own futures. The highly successful World Youth Forum, as part of the Vancouver World Urban Forum, saw the formalization of the Global Partnership Initiative and the beginnings of several innovative urban youth empowerment programmes by UN-HABITAT’s Partners and Youth Section.
One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centres, piloted in four East African cities to start with, are the first major activity of the GPI project. The concept of One Stop centres grew out of a collaborative process with key stakeholders including youth, municipal leaders, and UN-HABITAT. The centres are envisioned to provide youth with safe spaces in urban settings where they can meet and take the lead in their own development as well as that of their urban environment.
The Nairobi One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centre – run by the City Council of Nairobi – was the first to officially open and has hosted and taken part in a variety of innovative youth-led projects, including acting as a partner in the World Urban Café JAM Sessions that took place in Kenya.
One Stop Centres in Kampala and Dar es Salaam are underway, with generously allocated land from their respective city councils being developed, while in Kigali the centre is in its planning and consensus-building phase.
Trainings for the UN-HABITAT UN Volunteers assigned to each pilot city, and for each Municipality’s designated One Stop Centre staff, have included capacity building in a broad range of topics including Youth and Information Work, Resource Mobilization, Gender Mainstreaming and others.
Currently, the One Stop Centre concept is being harmonized with the already existing We Are the Future Centres, a model of child and youth urban resource centres initiated by Glocal Forum in six post-conflict countries and now being facilitated within the UN-HABITAT family through the Partners & Youth Section.
Environmental Youth Alliance, as a partner Non-Governmental Organization, is currently working with the Partners and Youth Section to deliver a resource manual – to be used in concert with already existing and planned future manuals on topics such as Information Work and Engaging Municipal Partners – that will enable the One Stop concept to be successfully replicated in urban centres across the developing world.
This project is in progress, and updates will be released in early 2009 on the following outputs:
- Openings of Kampala, Dar es Salaam and Kigali One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centres to join the Nairobi Centre as the first four such centres in operation
- Launch of official websites for each of the four East African pilot One Stop Centres
- Satellite Centres in other areas of Nairobi to complement and enhance the services offered at the Nairobi One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centre.
- Publication of a manual to guide interested Municipalities or civil society partners wishing to implement the One Stop Youth Centre concept in other cities across the globe
- Harmonization of the One Stop and We are the Future youth and child development centre concepts, through ongoing shared training, capacity building and online resource sharing