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On our road to GCARD2: YPARD Youth involvement!

It has been a long journey since we started preparing Youth involvement into GCARD2 (the 2nd Global Conference for Agricultural Research for Development). There is still a long way to go : GCARD2 being a huge event and hopefully the starting point of new exciting projects. Here is a small brief on the distance run so far, and the up-coming GCARD2 plans: bringing youth issues and recommendations into GCARD2 and giving a youth perpective on GCARD2, worlwide! Calling for "Youth in ARD"'s voice...YPARD had sent, some time ago, a call for soliciting YPARD members and beyond to express their interest in giving a youth voice at the up-coming GCARD2. We proposed to focus our input on key issues related to youth capacity building.  These would be then discussed and fed into GCARD2 plenary sessions. Main concerns identified for discussions were:
  • How youth can contribute to create stronger agricultural innovation systems?
  • Value and reward systems in AR4D, examining incentives for young people to choose agriculture for their career
  • What are the new skills and competencies required in new professionals in agriculture and rural development
From YPARD selection upon this call, 6 young professionals were sponsored by different GFAR regional fora. GCARD2 Youth e-discussions on Youth capacity buildingGCARD2 Youth E-discussions were launched last September on ypard.net, for two weeks, on the three topics identified above, as a pre-consultation towards preparing Youth strong input at GCARD2. All YPARD members were invited to contribute in order to share their views, experiences and recommendations. Reports of the three e-discussions were prepared by some volunteers among the e-discussions participants. They are currently reviewed by the group of participants and YPARD members who will attend the GCARD2. Keep posted! GCARD2 Youth pre-event meeting: refining youth input and go further! YPARD is organizing a GCARD2 Youth pre-event meeting, on 28th October, to refine and bring further the outcomes of the e-discussions. This will entail discussions among around 20 young professionals physically present: YPARD delegates sponsored by their regions but also YPARD members attending on behalf of their organisations, those attending through the social reporting programme, YPARD global team and China representative. We are discussing ways to also have joint discussions with some other stakeholders in order to broaden perspectives and possible ways forward.The aims of the event are: 
  1. To ask ‘how are we doing’? in assessing progress on youth issues since GCARD1
  2. To discuss ways to better engage youth in AR4D, focusing on the 3 topics discussed on-line
  3. To obtain concrete suggestions on how to integrate and attract youth into these areas to feed into the GCARD plenary 
We will use all means possible to keep you on track and integrate you into discussions that day - stay online! Getting involved in the breakout session C2.2 - Youth & Women capacity building! The outcomes of these discussions will be brought into the breakout session C2.2 on learning and the empowerment of youth and women, Tuesday 30 October. YPARD was solicited to contribute to framing the session in view to our work with youth. A YPARD delegate would furthermore present outcomes of YPARD discussions, in response to the keynote providing an overview of the context for capacity development in AR4D and empowerment models. Way forward? We aim at identifying of a number of actions to undertake between 2012-2014 for enhancing our joint support to youth, within GCARD community.This meeting on youth in ARD, will give opportunities for young professionals active in agricultural research for development to network, discuss key issues and provide their input on issues pertaining to youth and agriculture and engage them in shaping the future of the sector.  We want to raise awareness on the valuable contribution youth can make to the sector, the necessity of including them and engaging them in planning for the future of ARD and giving them a voice in the process. YPARD booth - come meet us at the Market Place! YPARD will also have a booth in the Market place. If you are to attend to GCARD2, come visit us at YPARD booth! Discuss about YPARD, our activities, how you can get involved, share your insights and experience with other young professionals and different stakeholders present: Universities, NGOs, private sector, international agencies, researchers, government officers etc Youth Social reporting training: giving a youth perspective on GCARD2 worldwide !YPARD has been working with CGIAR Communications team on putting a group of 12 Young People together to participate to the GCARD2 Social Reporting programme. These 12 "youngsters" will be coming from different regions of the world. They will attend a two-days training on the 26-27 October and learn how the new media can be used to report from a conference. They would be then ready to kick-off social reporting of the whole GCARD2!This is a great opportunity of capacity building for the 12 selected trainees! It is also an unique chance to bring into the conference a youth perspective and extend participation to the conference to people who won’t be able to attend physically!The on-site trainees will indeed be able to generate a vibrant interaction online. An online group of more than 100 people is already active with disseminating key messages, soliciting feedback on the GCARD blog and sharing the latest updates through twitter hashtag #GCARD2. Follow the GCARD2 co-organizers on Facebook: GFAR, CGIAR, and "like" YPARD to get the lastest news about the conference in general and youth perspectives. Get yourself active and add-on your own views!Wanna be part of the online Social Reporting group? It is not too late! Learn more:Give a Youth voice at GCARD2 through Social Media! and contact Peter to join: p.casier@cgiar.org Keep in touch with us! We want you to express yourself and to fully take part in this key ARD event. This is a heartful wish from the organizers themselves:"I see GCARD2 as a mirror ball: everyone involved in agriculture for development should see themselves reflected in it no matter what angle they come from! " Mark Holderness, GFAR Executive Secretary.