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Engaging Youth in Inclusive Market Development

Date: 
May 29, 2014

Information

Many developing countries today are faced with a growing youth population who want to engage in markets but remain unemployed or underemployed. At the same time, efforts to develop economies through more inclusive and competitive markets are not engaging youth in this process, creating a disconnect between the growing opportunities and the young people without the qualifications to fill them. While many market development projects target youth, we are still early in the process of learning how to meaningfully incorporate youth into market systems approaches. What are the benefits of engaging youth in market development? How can market development programs more meaningfully engage young people as value chain change agents? What are concrete ways to encourage youth participation throughout the project cycle?

In this seminar, the market systems community and youth engagement specialists came together to dialogue about what is being tried in the field and where gaps remain that programs should seek to bridge. Rachel Blum and Devon McLorg from USAID, and David Feige from Making Cents International, introduced key conceptual models and examples to frame the conversation. Participants then shared examples, tools, and approaches that they’ve used to engage youth, which resulted in a rich discussion.

Featuring

Rachel Blum
Rachel Blum
United States Agency for International Development
Rachel Blum

Rachel Blum is the Youth Workforce Development Technical Specialist in USAID’s Bure

Rachel Blum

au of Economic Growth, Education, and Environment. She carries 17 years of experience in inclusive economic growth with a specialization in conflict-affected environments. In her role at USAID, she leads a learning and research effort related to youth workforce development and provides technical support to Missions in assessment and program design. Prior to working at USAID, Blum served as Senior Technical Advisor to the Economic Development unit at CHF International, where she supported 20 field offices in the areas of inclusive economic growth. Blum has also served as Country Director to USAID-funded programs in Kosovo and Azerbaijan.

David Feige
David Feige
Making Cents International
David FeigeDavid Feige is a Director at Making Cents International.
David Feige He has worked for 15 years in technical, business development, and project management roles for a wide range of donor and non-donor clients. His expertise includes value chain development, competitiveness analysis, MSME development, entrepreneurship, local economic development, and livelihoods interventions. Prior to joining Making Cents, Feige worked with J.E. Austin Associates, a specialized economic development consultancy, where he spent nearly five years conducting technical work in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Prior to joining J.E. Austin, Feige was an Economic Development Officer at International Relief and Development, where he backstopped projects in Serbia and Montenegro and Lebanon.
Devon McLorg
Devon McLorg
United States Agency for International Development
Devon McLorgDevon McLorg joined the Office of Education in 2011 as an Education Program
Devon McLorgSpecialist. In this role, she focuses on youth workforce development and education in conflict and crisis environments, and leads the Agency's strategy to increase youth engagement in USAID’s work. In 2013, McLorg performed a 4-month rotation to USAID/Liberia, where she worked across the education portfolio on monitoring and evaluation, project design, and procurement activities. She also served as the Education Team Lead for five weeks of the rotation. McLorg also contributed to the development of USAID's Youth in Development Policy, and serves on the Agency's Countering Violent Extremism and Insurgency steering committee. Prior to joining USAID, she consulted for the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone and she worked for the Earth Institute’s Millennium Cities Initiative in New York City.