NHDR holds national consultations with youth-led civil society organisations and the donor community

2nd September 2015

The NHDR team held a national consultation with youth-led civil society organisations, international and national NGOs, and fellow UN agencies on the 29th of July, 2015. The event’s three working group sessions centered on employment, engagement and education.

Moderated by NHDR Lead Author Dr Faisal Bari, the education session touched upon several key concerns: limited access to education for girls, the poor quality of primary school curricula, and the poor quality of teaching. Baela Jamil, a member of the NHDR Advisory Council, characterized the situation as a crisis of vision and design in Pakistan’s education system – and one which requires urgent attention. Among the session’s most innovative recommendations is increasing students’ access to education by creating mobile schools.

Dr Ali Cheema, Advisory Author of the NHDR’s chapter on Employment, led the session on this empowerment driver. Key points raised included the creation of an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs, within which to implement their business ideas. Participants recommended the introduction of ‘business incubators’. These help new/startup companies develop by providing services like management training and office space. Young people are provided space, training and the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and exchange ideas.

A safe space for youth to express themselves, without fear of censure, was the resounding call from participants in the engagement session. Led by Lead Author Dr Adil Najam, participants hailed such a space as critical for increasing young people’s engagement in all spheres of public life. They recommended that youth initiatives, whether at the civil society- or government level, address the issue of youth engagement within their communities.