Saranda Hajdari, Innovations Lab Kosovo
At the Youth Advocacy Platform the clock is ticking fast, as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals are due to be met by 2015. But what comes after that?
The United Nations has established a high-level panel to present options for development goals in the next 15 to 20 years.
Kosovo* was selected to become involved in the global post 2015 consultation process, and at the Youth Advocacy Platform in the Innovations Lab, we’ve been tasked with the exciting responsibility of gauging Kosovo’s youth opinion and voice. (Fact: more than half the population of Kosovo is under 25 years old.)
Here at the Youth Advocacy Platform, we recently launched a consultation process with young Kosovars to get a good understanding of what their main concerns are and what they see as potential development goals after 2015.
To collect and organize the data, we recruited ten active members from civil society and twenty volunteers.
We distributed questionnaires to all the faculties at the University of Pristina and other private higher education institutions such as Iliria University, and AAB Riinvest. We involved two high schools, including Sami Frasheri and Xhevdet Doda in the consultations.
In total, 5,500 young people filled out the questionnaires. The consultations were held just before Christmas and lasted for a week. Although they were all interviewed in Pristina, the majority of them come from towns and areas across Kosovo such as Mitrovica, Peja, Gjakova, Gjilan, Prizren and so on.
Apart from the surveys in the form of questionnaires we took advantage of other mediums such as online polls, promoted by youth networks via social media, as well as SMS messages.
Young people raised some interesting points. The most pressing issues were:
- High levels of unemployment and particularly low job prospects for young people
- Slow economic development
- Government corruption
- Poor infrastructure
- Low standards of health care and education
- A perception of organized crime and unreliable rule of law
Less prominent but still worth mentioning were problems related to the protection of the environment.
As for their expectations, the young people interviewed displayed a rather optimistic attitude. In general their main expectations are that Kosovo will soon become a member of the United Nations, and eventually integrate in the European Union.
However, the consultation process isn’t over yet – it will continue until the end of this month. Young people are welcome to send us their opinions via SMS or to fill in our online youth polls.
In an exciting new approach to interactive youth engagement, we’re going to host three Google Hangout sessions with expert panels under the themes:
- Youth and education
- Sustainable employment and poverty
- Freedom of movement
All three Google Hangouts will be broadcast LIVE on Youtube channels available worldwide.
In order to generate more discussion and allow a broader audience to interact with the panel, we encourage everybody to submit their questions and opinions to the panelists on our Facebook page and via Twitter (using the hashtags: #post2015KS #post2015 #worldwewant).
We’re looking forward to hearing more about what kind of world young women and men in Kosovo want, as we believe that the voice and opinion of young people are crucial, especially when it comes to long-term goals and decisions.
* Hereafter mentioned in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244/1999.