Young Innovators Launch 26 Data Projects for SDGs 1-6
Photo by Markus Spiske
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The Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator is supporting 26 young data innovators to work on projects that contribute to SDGs 1 through 6 (covering poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality and water).

While youth are key to success on the SDGs, only a small fraction of donor funding goes to young people and youth-led organizations.

The partners in the Accelerator initiative include CIVICUS, Restless Development, Action for Sustainable Development, The George W Bush Institute, and the Obama Foundation.

21 January 2019: The Gates Foundation and partners launched the Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator to support innovators under the age of 35, in Arusha, Tanzania. The 26 participants selected from a pool of over 2,000 applicants from around the world will work on projects related to data sourcing and accountability or data translation and storytelling. The projects focus on SDGs 1 through 6 (covering poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality and water).

The one-year initiative was announced at the Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers event in September 2018. Goalkeepers is a joint multi-year campaign to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. The Accelerator initiative accepted submissions until November 2018, and kicked off with the selected participants at a workshop held from 21-25 January 2019, at the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation. The partners in the initiative are: CIVICUS, Restless Development, Action for Sustainable Development, The George W. Bush Institute, and the Obama Foundation.

The impetus for the Accelerator is that youth are the key to success on the SDGs, “yet only a small fraction of donor funding goes to young people and youth-led organizations,” according to CIVICUS. Thus, the Accelerator will contribute to building a strong network for young people to learn from leaders and experts in their fields, and from each other, over the course of the year. An additional goal of engaging this younger generation is to increase their capacity to design and implement local development plans.

Each grantee will work on self-driven data projects in their respective countries, with technical support from a team of international development professionals and approximately USD 30,000 to deliver their project. Projects span 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and work across sectors and thematic areas to deliver sustainable development outcomes. For example, in Kenya, Alison Mukenyi Mbaluto and the Public Space Network are collecting data and surveying citizens’ priorities on urban life improvements for better public space management, cutting across SDGs 3 (good health and well-being), 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

The youth advocates and their projects were selected by a global steering committee. [Youth Action Accelerator Website] [CIVICUS News Release] [Youth Advocates’ Profiles]

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