|Contributions of Youth to the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda (HABITAT, 1999, 137 p.)|
|PART I: OVERVIEW OF NATIONAL REPORTS AND LESSONS LEARNT|
|1.2.2 GENERAL EVALUATION|
The exercise of preparation of national youth reports in the above-explained context has been initiated in several countries. It was not possible however to complete these reports in some countries within its deadline and they were completed in only seven countries, namely Brazil, Colombia, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Senegal and Turkey. These reports are expected to facilitate information exchange on youth activities in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda between countries as well as between youth organizations. These reports may also be utilized as follow up tools at local and national levels.
The Mathare Youth Sports Association in Kenya
Mathare is one of the largest slums in Nairobi province. This non-profit NGO was founded as a self-help project designed to organise sports and slum clean up activities for the youth and children living in Mathare. Currently, it has an estimated membership of over 4,500 girls and boys aged between 10-18. They are divided into teams and there are about 300 teams that participate in both national and international football leagues, environmental clean up and HIV-AIDS awareness programmes.
During the process of preparing these national reports - which followed an agreed upon format between UNCHS (Habitat) and YFHIN - the authors were requested to inform the responsible governmental agencies, UNDP offices and national youth platforms within their countries in order to sustain collaboration between related bodies as well as to maintain consistency of data related to youth and human settlements. The co-ordinating body, namely the Secretariat of the Youth for Habitat International Network played a facilitating and guiding role in this future-oriented exercise. These reports are evaluated along common issues, priorities addressed, and recommendations to YFHIN in the following sections and presented as annexes in Part II of this report. It should be noted in this relation that this analysis section provides a summary of findings and the attached reports should be referred to for detailed information.
In the evaluation of these reports, the common problems encountered are identified as:
· Insufficient urban services;
· Lack of full acknowledgment of the potential of youth;
· Lack of awareness of the youth organizations working in the fields of the Habitat Agenda and Agenda 21;
· Lack of inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional approaches;
· Lack of financial resources;
· Hindering effects of politics and bureaucracy;
· Lack of networking among youth organizations and other institutions;
These common topics mostly concern general problems that young people are confronted with in diverse areas related to human settlements development. These problems are better understood when the reports are examined separately, analyzing the causes of these problems, processes of how they emerged and grew, and their assimilation in-the culture as well as the reactions of the community.
The following points were raised in these reports as areas where youth activities should be initiated with priority and measures to be taken by responsible governmental organizations:
· Sharing of youth best practices
· Seeking greater self-management for youth groups
· Increasing the quantity and type of actors involved in the local, regional, national and international level youth activities
· Creating efficient mechanisms for training and capacity building for youth
· Facilitating appropriate city planning processes where youth can be involved
· Utilization of the technological advances to sustain efficient and effective communication
· Promoting effective means for advocacy
· Developing the dialogue of youth with partner groups (NGOs, international organizations, and multilateral agencies)
· Establishing a mechanism to promote access to various Habitat programmes and services which are related to youth
· Developing indicators for youth contributions to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda
· Establishing/improving of National Agencies responsible for the identification and documentation of the best practices
Most of these priorities youth have identified are already addressed and are in the implementation process to some extent in many of the countries. UN agencies, national governments, local authorities, specialized institutions, private sector, academicians, NGOs/CBOs and other stakeholders have been active to cooperate with youth in these fields. The level of cooperation nevertheless needs improvement. The acknowledgment of youth as a full partner in these processes will positively contribute to the further development of youth.
Youth organizations in these reports have formulated recommendations to YFHIN to articulate its functions and improve the performance of the network. These can be summarized as follows:
· To reinforce and widen its organizational basis and to improve the effectiveness of the regional focal points
· To institutionalize its activities by organizing meetings at the regional and international levels, on themes dealing with human settlements development concerning both youth and governments
· To improve capacities of active organizations at the local level by supporting their training programmes
· To establish frameworks of cooperation with UN Agencies, particularly with UNCHS, UNDP and UNEP
· To seek sufficient and sustainable financial resources for funding large scale projects
· To initiate discussions with the organizations involved in the preparation of national reports with a view to establish an action programme at the regional levels
· To promote the establishment of Habitat Committees in the national youth councils where they exist
· To utilize the occasion of Istanbul+5 for the strengthening/establishment of partnerships of youth with central governments
· To promote acknowledgment of Youth for Habitat approach by all stakeholders, especially central governments and local authorities
· Fundraising for youth activities in fields related to human settlements development