Paisley Engaging young professionals in the agri food sector - strategies, lessons and experiences from YPARD and YPARD Africa
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Paisley Engaging young professionals in the agri food sector - strategies, lessons and experiences from YPARD and YPARD Africa






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  • What is YPARD Why YPARD? youth are often doing a lot of the work but not getting adequate recognition and their voice and key concerns are not heard nor taken into consideration. ‘Silent’ performers; passive participants Limited access to trainings, meetings aor attending conferences like this one. It’s not always easy for youths to speak up in their organisations, to give their viewpoint, to ask questions or to voice their concerns. YPARD can help to allow them to discuss these issues with other youth are the key stakeholders for the sustainability of the ARD arena
  • Youth are an asset and yet they are often viewed as inexperienced and unable to contribute to discussions. They provide new ways of thinking and enable us to question our current methods. enthusiastic, open and frank, at ease with change and complexity, have good computer literacy, build collaboration and partnerships and tend to reject traditional hierarchical and inter-institutional relationships Youth often not selected to attend meetings and workshops due to their inexperience
  • Ageing with several issues related to countries with hiring freezes, which leads to a lack of mentorship for new people coming into the organisation. We thus, need to support our young staff and not to lose the knowledge and experience. We need to look at how to engage young people in this area and work with them to ensure that there is interest for the future as well.
  • Wider perspective

Paisley Engaging young professionals in the agri food sector - strategies, lessons and experiences from YPARD and YPARD Africa Paisley Engaging young professionals in the agri food sector - strategies, lessons and experiences from YPARD and YPARD Africa Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging Young Professionals in the Agri- food Sector: Strategies, Lessons and Experiences from YPARD and YPARD Africa Courtney Paisley, YPARD Coordinator andGbadebo Odularu, YPARD Africa CoordinatorPresented at: Young People, Farming and Food: Future of the Agrifood Sector in Africa
  • What is YPARD?A global platform of young professionals under 40 years ofage active in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD)
  • Why YPARD? Insufficient participation of young professionals in dialogues addressing critical development issues• Limited access to professional opportunities for youth• Absence of a support network or platform to voice young professionals’ ideas, opinions and concerns• Declining interest in agricultural education among youth• The need for sustainable ARD
  • Ageing ARD population Age distribution by agency and gender, 2007 (calculated by headcount) At these three agencies, the large majority of researchers were over the age of 40 in 2007. Over half were between the ages 51 and 60. This aging pool of well-qualified researchers, many of whom will retire in the next decade, is a major area of concern. Sources: Calculated by authors from ASTI-AWARD 2008/09.
  • Objectives 1. To facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge among young professionals across disciplines, professions, age and regions 2. To broaden opportunities for young professionals to contribute to strategic ARD policy debates 3. To promote agriculture among young people 4. To facilitate access to resources and capacity building opportunities
  • Our Stakeholders• Universities• Research Institutions• Donor organizations• NGOs/CSOs• Government agencies• Farmer organizations• Private sector
  • Distribution:1950 members from 117countries
  • Coordination offices at at at Global Coordination Unit at
  • What we provide our members Information on funding opportunities, jobs, news in ARD and more! YPARD newsletter to keep up-to-date on activities of interest to YPs in ARD Online interaction with YPs around the globe Opportunities to apply to represent YP interests at meetings and workshops Ability to build a professional profile Actively contributing to a more dynamic ARD!
  • What is Youth? YPARD chose an age limit to practically manage a network Under 40 years of age Agricultural research requires long schooling Young women often at a further disadvantage Post conflict countries Also include ‘experienced and supportive professionals’ as members
  • Mentoring 93.5% members say that they want a mentoring programme promote a two-way mentoring process which benefits both parties Focus on young women and mentoring in agri-entrepeneurship Senior-Junior partnerships for consultancies
  • Youth voice in events Leverage minimal funds for maximum impact Make sure the youth have something concrete to say Represent youth on specific topics from specific stakeholder groups YPARD as a facilitation mechanism Make youth a regular stakeholder group for consultation. Changes perceptions and provides opportunities.
  • Active young members For Africa submissions were 15 times the budget available Increase of volunteerism in the region People want to develop their professional visibility Language challenges – East and West Africa
  • What our members sayWhy did you join YPARD?2. Increase networking possibilities (70%),3. Receive information on ARD related events (49%)4. Gain access to funding opportunities (43%)5. Receive information about job opportunities (23%)
  • What else? We‘re looking for...  More members!  Expanding YP members in different stakeholder groups  Increasing institutional linkages  More young professionals driving the process – ideas coming from a local level  More dynamic online discussions  More young faces and voices at key ARD debates  Innovative and youth led ARD!
  • Thank You andSign up now ! @