Opportunity 2.0

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USAID holds summit with city leaders, shaping youth programming in PH

Local actors from the Cities of Cebu, Tagbilaran, and Zamboanga at the YDA Summit held in Lapu-Lapu City on December 14-15, 2021.

CEBU, December 13, 2021— The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is holding a series of summits that will gather local leaders and key stakeholders who help shape youth development programming in Philippine cities.

With the theme ‘Power of Convergence and Partnership for Out-of-School Youth,’ the summit series will bring together a total of 180 local leaders and members of Youth Development Alliances (YDA) from 12 different cities across the country. The first was held in Cebu City on December 14-15, 2021, the next in Davao City on January 19-20, 2022, and the third in Metro Manila in February or when IATF protocols allow.

The summit is being organized so that cities can learn from each other, share good practices, common challenges, and discuss practical solutions in designing and implementing programs for out-of-school in the Philippines.

Graphic of Youth Development Alliance (YDA) as the driver of positive youth development in communities.

Youth Development Alliances or YDAs were introduced in cities through the USAID Opportunity 2.0 program as a mechanism for city-level partnership and convergence. Through the YDA, local youth development actors can collaborate more closely to craft more youth-inclusive policies and programs, harmonize activities and services, as well as share and maximize resources.

YDAs, commonly led by City Governments, are composed of government line agencies, local business associations, civil society, universities, college, and training institutions, other youth-serving organizations, and, of course, the youth themselves.

“I am happy to share with you that our collaboration so far has reached over 16,600 out-of-school youth already from across the country. Hundreds of out-of-school youth have their access to second-chance education and work readiness training restored. Many are being facilitated to further education, connected to local businesses for jobs, and supported to begin their own micro-enterprises—all largely through the work of the Youth Development Alliance,” said Dr. Thomas LeBlanc, Director of the Office of Education at USAID Philippines. “This is the power of partnership and convergence and this is only the beginning.”

Thomas LeBlanc, Director of the Office of Education of USAID Philippines, addresses the participants of the YDA Summit in Cebu City.

YDAs serve as the driver of youth development programs at city levels. To date, 12 cities in the Philippines have established YDAs, most have legislative backing and strategic plans developed. Its members are trained on Positive Youth Development and have led activities that will help out-of-school youth transition to further education, employment, or entrepreneurship.

The first of three YDA Summits engaged the cities of Cebu, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga, and Isabela. Photos from the event can be viewed here. The next YDA Summit in 2022 will engage Angeles City, Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Legazpi City, Davao City, General Santos City, Cotabato City, and Cagayan de Oro City.#