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From Dialogue to Action – What’s Next

 Open Spaces PNG - Youth close up

 Setting the Agenda  Shared Concerns  What's Next

 

 

Open Spaces PNG - youth meeting
Throughout the two-day event young people raised concerns regarding whether and how the government and local and international agencies would be able to address the issues discussed, but follow-up is already underway.
 

T hroughout the two-day event young people raised concerns regarding whether and how the government and local and international agencies would be able to address the issues raised. And while this is not an easy task, follow-up is already under way amongst the partners, and there are plans to hold meetings connecting some of the youth present with the World Bank and other participating organizations to further discuss the particular issues identified. 

An Open Space dialogue would then be convened between the various partners around the issue of incorporating these concerns into operations.  The Minister for Community Development, Dame Carol Kidu, has also expressed interest in holding more Open Space sessions for young street people in other urban areas of Papua New Guinea before moving on to more rural areas. As she kept repeating during one of the partners’ meetings: ‘There is so much that still needs to be done.’

Voices like those of Oscar and his friends facing a daily struggle to survive on the streets of the world’s toughest cities need to be heard and acted upon, and this Open Space session with youth living and working on the streets of Port Moresby has shown that it is possible for the Bank to constructively communicate with the poorest and most marginalized of its constituents, while demonstrating the strength of its partnerships with government and other agencies on the ground. 

As all participants reconvened for the last time, they were very emotional about the experiences that had informed the issues and ideas they expressed over the two days; now compiled into thick booklets of all the 36 sessions and 7 action outcomes, a tangible token of their hard work.

Around the end of the event, one smartly dressed young man broke down in tears, relating his story of having been brutally beaten by police when he was mistaken for a wanted criminal, and losing his job as a result of the injuries he sustained. 

Moved by the openness of everyone in the circle, participants continued to echo their appreciation at having been directly consulted and having been able to set their own agenda.  Each participant went home with a copy of the results booklet and while some outcomes may have been left as food for thought, others already suggested dates and venues where participants wished to continue independently discussing particular issues and actions that they could tackle themselves.

Putting Partnerships to Work

The Port Moresby Open Space was a joint initiative of the National Department of Community Development, UNICEF, The World Bank and local NGOs Haus Ruth, Jubilee Catholic School and City Mission.  It was a result of the mutual feeling of these organizations that the voices of vulnerable youth needed to be heard to help guide their activities, strategies and policies, especially in light of growing numbers of disenfranchised and disempowered ‘at risk’ young people in urban centres. 

The event itself was organized by GDLN Program Manager Christoph Raudonat with the support and guidance of Papua New Guinea Country Manager Benson Ateng.

 Open Spaces PNG - Youth close up

 Setting the Agenda  Shared Concerns  What's Next

 



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