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OECD Youthwise: our new Youth Advisory Board

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted how we live, learn and work, profoundly affecting our physical and mental health, our social lives and economies. The impact on young people has been especially hard.

In 2021, we are renewing our OECD Youth Action Plan in order to place young people’s concerns at the centre of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Together, we can build a transformative recovery, making our economies and societies more resilient, more green and more inclusive. 

Now is the time to reflect deeply on the future we want after the crisis. What should our post-COVID world look like? At the OECD, our mission is to help develop better policies for better lives and we need young peoples’ perspective and ideas to help us do this.

Africa’s fast-growing cities are youthful. More than two-thirds of the residents of some of the continent’s largest cities like Lagos, Dakar, Accra and Abidjan are below the age of 30. How these cities, and hundreds of others, will look like in 20-30 years depends on the ability of urban youth to shape urban development with their ideas, preferences and visions.

In July 2020, we surveyed more than 4 000 young people across 17 countries and 27 cities in West Africa and the Sahel to find out how they feel about their cities – what they like, what they dislike and what they think should be the priorities for their local governments. How is life in your city?

Actions for a common future

Engage and consult young people

There is no time more apt than now for world leaders and multilateral institutions to re-examine their approach to youth policy and include young leaders at the table. If we do not collectively address and incorporate youth voices in our formula for a post-COVID world, we run the risk of a lost and forgotten generation of talent and minds.

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Ideas from OECD's Generation Y and Z

The OECD launched a call for its staff from Generations Y and Z to voice their ideas on how countries can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and chart an inclusive and resilient recovery. Discover the 10 most innovative ones, capturing the younger generations' priorities for a better future.

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Consider social and environmental impacts

The social economy provides us with a credible mechanism to drive socially and environmentally responsible practices across the board, playing a repairing role in alleviating the crisis and transforming economic activity in an inclusive and sustainable way.

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Ensure a sustainable recovery

Cleaner air quality, healthier water, effective waste management, and enhanced biodiversity protection not only reduce our vulnerability to pandemics and improve resilience, but have the potential to boost economic activity, generate income, create jobs, and reduce inequalities.

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Enhance equal access to opportunities for all

To do this, we need to tackle the inequalities that existed well before this pandemic and are now getting worse. Governments have many levers to make this happen. G20 Governments need to keep acting boldly to make sure that the recovery benefits everyone.

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Deliver on climate commitments

In a post-COVID world, governments have a unique chance for a green and inclusive recovery that they must seize. Otherwise future generations will be responsible not only for repaying the massive debt that is now being built up, but also for shouldering the burden of dealing with future crises.

Explore the 25 actions to get us on track
Build better global food systems

COVID-19 is an opportunity to roll back the most distorting and wasteful forms of policy support, releasing scarce financial resources for investments in open and predictable markets and productive, sustainable, and resilient food systems.

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Focus on education

Addressing Europe's reskilling challenge
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Interpersonal skills to navigate the job market
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Influence of education and skills on health
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Recommendations for tackling the infodemic
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