The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation whose membership includes 24 Pacific countries and territories in the Pacific Ocean, the United States and France. SPC works on a range of social, planning, public health and economic programmes to improve the health and well-being of Pacific populations.
Outside of Australia and New Zealand, there are 22 Pacific Island countries and territories, with an estimated total population of just over 10 million. Of those 10 million people, nearly two million are Pacific young people aged between 15 - 24, which equates to one third of the working age population. The youth population is growing fast, placing huge and increasing demographic pressures on basic resources and core services such as education, health and justice.
In addition to the population pressures, the Pacific faces other significant economic, environmental, social and political challenges. At the transitional stage of their lives, young people tend to bear the brunt of these challenges which can manifest in a range of negative outcomes such as teenage pregnancy, unemployment, crime, violence, and serious mental health problems.
What did we do?
Between June and August 2012 we developed an options paper. It described how a framework for the positive development and well-being of two million people across 22 countries could work. We did this alongside the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Pacific Youth Council, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Commonwealth Youth Programme, UNDP, UNESCO, the Pacific islands Forum Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund.
Between August 2012 and March 2013, we supported SPC to develop a first draft of the Pacific Youth Development Framework, involving young people, UN partners, member governments and people that work with and for young people.
An options paper that set out clear pathways the organisations could take to go about developing the Framework, in collaboration with Debbie Edwards.
A policy paper that outlined critical youth development policy issues that the new framework should respond to.
A highly participatory week long workshop for policy makers.
The first draft of the Pacific Youth Development Framework.
“When other agencies working in the Pacific region were distracted or sidetracked by the complexities, innovate change remained focused on the end product and the vision of how it would work.”
Mereia Carling, Youth Advisor, Secretariat of the Pacific Community