|Project Title||MY DATA: Mobilizing Youth on Data for Action and Transformation in Africa|
|Project Summary||VSFS interns will support the evolution of “Mobilizing Youth on Data for Action and Transformation in Africa” (MY DATA), an evolving network focused on directly engaging young people as champions in using data to address key sustainable development challenges, like ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.|
|Country/Region of Focus||Africa|
|Agency||Department of State|
|Number of Interns||5|
State Department’s Data Revolution for Sustainable Development Team (DRSD) is working to support global and national efforts to harness the data revolution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by 193 countries in September 2015 to address social, economic and environmental challenges, and leave no one behind.
Africa’s youth bulge presents both challenges and opportunities for achieving the SDGs. Young people are particularly vulnerable to social and health risks, such as HIV/AIDS. Yet, many African youth are energized to make a positive contribution, and represent a huge resource that can be mobilized for public good. Data is the perfect medium for engaging young people. There is enormous need in Africa to build capacity to generate, analyze, interpret and apply data to advance sustainable development goals. Working with data to improve lives offers young people an opportunity for civic engagement and involvement in important global and local goals, like ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, while fostering numeracy and literacy skills that can expand their job opportunities.
DRSD is working to connect a range of partners interested in engaging youth directly on data, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This effort is spurring a growing network of collaboration among these organizations and programs, which we are preliminarily calling “Mobilizing Youth for Data Action and Transformation in Africa,” or “MY DATA.” The sharing of best practices and partnerships that will emerge from this network will help enhance the effectiveness of efforts to engage youth on data to end AIDS by 2030 and address other sustainable development challenges.
VSFS interns will support the evolution of the MY DATA network. A key contribution will be working with networks of students at their own universities and connecting them with young people at schools and universities in Africa in common efforts focused on building skills and creating direct opportunities for engagement on using data to end the AIDS epidemic and advance related sustainable development challenges. Fellows may work with the Humanitarian Open Street Maps Team and YouthMappers Chapters to connect teams of students at their University and partner Universities in Africa in holding joint “mapathons” to enhance geospatial data on under-mapped areas in Africa with high HIV/AIDS rates, providing information to improve effective delivery of treatment and prevention services to vulnerable populations. Or, they may work with the 300,000 plus network of alumni and participants in the Young African Leaders Initiative to foster the development of sister “data clubs” at their universities and universities in Africa, and develop joint projects to produce state of the art data visualizations to support local decision-making that will help communities in Africa improve education, economic and health opportunities that reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
We are looking for creative, passionate self-starters who can bring their own ideas and energies to making MY DATA real!