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About the Program

GYAN serves as a coordinating platform for research and international development activities related to the education, entrepreneurship, mentoring, and leadership training of youth between the ages of 10 and 35. Based on preliminary research on youth in developing countries, GYAN is focusing on three priority themes, partner organizations, and regions.    

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population are youth between the ages of 10 and 24, and 87 percent of them live in developing countries. One of the greatest challenges facing these young people is unemployment, with six out of 10 of the approximately 120 million young people joining the labor market each year unable to find jobs. Efforts to support youth employability must dramatically increase and evolve to keep up with this rapid population growth.

Michigan State University’s Global Youth Advancement Network will build on MSU’s legacy of international engagement and create innovative solutions that will improve the livelihood of millions of global youth. In collaboration with other MSU programs—such as the Alliance for African Partnership, Asian Studies Center, and MSU’s #1 ranked program for teacher education—GYAN is increasing the university’s global engagement and building on the university’s land-grant values to address young people’s aspirations for sustainable global prosperity.

 Key GYAN activities are highlighted below:

 

Convening Thought Leaders

GYAN is working with MSU faculty and partner institutions to develop and disseminate case studies and comparative analyses across the globe of pilot projects that have positively impacted youth, particularly in the area of entrepreneurship, reproductive health and food security. Activities in this area include the facilitation of youth-led conferences; research and outreach projects; and support for social and business entrepreneurship ventures.

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Capacity Building

Activities in this area will occur on multiple levels and include capacity building of MSU faculty and faculty from local institutions through joint research and program implementation. GYAN is also focused on institutional capacity building and technical training of local NGO partners, government officials and young entrepreneurs. It also involves the coordination and implementation of livelihood activities with these stakeholders.

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Content Development

GYAN is working with local partners to develop educational content that is culturally relevant and appropriate to the language, literacy and local realities of target communities. Content developed through this initiative will reflect state-of-the-art pedagogy that utilizes participatory, multimedia and blended learning approaches and delivery mechanisms. This content will be shared with local educators, NGO partners and civil society organizations and used as instructional aides to increase young people’s access to life skills, vocational training and leadership opportunities.

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