Gen Dev traces its history back to a meeting young people at the Medsin National Conference 2010 in Swansea. Twenty young minds from a range of disciplines and backgrounds joined a workshop to discuss what should follow the MDGs after 2015.
The group issued a consensus statement tackling three basic questions:
- Should there be new targets, and if so what form should they take?
- Whose responsibility should it be to monitor progress toward any new targets.
- How can civil society in the global North and South engage to drive progress in meeting these goals?
Participants were in support of a broad set of principles to guide future development policy, with specifically locally-set targets, a stronger role in prevention of ill-health, and supported by a robust system of global governance. Civil society and local communities ought to be given a greater role in monitoring progress through local accountability systems.
“Civil society and local communities ought to be given a greater role”
Finally, it was widely noted that to create any chance of success, there had to be a new wave of North-South partnerships and public pressure to maintain the world’s attention on meeting the created goals.
Above all it was felt a global forum was needed, to gain the opinions of young professionals in the global North and South regarding the future of international development policy post-2015. As future participants and leaders in the field, the group felt it vital to represent the constituency that would inherit any future global development framework.
The workshop was reported on in the Lancet in a letter announcing the foundation of the MDG-2015 Young Professionals Forum. The Forum would aim to take a “collaborative multidisciplinary approach, involving students and young professionals from the sciences, medicine, and humanities, with the key principle of engaging individuals and groups from both the global north and global south.
“And so the forum was born”
And so the forum was born. Later titled Generation Development: The MDG-2015 Young Professionals forum, the vision for the group was set to ‘create a sustainable and inclusive movement that represents the voice of the next generation of international development professionals from around the world through the creation of a forum for discussion, debate and sharing of innovative ideas between young professionals from the global South and North.
Our eventual hope is to shape the future of international development policy by harnessing the voice of young professionals worldwide in advocating their demands from the political leaders of their countries.