The online consultation, intended to contribute directly to this report, took place from 11 October to 7 November 2011 using the IntenseDebate commenting platform on the website of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Participants were requested to share their own views, experiences and recommendations on preparing for, entering, and remaining active in the labour force. Throughout each week, one broad theme was explored − corresponding to a chapter of the present report − from a social lens and through diverse perspectives. UNDESA invited the participation of young people aged 15 to 30 − taking into account both the United Nations Secretariat’s definition of youth and many local cultural contexts and understandings − as well as representatives of youth-led organizations, although the e-discussion was accessible to all. The e-discussion was conducted mainly in the English language, but participants were also invited to post comments in the French and Spanish languages. Many posts were translated on a volunteer basis, and Google Translate was also made available on the platform.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) additionally welcomed contributions in the form of postings, votes and uploads of photos, videos and other resources related to the theme of youth employment onto the United Nations International Year of Youth Facebook page as well as messages (tweets) to the Twitter account of the United Nations Focal Point on Youth.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) engaged a consultant, Ms. Sarah Huxley, to manage and serve as lead moderator of the e-discussion as well as to prepare several chapters of the present report. Throughout the e-discussion, UNDESA and Ms. Huxley were also generously supported by volunteer weekly moderators as well as several volunteer resource persons.
The e-discussion was actively promoted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and other members of the United Nations Inter-agency Network on Youth Development, UN Academic Impact, and other partners and volunteers, including among civil society networks and through social media channels.
As the World Youth Report 2011 is based mainly on contributions to the e-discussion, it must be acknowledged that the report may not accurately reflect the average views of young people or the range of diversity among youth. Extensive outreach efforts were made to reach as many young people as possible, paying due attention to geographic, age, gender and other considerations, with information on participation in the e-discussion. Additionally, the “ways of working” contained on the e-discussion platform reminded participants to value and respect one another’s thoughts and opinions, and requested that, where possible, participants assist young people without access to a computer or internet services to also participate in the e-discussion.
The World Youth Report is a biennially recurring publication of the United Nations (see Resolution E/2007/26).