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Global Power Shifts: Political and Economic Inclusion for the Next Generation
Collaborating to Realise the Potential of the Demographic Dividend

GDL Incubator Lab (10th Lab): from 16 to 19 June 2019, Accra

The 2019 curriculum

The 2019 curriculum of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) is developed and implemented in partnership with the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany as its challenge holder.

Both the GDL and the Federal Foreign Office acknowledge that population dynamics are an essential global factor that is impacting cities, states and continents. We recognise that demographic growth brings benefits and challenges which are viewed differently by global, continental and local actors. Hence arriving at a common understanding and generating synergies that enable political and economic inclusion for the next generation are not self-evident.

The overall aim of the 2019 curriculum is to investigate the potential of realising the demographic dividend in Africa, and thereby to examine how new formats for international collaboration can help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively. The particular aim is to experiment with new approaches which can enable states to work collaboratively to realise collective goals on the topic of population dynamics. Our work in 2019 will contribute directly to SDG 17, whose focus is strengthening partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda.

The 2019 curriculum is implemented over five phases with an Incubator Lab (16-19 June 2019 in Accra) and an Impact Lab (27-30 October 2019 in Berlin) as key elements. The design of activities in each phase varies from member-to-member communication and larger webinars to Lab experiences and the implementation of projects.

The Incubator Lab

The Incubator Lab in Accra will focus on generating a better understanding of the global frameworks that govern the discourse on population dynamics and the ways in which these structures attempt to support economic development. In particular, we will explore how the perspectives and narratives of different stakeholders influence the possibility of Africa achieving a demographic dividend.

In Accra, participants will learn about this collaboration challenge from lived experiences and through methods, such as storytelling. Moreover, they will contrast the pan-African perspective with those from other regions in the world. Learning about the African approach to dialogue and discourse and its inclusivity on a complicated subject such as population growth and contrasting it with existing approaches in the global north, we are aiming to trigger new methods for collaborative solutions.

Suggestions for realising a demographic dividend so far include: discourse on the thematic areas of focus defined by “ICPD beyond 2014 Global Report” – Dignity and Human Rights, Health, Mobility and Place, Governance and Accountability, and Sustainability. In addition, we will address the work carried out by three divisions of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) – the Population Division, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals, and the Economic Analysis and Policy Division. On this basis we hope to understand how this discourse translates into practical policy, and the impact at community level. GDL members, the challenge holder and guests will strive to identify, based on the lived experiences of the stakeholders, the reasons why it is difficult to collaborate to achieve the demographic dividend.

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