The United Nations Development Programme in Egypt (UNDP), in partnership with Misr al-Kheir Foundation, recently held a two- day ‘Youth Social Justice Innovation Camp’ at the American University in Cairo’s Greek Campus. This came as part of UNDP’s effort towards the 2015 Egypt Human Development Report (EHDR), the theme of which is social justice.
The Innovation camp aimed at involving Egyptian youth in defining social justice and highlighting their perceptions on the subject. The youth camp utilised new methods of crowd-sourcing data for the report. The camp also provided a platform for young Egyptians to share their understanding of social justice, as well as to work together on developing innovative solutions for the issues identified.
Thirty public university students and graduates participated in the two-day camp and looked into causes of social injustice such as accessibility of public services, access to knowledge and unequal application of the law to citizens. The participants also worked on designing ‘out-of-the- box’ solutions such as alternative methods of education, inclusive community centres promoting innovation and creativity, as well as a mobile application for reporting poor public infrastructure.
The content generated from the workshop will serve as input for the EHDR. UNDP has also launched a nation-wide competition to submit papers on successful local experiments/initiatives tackling social injustice to include as many perceptions as possible in the EHDR. This is the first time that such an approach to data-collection and research has been applied to the design process of the EHDR. Similar workshops in various governorates around Egypt will be held to encourage participation and active citizenship that takes charge of shaping the future in their communities.
5 December 2014