Digital literacy can educate India’s youth


Furkan Khan is the Assistant Communications Coordinator for Restless Development in India. She is responsible for carrying out and executing communication strategies and mobilising communication channels for the young people we work with. On behalf of Restless Development she supported several consultations on the theme of youth and development in India, including the Big Conversation.

As the MDGs come to an end, the world is formulating a new set of goals, called the SDGs, which are aiming at putting an end to some of the great development challenges across the planet with the help of young people. Half the world’s population is under thirty and the size of this youth population is set to peak in the next few years. As the world enters ‘Peak Youth’, young people will become the biggest stakeholders in the new development framework.



Bobby Dean is the Senior Public Relations Coordinator at Restless Development and led The Big Conversation’s social media drive to get young people responding online. Below, he explains how Restless managed to get over half a million people exposed to The Big Conversation.

Half a million people. Well, 564, 759 people to be exact. That’s how many people come across Restless Development’s #WeAreRestless launch in a week in February for The Big Conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The relatively new communication team in the UK was tasked with making sure as many people as possible were aware of our Big Conversation so that they could participate in the global youth survey. We knew we had a big following on Facebook and Twitter but would have a task in engaging them in an interesting and sustained enough way to encourage them to take part in the survey. To do this we designed lots of cool graphics to catch the user’s’ eye and posted them every day for a week with a link to the survey.



Norah Omal is the Marketing and Communications Officer at Restless Development Uganda and she supported the Big Conversation by engaging Ugandan stakeholders through social media and organising meetings with Restless Alumni, partners and young people. In this blog she focuses on the outcome of Focus Group Discussions with young people, aimed at getting them thinking about the change they want to see in their communities, countries and at the global level.

In Uganda our goal was to involve as many young people as possible because they are the group being directly affected by negative sexual reproductive health outcomes, high rates of unemployment and poverty. As well as young people, we reached a mix of stakeholders, including community groups, partner and private sector organizations for a total of 511 people.

How the Big Conversation is giving South Africans a voice


Kekeletso Khitsane is the Youth Engagement Officer at Restless Development in South Africa and led the country’s Big Conversation process. In this post, she reflects on the communities she works with attitudes to National Government and how Restless Development South Africa will be adapting its strategy to support their needs.

Running the Big Conversation with my team was an eye opening experience. I had the opportunity to discuss development with a number of people in the Eastern Cape and learn how they felt about the issues they face in their communities. It left me wondering how the issues they are facing at the local level are really the issues that the whole country is facing.
As part of the Big Conversation we printed out 500 forms, divided them amongst the team and distributed them in the different districts we work in: Amahlathi local municipality, OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo and Amathole. At the same time we were running foundation trainings with our volunteers, so we took the opportunity to have a session on the Big Conversation with them and gave them the surveys to fill in.

Why a young Tanzanian is more likely to participate in our Big Conversation than the Election


Maimuna Mtengela is an Intern at Restless Development Tanzania and she leads the field implementation of our Iringa Young Reporters Network – part of our most successful project in Tanzania called MabintiTushikeHatamu! (Girls lets be leaders). In the second piece of a new fortnightly blog feature about Restless Development’s Big Conversation, she explains why young people would rather participate in The Big Conversation than the General Election in Tanzania.

“We will buy everything three days before election day, when election day come we will go early in the morning to vote and after that we will lock ourselves at home, this is for both of you”. That’s what my mother is telling us almost every time we talk about the 2015 Tanzanian General Election, which will be held this October.

How young people are leading the way to a new global strategy for 1.8m people


Ban Ki-Moon stated that young people will be the torch bearers for the next sustainable development agenda, so we’re holding him to that and placing young people at the heart of all our work. In the first of a new fortnightly blog feature about Restless Development’s The Big Conversation, Jack McQuibban, a young staff member in our London office, gives his insight into being on the Youth Strategy Team as Restless Development devises its next global strategy framework.

“The variations in political, economic and social inequality are too significant to be ignored.” Big Conversation respondent.

With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this year and their implementation as the framework for international development over the next 15 years, it is a crucial period in the history of our organisation as we continue to place young people at the forefront of change. Planning for the future is a challenge for any organisation, but when you’re on the ground in eight countries across Africa, Asia and beyond – responsive to the needs of 1.8 million people globally and remaining flexible in meeting their needs, it gets a whole lot tougher.