Jordan’s First Youth Innovation Camp to develop an online game on local governance
- 67.8% of the Jordanians are under the age of 30.
- 29.51% of the population is ages 15-29
- 72% of internet users 5 years old and above use the internet for reading online newspapers and magazines, 86% for electronic games, 25% for training purposes, and 24% use it to seek information from governmen
- The two main social media platforms used in Jordan are Facebook, social networking space, and Twitter, micro-blogging website
- 12% of households in rural areas have internet subscription The highest age group using the internet is 15-24 year; who constitute 46% of users, 45% of whom are females.
- As of November 2011, there are over 1,8 million Facebook users in Jordan, 58% of whom are males and 42% females with 77% of these users between 15-29 years. There are also 16,886 active Twitter users.
- To access the project’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/youthparticipationjo
Youth Participation in Local Governance is a UNDP project of support implemented by the Higher Council for Youth (HCY) in partnership with UN Volunteers (UNV). The objective of this project is to increase youth political participation and civic engagement in local governance through multiple phases that will address lack of inclusive youth access to participation using an online portal and game on local governance.
Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), who will be responsible for the game and portal development, has requested that UNDP and other partners assist in the development of a ‘storyboard’, which will serve as the stepping stone to the launch of the game and portal.
The project’s technical committee which includes UNDP, The Higher Council of Youth, UNV, PSUT, and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, organized and held a Youth Innovation Camp from 12 - 15 September 2012 in Aqaba. 45 participants were selected from a wide pool of university student councils, political parties, animation students and youth activists. For UNDP, this project represents a first example of engaging youth in the planning and design of project outputs.
The camp introduced local governance and local development planning in their theoretical form but also concentrated on organizing segments that will enrich the storyboard of the game. Participants were divided in to groups of hypothetical municipalities and were requested to develop a campaign, agenda and to attract voters for a hypothetical municipal electoral process. Moreover, the camp’s agenda included an engaging discussion on the use of social media for political and social participation, as well as social accountability. Organizers concluded the first phase of the project with a brainstorming session on governance games and idea submissions.
Jordan's first youth innovation camp was organized with the participation of 44 young men and women. 11 females and 33 males, from different academic, political affiliations and different regions in the country were provided with interactive access to information on local governance structures in Jordan, local election processes, campaigning, public speaking skills, debate, accountability and social responsibility, as well as the use of social media for development.
The use of innovative offline games and role-play were used to introduce development planning and municipal elections, which enabled the participants to brainstorm ideas on the online game’s storyboard.
The Camp gave youth the opportunity to voice their ideas in the project development process, a new experience for all partners and youth themselves. As a result, both the online game’s storyboard and the content development plan are being developed in a youth-driven and inclusive manner.
The importance of social media in the follow-up and design of the project was highlighted; a Facebook page for the project was created. According to the Facebook insights report, the project has a high potential to reach youth age groups, yet more work should target ages 18-24 as well as females from all age groups. The project seeks to involve the use of social media platforms in the continuous development of the different project activities.
On the more technical and systematic levels, strategic partnership with Princess Sumaya University for Technology was established to develop the online game using the skills of animation students and professors and the sincere contribution of the relevant departments of the Higher Council for Youth.
In order to understand the status of Jordanian Youth, in terms of apathy and participation, a mapping study is underway, aiming to feature all youth initiatives by donor agencies, local CSOs and UN sister agencies. This report will enable the Higher Council for Youth to identify youth development gaps and strategize focus areas in future planning.