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Global Youth Council: Tech for Health



Today, young people aged 10 to 24 make up one quarter of the world’s population. Yet too many of them continue to face challenges in realizing their health and rights. In January 2020, the Global Youth Council: Tech for Health will be formed to provide independent insight and counsel to a global coalition on leveraging digital innovation for universal health coverage: Digital Transformation for UHC 2030. The Global Youth Council: Tech for Health will provide a platform for young people to shape and guide work towards achieving the universal health coverage (UHC) 2030 agenda. The council will be comprised of at least six members representing the six World Health Organization regions and will be hosted by Plan International Canada.

Alongside Fondation Botnar, the founders of the coalition include Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), PATH and Women Deliver. The coalition aims to bring together people, organizations and governments around the shared belief in using digital technologies to achieve UHC and will comprise a series of campaigns, programs and initiatives, with a particular focus on youth as agents of change. Learn more about the coalition here.

The coalition is supporting the creation of an independent Global Youth Council: Tech for Health. Members of the Global Youth Council will be appointed to co-lead the coalition’s working circles to contribute directly to its core work around:

1) Policy, Advocacy & Communication
2) Digital & Data
3) Network & Engagement
4) Resource Mobilization

The opportunity

Applications to join the Global Youth Council are now closed. We thank all applicants for their interest and will be in touch over the next few weeks.

The issue

Young people, especially young women and girls face structural barriers to accessing health services, including restrictive laws, lack of information about their own health; limited bodily autonomy; and stigma surrounding certain essential services. Health services and information for young people are key components of universal health coverage (UHC). This includes financing for health products, training health workers, de-stigmatizing sexual reproductive health, and ensuring quality and accessibility. With 87% of countries worldwide reporting to have one or more national digital health initiatives, digital technology can no longer be considered separately from health service delivery nor the potential for health promotion ignored. Digital technology should be recognized as a catalyst to achieving the UHC agenda— with youth voices and their expertise guiding how these new tools are leveraged.

Together with the coalition members, Fondation Botnar is supporting a 10-year effort around advocacy, communication and accountability for artificial intelligence, digital and frontier technologies as a catalyst for the 2030 UHC agenda. This new coalition calls for young people and youth-led organizations to have their say on how digital innovation can uphold quality primary health care for all. The Global Youth Council is a platform for young people around the world to amplify their voices, shape and contribute to the vision and mission of the coalition, and help guide a youth-led agenda around UHC 2030.