Kosovo Activate Talk: Youth and Adolescents in the Driver’s Seat

UNICEF Kosovo (UNSC1244) Programme is re-imagining the way youth and adolescents relate to the development agenda, equipping young people with methods, tools, and technologies to understand and solve challenges in their communities, and empowering them with the support, guidance, and resources to make their solutions real.

UNICEF Kosovo featured  young people who are driving change in their communities and the duty-bearers supporting their efforts:

Altin Ukshini – Free Libre Open Source Software Kosovo and Prishtina Hackerspace

Lander  Islami – Lokalizo

Albertina Monika – Say It

Peer Educators Network – Be a Man Project Representative


Young People Improve Through GPS Technology Access to Public Transportation in Pristina

With around 200.000 inhabitants (Kosovo Agency of Statistics, 2011), Prishtina is the most populous city in Kosovo. Public transportation in Prishtina is more than a “nice to have”: public transport is a component of ensuring equitable access to health, education, and other social services for a population largely unable to afford private transport to schools, clinics, and the like. Additionally, the use of public options would reduce the environmental footprint of transportation in a city where air pollution is a constant, pressing concern.

Some of the team members of Prishtina Buses project working on OpenStreetMap layers and technical side of the project. Photo credit: Samir karahoda

Some of the team members of Prishtina Buses project working on OpenStreetMap layers and technical side of the project. Photo credit: Samir karahoda

Prishtina Buses is a youth-led project incubated and supported by Innovation Lab Kosovo’s By Youth For Youth programme, which aims to empower young people to identify challenges in their communities and develop and lead solutions.  The project’s young leaders sought to improve and develop access to public transportation by addressing the absence of route and timetable information.  The project collected data via GPS devices on 16 bus lines and visualized the results using open source mapping technologies in an accessible public-facing web site.

Since its launch in January 2012, Prishtina Buses has seen tremendous use.  The project highlights the value of offering a cutting-edge tool to local institutions as a first step toward digitalization of the local public transportation network; most significantly, as a low-cost, high-impact project with a user-friendly platform and great potential to scale to other municipalities throughout Kosovo, this project is a perfect example of how youth-led initiatives, with robust support and mentorship, can create meaningful impact in people’s lives.

More information:
– Prishtina Buses
– UNICEF Innovation project: Public transportation in Prishtina


Post-2015: The Voice of Young Kosovo

Kosovo, 2013. With Bonita Salihu, Florent Reshani, Erza Shala, Rina Baftiu, Shpend A. Mustafa and Salih Salihu. Photo credit: Arber Gjoni

Kosovo, 2013. With Bonita Salihu, Florent Reshani, Erza Shala, Rina Baftiu, Shpend A. Mustafa and Salih Salihu. Photo credit: Arber Gjoni

The Post2015 Campaign in Kosovo reached out to 20,000 youths in 12 municipalities throughout all regions of Kosovo. The goals of the campaign were to raise awareness of the existing Post2015 Kosovo report drawn from the consultation phase, as well as to reflect on the findings of the report by providing a platform for debate. At the heart of the Post2015 Campaign Kosovo was the idea that the youths have a right to influence and shape decision-making. The importance of many individual voices acting together as a critical mass to influence the priorities for change in the Post2015 development agenda was the starting point of every encounter we had with Kosovan youths.

Over the summer of 2013, our Post-2015 team travelled across Kosovo, meeting with young people to get their feedback on issues ranging from social problems to their dreams and aspirations. Thoughts and opinions differed, but all of the communities we traveled to had one important thing in common: a multitude of passionate personalities keen to be involved in the project, determined to voice the concerns and the hopes of their communities.

The online presence for our Post-2015 debate in Kosovo was a vital strategy, especially our Innovations Lab and Post2015 Facebook pages, which proved a popular and easy way to encourage young people to participate. Young people were actively involved by writing blog posts or participating in Post-2015 sessions.

Kosovo, 2013. Post-2015 debate. Photo credit: Arber Gjoni

In an effort to enable young people to express their ideas to the world, Innovations Lab Kosovo hosted a five-day OneMinutesJr filmmaking workshop from 30 September to 4 October 2013, addressing multiple themes emerging from the Post-2015 debate in Kosovo.

Current plans are under way to collaborate with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prishtina, for students to create an artefact symbolizing the rights of young people to have their say in decision-making processes. It will be used to represent young people in public institutions in Kosovo, and abroad.

We couldn’t promise to implement their dreams but we want to make clear to young people in Kosovo that their opinion matters, that their voice is being heard, and the value of the contribution is recognized at the highest levels.

(You can access all post2015 resources through our website http://kosovoinnovations.org/en/resources-products)

Saranda Hajdari
Campaign Lead, UNICEF Kosovo
shajdari(at)unicef.org