The coronavirus pandemic has had a particularly devastating impact on young people. The impact on jobs, education, and mental health have all fallen disproportionately on the younger generations in low income countries. But through their resilience and innovation, young people are also an important part of the recovery story.
With an understanding that COVID-19 will leave lasting scars on multiple fronts, especially on the younger generations, this project aimed to give youth in developing countries a platform to share their experience of the pandemic: the impact on their lives and communities, their ideas to support a recovery and their hopes for the future.
Through these stories we wanted heighten awareness of the challenges developing countries face in responding to COVID-19 and to highlight the specific obstacles facing young people. The objective was to build support for the World Bank Group’s comprehensive COVID-19 response strategy.
In a 2-minute video we asked young people aged 18-35 share how the pandemic impacts their lives and country. We divided our strategic social media roll-out plan in three phases.
What makes this project unique is the way it leveraged a global network of young people engaged in development issues. We were able to combine the diverse talents of our team to make this series stand out. Our social media team and film-making unit curated User Generated Content (UGC) with the highest level of post-production including bespoke graphic design and professional video editing.
In addition to the total number of submissions – over 100 videos in a month - the quality of stories and ideas are what made the campaign a success. Many expressed their concerns about interruptions to education, increased barriers to employment, and the rising cases of domestic violence and mental health problems in their communities. Young men and women from different parts of the world shared their ideas on good governance and civic engagement, financing programs to support businesses, investing in sustainable health systems, and building digital infrastructures for education and jobs among others.
We received videos in various languages and have ended up receiving more top-quality content than needed to support our initial objectives of building support for the Bank’s current work on supporting the response to COVID-19. We have now decided that this series will be used to promote the World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in October and will be a feature of the top-level sessions. In this way, the #YouthOnCOVID19 campaign has exceeded our expectations and will now be a central part of our institution’s most important annual event.