Leveraging Youth and Technology for Governance Reforms

August 15, 2016 -
12:30pm to 2:00pm

Listen to the full discussion:

On August 12th, people around the world celebrated International Youth Day, marking the 17th year the United Nations designated a day to celebrate and reflect upon the enormous potential of youth to catalyze change in their communities and societies. 

To mark this occasion, the OpenGov Hub and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)co-hosted a panel discussion focused on how youth and technology contribute to governance reforms around the world.

Young people in any society are consistently the most adept at using and recognizing the potential impact of technology. And organizations worldwide are increasingly starting to engage young people as stakeholders with important feedback and innovative ideas to share to improve governance implementation - whether that be improving the quality of services that government delivers or policies that it makes. Youth engagement is also undoubtedly essential for achieving the possibilities of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

CIPE implements youth programs worldwide, from supporting youth have a voice in the policymaking process in Pakistan to providing leadership training for Syrian refugees.Souktel delivers custom mobile solutions that connect youth job seekers with employers in the Middle East and North Africa region. And OpenGov Hub member organization Accountability Lab supports innovative leaders and projects by innovative young people to bring more accountability to various issues in their societies.  


  • Blair Glencorse - Founder and Executive Director, Accountability Lab

  • Maggie McDonough Director of Programs & Strategy, North America of SoukTel (via Skype from Ramallah)

  • Giannina (Gigi) Raffo - Venezualan Fellow, Atlas Corps and Program Director, CEDICE

  • Maiko Nakagaki – Program Officer for Global Programs, CIPE (discussion moderator)

About the Panelists

Blair Glencorse is the Founder and Executive Director of the Accountability Lab, an incubator for creative, youth-driven ideas for accountability and transparency around the world. Blair leads the Lab’s strategy, outreach and development globally and spends as much time as he can in Liberia, Nepal and Pakistan (where Accountability Lab works with CIPE’s Pakistan office to examine the intersection of private sector and transparency issues). Blair is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Anti-Corruption and Transparency. Previously, Blair worked on fragile states at the World Bank and contributed several background papers to the 2011 WDR on Conflict, Security and Development.

Maggie McDonough leads Souktel’s relationships with clients and partners across the US. Before to joining Souktel, she spent over 10 years at international non-profit IREX, where she managed media programs and global new business development--serving most recently as the Senior Development Officer for IREX's Education Programs Division. Prior to IREX, Maggie worked at IFES (the International Foundation for Electoral Systems) on programs which focused on civic education, political party development, and election administration--and at USAID's Europe and Eurasia bureau. Maggie brings extensive experience in technical assessments, proposal management, and Middle East/North Africa project development to the Souktel team. Maggie holds a BA in history from the University of Michigan and an MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University.

Giannina (Gigi) Raffo is currently an Atlas Corps Fellow in DC for a year and comes from one of the most influential free-market think tanks in Latin America, Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento Económico (CEDICE), in Venezuela. While working as a Public Relations and Social Media Manager at CEDICE, Giannina helped to create and manage social media campaigns with high impact, and coordinate forums and round tables for the Public Spending Observatory, Economic Legislative Observatory, and the young core of CEDICE. In addition, she also serves as International Programs Director of CEDICE, where she coordinates the fundraising of international programs for women, children and youth. Giannina earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Trade from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela, and a Master’s degree in Think Tank Management from Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Maiko Nakagaki is a program officer for Global Programs at CIPE, where she oversees cross-regional projects involving youth entrepreneurship and advocacy, local governance, and digital development. She has authored multiple case studies and blogs on the subject of youth empowerment and economic growth. Prior to joining CIPE, she consulted for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Cairo to evaluate gender inclusive private sector development projects in the Middle East region. She holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a bachelor’s from Mount Holyoke College.

Image Caption: 
From left: Maiko Nakagaki (discussion moderator) and panelists Maggie McDonough, Gigi Raffo, and Blair Glencorse


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