Transformative Education
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Youth Forum in Dublin- What was that about?

Youth Forum in Dublin, what was that about? 

Ave Pold, International Association of Dental Students, External Relations Chairwoman

Last November a huge global health event, namely the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, was held in Dublin, Ireland. 

I had the chance to both represent IADS and be a member of the organizing committee for the inaugural Youth Forum. 


This event acted as a huge platform for interprofessional collaboration bringing together students and young healthcare professionals from all over the world.

Several organizations including IADS, IFMSA, JDN (Junior Doctors Network), WHO (World Health Organization), WONCA (World Organization of Family Doctors) co-operated in organizing for the first time ever a Youth Forum at the HRH event in Dublin. Our overall idea was to have a venue where young professionals and healthcare students from all over the world could meet, discuss global health and human resources for health topics and network with other youth leaders from diverse backgrounds. 

For several months before the event our Organizing Commttee had weekly meetings going through the applications, creating the Forum program and writing a Call for Action.

Finally, we accepted around a 100 healthcare students and young professionals to take part in this full day of discussions, simulations and workshops. The Forum started off with six round table discussions. In our roundtable discussions, the participants joined one of the tables to foster solutions among one area of work to promote health employment and economic growth. The goal of the discussion on the tables was to identify the role of youth in the given points of action. Members of the OC were responsible for moderating the discussions.

I chose the topic “Job Creation and Decent Work”. During my table discussion we covered three main issues- migration and job creation, youth participation and decent working conditions. All round tables consisted of an expert speaker, two youth speakers, moderator and participants. This kind of a structure created a basis for an open discussion followed by a Q&A session between the attendees and speakers.


Another interesting session we held was called “Health Labor 2.0: Rethinking Health Labor Market”. In this session the policy making process around health labor in four countries was being simulated, guided by the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Health Workforce 2030 and the recommendations of the High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. The delegates were distributed in four breakout sessions in which they were assigned a role to play. The roles represented the actors that are mostly engaged or should engage and collaborate in the policy making for health workforce. My scenario was a policy dialogue simulation in an imaginary Small Island Developing State.

We also had a Rural Family Medicine Café, a Health Workforce Innovation Mashup and many other sessions during the Youth Forum. By the end of the Forum  a Youth Call for Action was presented and signed by several youth healthcare organizations including IADS.

This document is very important as it is a commitment of youth to the human resources for health agenda to achieve better health for all and to support the path to Universal Health Coverage. During the main HRH event the Dublin Declaration was presented to emphasize the outcomes of the whole event and show global commitment towards solving the current problems regarding human resources for health. Our Youth Call for Action is a more detailed and strongly youth-oriented document. It was very warmly acknowledged by the organizers of the Global Forum and shows that the youth is interested in global health issues and is an important stakeholder to be considered with. 

As a very positive response, the Global Health Workforce Network (GHWN) together with the Health Workforce Department at the WHO initiated a thematic Youth Hub at the Forum. The Youth Hub is an intersectoral inter-professional community of practice concerned with youth employment in health and social care and aimed at engaging youth, working for youth and driven by youth to promote the human resource for health agenda at national, regional and global levels. At the moment the hub is in the process of recruiting members and finalizing their working plans for the future.

We at IADS are very optimistic about the Youth Call for Action and most certainly will give our best to help develop also the Youth hub. Interprofessional collaboration is the way to reach UHC and platforms such as the Youth Hub are exactly fit for the purpose.

I am happy to have been involved in organizing the first ever Youth Forum, drafting the Youth Call for Action and introducing the Youth Hub. Having been the sole voice of the dental students’ community during the Youth Forum, I understood that all professions in healthcare will develop faster from collaborating with each other and this is definitely a goal to reach globally.








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