Naomi Docilait, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Naomi Docilait at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Mitch Kusy Committee Chair, Dr. Aqeel Tirmizi, Committee Member, Dr. Mike Valentine, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Mitch Kusy, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Aqeel Tirmizi, Ed.D., Committee Member
  • Mike Valentine, Ph.D., Committee Member


sustainable development, sustainable development goals, least developed countries, action research, youth, young people, United Nations

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The ambitious United Nations-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require the concentrated effort of governments, the business sector, and other key stakeholders, including women and youth, for its success. Effective leadership will be essential for different sectors to integrate these development goals into strategic plans and operational activities in the service of realizing this agenda by 2030. Unfortunately for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst economic outcomes in 30 years. For this group of countries, the pandemic has negatively influenced efforts to eradicate poverty and improve social outcomes. This setback makes achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 a more distant prospect for LDCs, which include 20% of the world’s youth. Although governments need to take the lead, additional stakeholders, such as non-profit organizations, including youth-focused organizations, are vital to achieving the SDGs. Therefore, this research study focused on the work of a youth organization operating in Haiti, and its alignment with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Using action research, this dissertation aimed to provide support for the prioritization of youth outcomes in the developmental goals of countries. The findings of this action research study underscored existing opportunities to improve youth outcomes in Haiti. The study participants agreed that previous volunteer opportunities, available to active and engaged members of the organization HAITI5, allowed the youths to get training regarded as work experience. Hence, the study participants designed an intervention to expand volunteer opportunities, and to provide more youths with professional experiences that could be leveraged in the recruitment process for employment. Also, the study participants considered the youth-focused organization invaluable to the professional and personal development of members and agreed that HAITI5’s commitment to developing the skills of its members through training should be incorporated into the designed intervention. The study results provide an understanding of measures undertaken by youths in a Least Developed Country to improve youth outcomes and the importance of partnerships with youth-focused organizations to make progress toward achieving the SDGs. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Naomi Docilait

ORCID: #0009-0004-6000-2187

Naomi Docilait is a public health professional with 15 years of work experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science and a Master of Public Health. Naomi works in international development sector, collaborating with local organizations to improve their health and well-being. Naomi is also passionate about working with youths and young adults in building their personal and professional capacities. As a youth advisor, Naomi encourages young people to be engaged in social change for themselves and their communities.