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Engaging Youth as Partners in Development

Engaging Youth as Partners in Development - USAID

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ENGAGINGYOUTH AS PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT
THE CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY:
The 1.8 billion young people living in the world is the largest adolescent population in history. They are not only key
drivers of future prosperity, security, and democracy in their countries, but they are also a vital untapped resource
today to meet local, national, and global goals. Nine out of 10 youth live in less developed countries and are affected
disproportionately by poverty, conflict, violence, unemployment and exclusion. Yet, evidence shows that if countries
invest effectively in their integrated development and engage them as partners in these efforts, this generation can be a
demographic dividend allowing countries to stimulate greater economic growth, democracy and stability, and reach
the 2030 UN Global Goals. The contrast is true if they remain marginalized.
OUR RESPONSE :
USAID launched its seminal Youth In Development Policy in 2012, outlining its commitment to how it works with and
for youth based on a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach which represents a paradigm shift to seeing youth
as assets and resources and working with them comprehensively, across various sectors, rather than focusing on single-
sector issues. While this approach is critical for effectively working with youth, evidence also indicates that this
comprehensive, assets-based approach also produces concrete results across sectors. PYD and USAID’s Youth in
Development Policy:
1) Recognize youth participation as vital to development;
2) Invest in skills, assets and resilience;
3) Foster healthy relationships by involving mentors, families, and communities;
4) Account for differences and commonalities among youth;
5) Create second chances;
6) Pursue gender equality;
7) Harness youth innovation and technology, and
8) Achieve sustainable results through stronger systems.
USAID’s Y-Dev policy is a systematic response across its bureaus and missions to build the capacity of staff, youth, and
partners from the public, private and civil society sectors to effectively engage young people and design programs that
ensure better integrated outcomes in terms of their multiple needs in health, education, economic opportunity,
participation and security.
Y-DEV STRATEGIC COMPONENTS:
Practice - Learning and Evidence: Using lessons from USAID’s and others research and knowledge sharing, we
support the scale-up of sustainable youth programs, within and across multiple sectors. We provide access to a series
of evaluations and what works documents on topics ranging from development of soft skills and entrepreneurship, to
fostering youth civic engagement, to adolescent health, and preventing youth violence and violent extremism. It also
works to develop a common learning agenda with other international agencies on engaging youth in development.
Policy Implementation - Technical Assistance to USAID staff and partners: We provide technical assistance
and resources to staff and partners through the Agency Youth Coordinator and the YouthCorps (Bureau Youth
Specialists). Through both an agency intranet platform and listserve, as well as the external www.YouthPower.org
platform resources and templates are shared and discussed. Common indicators focused on youth (F indicators) as
well as a broader list of youth indicators developed through YouthPower are also available to support project design and
reporting. A series of trainings and master trainers on Positive Youth Development work to expand staff knowledge
and use of new approaches to youth development.
Support to the field: The YouthCorps, Mission Youth Network, and Coordinator also assist with:
• Cross-Sectoral Youth Assessments
• Virtual and field-based technical assistance around policy and programming
• Partnership identification and development
• Evidence and data support
• Youth engagement tools and networks
• Youth-related Trainings
Resource Support: USAID invests a significant share of its annual multi-billion dollar budget in projects that focus on
youth in development. Y-Dev supports expanded implementation of youth-focused initiatives in which the Agency is
engaged such as President Obama’s Young Leaders Initiatives and Let Girls Learn.
YouthPower Mechanism: The YouthPower mechanism is a $475 million USAID Agency-wide project to strengthen
local, national, and global youth systems and programs to achieve sustainable, positive youth outcomes in health,
education, and political and economic empowerment and increase youth engagement. YouthPower has both an
Implementation focus and an Evidence and Evaluation focus to apply the learning that improves the ability of youth-led
and youth-serving institutions to design, implement, and assess the programs and policies that impact young people.
YouthPower’s Learning Network connects youth-serving initiatives, community-based organizations, international
donors, academics, and government entities engaged in improving the knowledge, skills, practices, and partnerships
around positive youth development. Together we are united in our aim to support the transition of young people into
healthy, productive adults. YouthPower also hosts communities of practice on: Cross-Sector Skills for Youth; Youth
Engagement; Gender and Positive Youth Development; and Youth in Peace and Security. www.YouthPower.org serves
as a clearinghouse platform for information on youth in development research and resources.
Partnerships and Participation: Y-Dev supports the development of youth participation mechanisms at the mission,
project, and global level through training of staff in how to establish these mechanisms or leverage existing youth
networks for our work in peace and security, food security, global health, workforce development, education in conflict
and crisis, among others. We also work with partners including the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Youth in
Development, the UN system, and private sector foundations and partners to develop a shared learning agenda, tools
and resources to advance our common work.
For more information: www.usaid.gov/youth youth@usaid.gov #USAIDYouth www.YouthPower.org To join our youth-
focused listserv, contact: mimccabe@usaid.gov

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Engaging Youth as Partners in Development

  • 1. ENGAGINGYOUTH AS PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT THE CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY: The 1.8 billion young people living in the world is the largest adolescent population in history. They are not only key drivers of future prosperity, security, and democracy in their countries, but they are also a vital untapped resource today to meet local, national, and global goals. Nine out of 10 youth live in less developed countries and are affected disproportionately by poverty, conflict, violence, unemployment and exclusion. Yet, evidence shows that if countries invest effectively in their integrated development and engage them as partners in these efforts, this generation can be a demographic dividend allowing countries to stimulate greater economic growth, democracy and stability, and reach the 2030 UN Global Goals. The contrast is true if they remain marginalized. OUR RESPONSE : USAID launched its seminal Youth In Development Policy in 2012, outlining its commitment to how it works with and for youth based on a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach which represents a paradigm shift to seeing youth as assets and resources and working with them comprehensively, across various sectors, rather than focusing on single- sector issues. While this approach is critical for effectively working with youth, evidence also indicates that this comprehensive, assets-based approach also produces concrete results across sectors. PYD and USAID’s Youth in Development Policy: 1) Recognize youth participation as vital to development; 2) Invest in skills, assets and resilience; 3) Foster healthy relationships by involving mentors, families, and communities; 4) Account for differences and commonalities among youth; 5) Create second chances; 6) Pursue gender equality; 7) Harness youth innovation and technology, and 8) Achieve sustainable results through stronger systems. USAID’s Y-Dev policy is a systematic response across its bureaus and missions to build the capacity of staff, youth, and partners from the public, private and civil society sectors to effectively engage young people and design programs that ensure better integrated outcomes in terms of their multiple needs in health, education, economic opportunity, participation and security. Y-DEV STRATEGIC COMPONENTS: Practice - Learning and Evidence: Using lessons from USAID’s and others research and knowledge sharing, we support the scale-up of sustainable youth programs, within and across multiple sectors. We provide access to a series of evaluations and what works documents on topics ranging from development of soft skills and entrepreneurship, to fostering youth civic engagement, to adolescent health, and preventing youth violence and violent extremism. It also works to develop a common learning agenda with other international agencies on engaging youth in development.
  • 2. Policy Implementation - Technical Assistance to USAID staff and partners: We provide technical assistance and resources to staff and partners through the Agency Youth Coordinator and the YouthCorps (Bureau Youth Specialists). Through both an agency intranet platform and listserve, as well as the external www.YouthPower.org platform resources and templates are shared and discussed. Common indicators focused on youth (F indicators) as well as a broader list of youth indicators developed through YouthPower are also available to support project design and reporting. A series of trainings and master trainers on Positive Youth Development work to expand staff knowledge and use of new approaches to youth development. Support to the field: The YouthCorps, Mission Youth Network, and Coordinator also assist with: • Cross-Sectoral Youth Assessments • Virtual and field-based technical assistance around policy and programming • Partnership identification and development • Evidence and data support • Youth engagement tools and networks • Youth-related Trainings Resource Support: USAID invests a significant share of its annual multi-billion dollar budget in projects that focus on youth in development. Y-Dev supports expanded implementation of youth-focused initiatives in which the Agency is engaged such as President Obama’s Young Leaders Initiatives and Let Girls Learn. YouthPower Mechanism: The YouthPower mechanism is a $475 million USAID Agency-wide project to strengthen local, national, and global youth systems and programs to achieve sustainable, positive youth outcomes in health, education, and political and economic empowerment and increase youth engagement. YouthPower has both an Implementation focus and an Evidence and Evaluation focus to apply the learning that improves the ability of youth-led and youth-serving institutions to design, implement, and assess the programs and policies that impact young people. YouthPower’s Learning Network connects youth-serving initiatives, community-based organizations, international donors, academics, and government entities engaged in improving the knowledge, skills, practices, and partnerships around positive youth development. Together we are united in our aim to support the transition of young people into healthy, productive adults. YouthPower also hosts communities of practice on: Cross-Sector Skills for Youth; Youth Engagement; Gender and Positive Youth Development; and Youth in Peace and Security. www.YouthPower.org serves as a clearinghouse platform for information on youth in development research and resources. Partnerships and Participation: Y-Dev supports the development of youth participation mechanisms at the mission, project, and global level through training of staff in how to establish these mechanisms or leverage existing youth networks for our work in peace and security, food security, global health, workforce development, education in conflict and crisis, among others. We also work with partners including the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Youth in Development, the UN system, and private sector foundations and partners to develop a shared learning agenda, tools and resources to advance our common work. For more information: www.usaid.gov/youth youth@usaid.gov #USAIDYouth www.YouthPower.org To join our youth- focused listserv, contact: mimccabe@usaid.gov