DGTTF Forum on Youth and Development
RBAS Youth Workshop Tunis, Tunisia 31 March - 2 April 2014
‘UNDP supports policy and programming that aims to ensure that youth are informed, engaged and empowered to contribute to sustainable human development and resilience of their communities. The combination of youth and innovation has the potential to create solutions to development challenges and to transform societies.’
— Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP BACKGROUND
The United Nations Secretary-General has made working with and for young people one of the top priorities in his Five-year Action Agenda. Recognizing the importance of united action from the UN system to help advance work on youth development, the Secretary General appointed an Envoy on Youth in January 2013 and mandated the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development to develop a UN System Wide Action Plan on Youth aimed at a more coherent, comprehensive and integrated approach toward youth policy and programming.
For UNDP, the full involvement of young men and women in participatory processes is vital to achieving sustainable human development. In 2012, UNDP embarked simultaneously on consultations on the post-2015 development framework, on the preparation of its new Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 and on the preparation of its first organization wide strategy to inform on-going and future programming and policy development on youth. The strategy preparation process coincided with a growing number of regional and country initiatives on youth emerging in UNDP Country Offices, Regional Service Centres and Headquarters; an increased involvement with youth networks and youth based civil society organizations; and a greater solicitation by partners for UNDP’s increased engagement in youth programming and policy development. Inspired and informed by the UNDP Strategy of Response to Transformative Change Championed by Youth in the Arab Region, Youth 21 (March 2012, Nairobi), extensive consultations within the internal and external community of youth and development practitioners, and the approved Strategic Plan 2014-2017, the UNDP Youth Strategy is now expected to be approved by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
The UNDP Youth Strategy offers key entry points for systematic and coordinated action to support youth within an increasingly complex development context for their social, economic and political development. The Strategy is established on the basis of three principle outcome areas:
Outcome 1: Strengthened sustainable development pathways through enhanced economic empowerment of youth;
Outcome 2: Youth civic engagement and participation in politics and public institutions strengthened; Outcome 3: Strengthened youth engagement in disaster preparedness, crisis response, and resilience building in crisis and/or conflict contexts.
The strategy includes a four-pronged approach towards achieving these outcomes. With this approach –support, engage, influence, and sustain- toward achieving the youth strategy outcomes, and guided by core principles including participation and a human rights based approach, the UNDP Youth Strategy aims to strengthen youth development as an end in itself, as well as engage with and invest in youth for development.