Youth Policies and Programmes

Over the past decade, several countries have initiated processes of designing and implementing national legislation and strategies focused on youth. However, most countries today have no public policy relating specifically to young people. Furthermore, even for those which have developed this rather new form of legislation, too often it is piecemeal and lacks a comprehensive approach to the challenges faced by the younger generation.

Consequently, there is a great need to share experience in this specific field of public policy and to produce tools to assist Member States in addressing youth issues systematically.

  • Empowering Youth through National Policies – UNESCO’s contribution

With a view to supporting Member States in developing and implementing integrated national youth policies and programmes, UNESCO developed a set of guidelines covering policy formulation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

These guidelines are addressed to national decision-makers of two main kinds: those wishing to formulate a national youth policy and those wishing to evaluate and improve already existing youth policies and programmes. However, we are not seeking to promote a template to be rigidly applied to every national context. Given the wide diversity of political cultures and political systems, countries need to establish their own priorities and mechanisms in order to create a youth policy that is authentic and relevant.

Download: Empowering youth national policies – UNESCO’s contribution [PDF, 479 KB]

  • Capacity-building programmes for national authorities and youth organizations

With a view to supporting national authorities in the development and implementation of a cross-cutting national youth policy, UNESCO developed a series of training modules highlighting the requirements of and challenges involved in ‘mainstreaming’ the rights and needs of young people as well as good practice examples of youth-adult partnerships.

UNESCO also works with a variety of youth organizations, thus supporting them in becoming effective and valued partners in policy planning, implementation and evaluation.


World Atlas of Youth Policies

Zoom in on the map to look at youth policies worldwide

This mapping of Youth Policies has been undertaken by the International Institute for Educational Planning in collaboration with the UNESCO Youth-led Social Innovation Team.

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