Restless Development has received support by Open Society Foundation to curate a thematic webpage on youth-led development on the Youthpolicy.org website. Building on the Youthpolicy.org website’s goal to consolidate knowledge and information on youth policies, the thematic webpage will be a platform for knowledge, best practice, case studies and information from relevant research, work, forums, conferences and events.
Today, half of the world’s population is under 25 – that’s over 3.5 billion people. Young people are one of the largest demographics in low and middle income countries. However, they are often overlooked as an asset in development and they lack voice and influence over the decision-making processes that influence their lives. In the last 18 months alone, we are witnessing a “paradigm shift” and there is increasing recognition of the importance of youth leadership and participation in development by international actors (UN and its agencies, bilateral aid agencies including UNAIDS and DFID, the European Commission, and major INGOs). However, the increased recognition of the importance of youth participation in development does not automatically translate into effective involvement of young people in decision-making: lack of coordination and information sharing mechanisms means that evidence of the impact of youth participation is not sufficiently shared, and that development organisations, donors and policy-makers lack access to quality evidence to inform their work and involve young people, a significant segment of the beneficiary population.
The thematic webpage on youth-led development will address gaps of knowledge and coordination amongst international development actors by bringing together evidence-based resources, good practice, toolkits and evaluations from youth-led programmes, articles, blog posts, creative media, case studies and research pieces produced by youth-led and youth-focused development agencies and young people in the North and South. The webpage will provide a hub of high quality information and resources that will:
- provide evidence of the impact of youth-led development, compelling relevant development actors to invest in young-led development and make policies and programmes more effective;
- make good practice available to development practitioners and policy-makers to inform their approach to youth participation, as well as to better understand the needs of young people and develop informed policies and practice,
- provide a mechanism to facilitate coordination, networking and partnership-building for organisations active in youth-led development
- allowing young people and youth workers themselves to make their voice heard by policy-makers, donor agencies and other practitioners
- enable organisations to showcase their work and be part of a community of knowledge