Restless Development USA

A strategic hub dedicated to partnerships which support youth-led models and approaches.

As a strategic hub in New York, Restless Development USA works to bridge the divide between empowered young leaders and development partners, funders and global policymakers, youth advocates and youth supporters.

Working closely with other Restless Development hubs, Restless Development USA has a special focus on economic opportunities and gender equality, while supporting cross-sectoral initiatives. The range of key players we work with—including UN agencies, global foundations, and leading coalitions and conveners in international development— allows us spark and enable change for youth-led development across the globe.

Aisha, a Youth Accountability Advocate, speaking with a health worker about family planning service provision as part of our Keep Your Promise project in Tanzania.

Our vision is to use opportunities, resources and power centers based in the US to catalyze impactful partnerships with the international development systems and people’s lives as well as support young people to demand a just and sustainable world for all. 

Our mission is to be a catalyst for achieving Restless Development’s global strategy through; policy influence, investments and partnerships, thought leadership and technical assistance on youth-led development, assisting all Restless Development hubs in achieving their aims, as well as sparking and enabling change, growth and improvements towards our global strategy and for youth-led development overall.  

Our Work.

Advocacy for Gender Equality.

Restless Development USA plays a key role in the agency’s participation in gender and feminist advocacy. We have supported young feminists and youth activists within the Generation Equality Forum by acting as a fiscal sponsor for the Young Feminist UnConference and building the Feminist Action Lab.

We have supported power-sharing and amplifying youth-led advocacy in forums like the ICPD+25 conference, Generation Equality Forum process, FP2030, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) among others. We believe young feminist advocacy should be centered in decision-making spaces and within advocacy agendas in order to achieve global gender equality goals.

Young Feminist UnConference

The Young Feminist UnConference was a youth-led effort that mobilized and engaged youth activists, youth-led organizations, and young feminist movement organizations as well as partners and allies to support their organizing, participation, and advocacy before and during the GEF in Paris in 2021. Restless Development was honored to help facilitate funding for this event in a responsive and timely manner. Young leaders were set to make this event happen with or without funds, and we helped to flow much-deserved compensation to the organizers and advocated for greater funding for youth advocates with key donors and partner organizations. Read more here. 

Feminist Action Lab

The Feminist Action Lab is a collaborative intergenerational open online course to support youth activists and advocates learn more about feminist advocacy and intergenerational activism. It was created in partnership with Global South feminists across many movements who came together to create video dialogues, learning tools, and individual study guides on seven themes including feminist technology, bodily autonomy, gender based violence, feminist movements, economic justice, climate justice and an action guide for how to get involved in local and global feminist advocacy.

Meaningful Youth Engagement Lab

Restless Development USA launched the Meaningful Youth Engagement (MYE) Lab in 2022. This is a new learning and practice community that brings together all the best of Restless Development’s consultation work on engaging young people in social change.

The Meaningful Youth Engagement Lab will bring together six US-based workforce development nonprofits with different levels of MYE experience and support them through assessment, training, and action planning on organizational change processes strengthening their youth-centered engagement in 2022. The first cohort of organizations are participating in virtual training on priority themes identified by their youth-led organizational assessment, followed by tailored mentorship and technical assistance.

Restless Development USA is excited to replicate this training for future cohorts and build or link with thriving learning and practice communities focused on how best to include genuinely youth-led approaches in social change programs.

Youth Engagement Network (YEN)

Restless Development is a core partner for the YEN, a learning network of sexual rights organizations and youth advisors, conducting innovative research and grantmaking on systems change efforts to promote optimal health, prevent teen pregnancy and reduce sexually transmitted infections (STI), particularly among young people who experience systemic marginalization or discrimination. With a focus on BIPOC, rural and LGBTQI youth in the US, the YEN network aims to address historic data gaps on the impact of meaningful youth engagement in SRHR programs in these key youth populations. The YEN integrates trauma-informed approaches, meaningful youth engagement, and innovative partnerships across academia, non-profit, and the youth sector to drive its work.


She SOARS is a 7-year consortium-led program in partnership with CARE Canada, Youth Coalition!, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Restless Development. She Soars focuses on out-of-school adolescent girls and their SRHR, access to CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and rights in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. The US Hub supports meaningful youth engagement throughout the project cycle by supporting the work of the Youth Advisory Board which is composed of young SRHR activists from Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. 


If your company wants to collaborate or explore partnership with Restless Development on youth-led research, youth-led accountability, improving youth engagement or any other shared goals please reach out to Lorraine.

Get Involved.

We are redirecting almost all of our resources, efforts, and networks to the fight against COVID-19 including the social justice issues exacerbated by the pandemic which have been on our agenda all along like racial and gender inequality. Our international youth-led programs help mobilize young people to fight fake news and online hate, dispel stigma, and support their governments and healthcare workers. We ensure every dollar is used strategically to build Restless Development’s impact far beyond just the sum of our parts as an organization. Join us in unleashing the power of young people to benefit everyone on the planet, today! 

Throw an event.

You can become part of the Youth Collective by helping to raise much needed funding for a global youth movement. Any individual or company can throw an event, no matter how big or small. Activities like a dinner party, concert, or run-a-race can all benefit Restless Development’s global projects!

Find out more.