Press Release: International youth development community applauds USAID’s new Policy for Youth In Development

Contact:
Sarah Sladen: 202.552.6558 (Office) | 202.255-9030 (Mobile)  | [email protected]

WASHINGTON (November 1, 2012) – The Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD) today welcomes the launch of USAID’s first-ever Policy for Youth In Development as a timely and important demonstration of USAID’s commitment to an historic cohort of young people worldwide.

Half the world’s population, nearly 3 billion people, is under the age of 25; in developing countries, those in most need of assistance, that percentage is even higher.  Young people are therefore most affected by our world’s greatest social, economic and environmental challenges. First-hand experience has demonstrated however that youth are also our greatest untapped asset, and that actively engaging young people in development programming equips them to meaningfully contribute to the economic, political, civic and social lives of their communities and to the futures of their countries. Given the potential demographic dividend of today’s global youth population, the momentous youth-led events in the Middle East and around the world over the past year, and the persistent challenges of poverty, unemployment, health and conflict impacting young people everywhere, USAID’s Policy for Youth In Development is both timely and urgently needed.

As members of the youth development community, we valued the opportunity to help inform the Youth Policy over the last year through consultation with AIYD and InterAction members. We also applaud the youth-inclusive manner in which the policy was developed. From USAID’s emphasis on young people as partners in development to the global efforts of USAID’s Policy Task-Team to coordinate in-person and online consultations with young people to solicit their direct input, this policy sets an important standard for youth engagement for all government agencies and others who work in development.

AIYD believes it is essential for the international development community to identify and prioritize youth as a cross-cutting concern and to deliver interventions that address their unique needs and aspirations.  Elevating youth throughout program implementation, as USAID so wisely did with gender issues, will encourage implementers to look at more effective ways to engage young people both civically and economically.

Our community has long been committed to engaging and supporting youth worldwide. Today, we applaud USAID’s demonstration of support to young people with the launch of this new youth policy, which we see as an essential step toward prioritizing the needs and drawing on the assets of the world’s youth.

As advocates, partners and implementing agencies, we look forward to working together to bring this new policy to life, and to help ensure that it is a practical and useful implementing tool that generates effective development practice and outcomes for youth, and for all who work in youth and international development.

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The Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD) is a community of practice and advocacy platform consisting of leading U.S.-based youth and community development organizations. The Alliance provides an opportunity for engaged organizations and individuals to share and discuss effective practices, and to advocate for and inform policies that support and impact youth worldwide.

Our members include: Aga Khan Development Network, Amigos de las Americas, Chemonics, ChildFund International, Creative Associates, Education Development Center, Inc., FHI 360, Global Communities, Innovations in Civic Participation, Intel Foundation, InterAction, International Rescue Committee, IREX, Making Cents International, MasterCard Foundation, Mercy Corps, Plan International USA, RTI International, International Youth Foundation, Winrock International, Women’s Refugee Commission, World Learning, YouthBuild International

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Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD)