6.2 United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

In October 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released its Youth Development Policy (http://transition.usaid.gov/our_work/policy_planning_and_learning/docume...), becoming one of the first donors to adopt such a policy and reinforcing the Agency’s focus on youth. This Policy aims to: strengthen youth programming, participation, and partnership; mainstream and integrate youth issues; and engage young people across Agency initiatives and operations. 

USAID’s Office of Education is developing a youth engagement framework to encourage and incorporate young people’s contributions to programming and policy. With a driving vision of “Helping youth prepare for and obtain the jobs they deserve,” the Office focuses on increasing youth access to vocational/technical and tertiary education and training, and improving the relevance and quality of youth workforce development programs, in support of USAID’s Education Strategy (http://transition.usaid.gov/our_work/education_and_universities/document...).

USAID’s Office of Microenterprise and Private Enterprise Promotion (MPEP) seeks to leverage economic growth portfolio activities to advance youth outcomes and economic opportunity. The focus of MPEP’s work will include: improved youth integration in programming for pathways out of poverty, market systems development, access to finance, private sector engagement, enterprise development, and entrepreneurship.

Committed to learning and to advancing the evidence base in the field, USAID has commissioned state-of-the-field studies on three themes: Youth Workforce Development, Youth Education in Conflict and Crisis, and Holistic Cross-Sectoral Youth Development. These studies identified key evidence gaps in youth programming, which will inform forthcoming research and evaluation in youth development. Look for exciting new work and efforts from USAID in this area.