Investing in a Youth Dividend: An analysis of donor strategies, programs and funding for youth and livelihoods in conflict- and crisis-affected contexts
In recent years, there has been growing donor momentum around youth-focused programming with a focus on the role of youth in social, economic and political development, especially in conflict-affected countries. However, there is a lack of detailed information about donor policies and strategies and whether and how these strategies have been matched by an increase in funding and specific programming to meet youth needs.
The International Rescue Committee commissioned this report to analyze key trends in donor strategies, programs and funding to meet the needs of youth (aged 15-24) in conflict- and disaster-affected countries, with a specific focus on youth livelihoods development. The report is based on an in-depth desk-based review of available donor policy documents, program and project information sourced from donor websites or staff members, as well as interviews with donor representatives. It focuses on the major public sector donors that have worked on, with and for youth over the last decade. Annex A provides information on the policies, strategies and programming of individual, bilateral and multilateral donors.
In terms of overall approaches of donors to youth, the analysis finds that youth issues and needs are rarely mentioned in donors’ overall strategic priorities and plans. The exception is CIDA (Canada), which has recently made ―children and youth‖ one of its three core strategic priorities. Nonetheless, there is a number of overall trends in donor policy-making, which has implications for donor programs on youth in conflict- and disaster-affected contexts.