Monday, July 28, 2014


What will the Forum do?

We will collectively develop guiding principles for integrated youth policy development.

1. The key questions

The frameworks developed and adopted by Members States, UN entities, and regional organizations, such as the African Union (African Youth Charter), the Council of Europe (Advisory Council on Youth, co-management system and Ministerial conferences) and the Organización Iberoamericana de Juventud (Iberoamerican Charter of Youth Rights),[1] to advance youth issues stress the importance of putting commitments to action by developing or reviewing and implementing effective and inclusive youth policies. Key elements that need to be considered in this effort include:
  • Common denominators for youth policies: What should the main elements of a youth policy be? Are there common denominators of what a youth policy should include, such as youth legislation, youth budget, youth information policy, youth research, and inter-ministerial cooperation?[2] Should such elements cut across spatial levels, from local and subnational to national, regional and global? What should the role of regional frameworks be, both in informing national as well as global frameworks? Should a certain set of indicators be integrated in national, regional and/or global frameworks? There is clearly a need to develop a shared understanding of ‘common denominators’ as well as a coordinated approach by stakeholders including youth, government, civil society, the UN system and other development partners, in the development, implementation and monitoring of youth policy. This shared understanding should ideally include ways in which public policies define youth as well as key benefits, key rights and key protections that should apply to young people.
  • Coherent cross-sectoral frameworks: Youth policy, by its very nature, cuts across many policy do-mains. In most countries, however, legislation and policies affecting young people remain deeply fragmented. In recent years there has been a recognizable shift towards revising national youth pol-icies away from thematic silos towards cross-sectorally integrated policy frameworks. Devising re-gional and global mechanisms, tools and processes that can support the creation of such youth poli-cy systems and frameworks is going to be a key task of the coming years. Such support systems should help, among others, to adjust and expand existing methodologies for the development, im-plementation and assessment of youth policies in line with the emerging systemic and integrated approach to public policies for young people. They should also allow identifying effective and flexi-ble mechanisms and processes to translate and implement national policy provisions at the subna-tional, community or local level, across and within policy sectors.
  • Sincere participation and engagement structures: For youth policy to be empowering as well as ef-fective, youth knowledge, expectations, frustrations and aspirations must be brought in to inform the development of appropriate interventions and services. A youth policy that is developed with the involvement of youth stands a much greater chance of success, as interventions will have greater relevance for and legitimacy among youth. Youth participation in political processes also makes decisions more sustainable and easier to implement, while enabling young people to learn about and engage in democratic processes and at the same time developing and deepening democracy. Ideally, youth involvement would be framed by a set of mutually agreed principles of engagement.[3] In constrained political and social environments, particular attention would need to be given to en-sure that any youth policy ensures the inclusion and participation of the poorest and most disadvantaged young women and men.
  • Transparent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms: Public policies targeting young people are as much subject to changing circumstances as any other policy instrument. Monitoring which elements work in practice and which don’t is crucial to ensure adaptability and continued relevance and, through instruments ranging from peer assessment to external evaluation, provides the basis for ac-countability and transparency.
  • Sharing experiences and practices: As reflected above, countries around the world are at various stages of youth policy development and implementation, with multiple ambitions and varied ap-proaches, with different incentives and numerous frameworks – and in consequence also with di-verse results, some intentional, others unexpected. Platforms for international, inter- and intra-regional cooperation need to be created to enable sharing of experiences and knowledge, as well as tools and mechanisms, so that stakeholders and partners may together advance inclusive, transparent and responsive youth policy around the globe.

2. The objectives and outcomes

The Global Forum on Youth Policy emerges from the need to provide a physical platform for youth poli-cy stakeholders around the globe to discuss and respond to the key questions outlined above. The Forum will be a true global expert gathering of around 700 youth policy practitioners to give a new impe-tus to evidence-based, inclusive, participatory and effective youth policies.
The Forum seeks to address these five key objectives:
  • To advance a current overview of the state of youth policy and a reflection on the social and devel-opmental role of youth policies, particularly in view of the post-2015 period;
  • To develop a common understanding of the needs for and rationales of systemic and cross-sectoral approaches to youth policy;
  • To share experiences and examples of participatory and evidence-based youth policies, their ration-ales and realities, their successes and shortcomings;
  • To build a common understanding of guiding principles for integrated youth policy development and of the dynamics between concerned stakeholders at different levels;
  • To share plans for follow-up and to develop a shared commitment to take youth policy forward.
For each of these key objectives, the Forum aims to deliver the following related key outcomes:
  • A current overview of the state of youth policy and its relation to development frameworks;
  • A shared understanding of rationales underpinning and principles guiding youth policy worldwide;
  • A lively community spanning governmental, nongovernmental and research networks and experts;
  • A strong commitment of that community of experts to integrated, participatory policy frameworks;
  • A realistic set of follow-up activities with shared responsibilities to improve youth policies globally.[4]



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