UNDP Youth Strategy 2014-2017: Empowered Youth, Sustainable Future

Democratic Governance Content Manager
on Thu, March 27, 2014 at 07.36 pm


Download UNDP's Youth Strategy HERE.


UNDP supports policy and programming aiming to ensure that youth are informed, engaged and empowered to contribute to sustainable human development and resilience of their communities. The combination of youth and innovation has the potential to create solutions to development challenges and to transform societies.
— Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP



For UNDP, the full involvement of young men and women in participatory processes is vital to achieving sustainable human development. In 2012, UNDP embarked simultaneously on consultations on the post-2015 development framework, on the preparation of its new Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 and on the preparation of its first organization wide strategy to inform on-going and future programming and policy development on youth.

The strategy preparation process coincided with a growing number of regional and country initiatives on youth emerging in UNDP Country Offices, Regional Service Centres and Headquarters; an increased involvement with youth networks and youth based civil society organizations; and a greater solicitation by partners for UNDP’s increased engagement in youth programming and policy development.

UNDP's Youth Strategy has been inspired and informed by the UNDP Strategy of Response to Transformative Change Championed by Youth in the Arab Region, Youth 21 (March 2012, Nairobi), extensive consultations within the internal and external community of youth and development practitioners, and the approved Strategic Plan 2014-2017.

The UNDP Youth Strategy offers key entry points for systematic and coordinated action to support youth within an increasingly complex development context for their social, economic and political development.


This youth generation is the largest the world has ever known. More than 60 percent of the population in many UNDP programme countries are youth aged 15-24. Their opportunities for communicating, acting and influencing are unprecedented. The challenges they face are unprecedented, too, from climate change to unemployment to multiple forms of inequalities and exclusion, in particular for youth belonging to vulnerable or marginalized groups.

UNDP’s first Youth Strategy 2014-2017 engages young people as a positive force for transformational change.

The strategy at a glance:

  • Three outcomes: (1) increased economic empowerment of youth, (2) enhanced youth civic engagement and participation in decision-making and political processes and institutions and (3) strengthened youth engagement in resilience building.

  • Ten guiding principles: human rights, gender equality, sustainability, national ownership and leadership, participation, innovation, South-South cooperation, volunteerism, inter-generational knowledge-sharing and working by, with and for young people.

  • Four-pronged approach: capacity development, advocacy and mainstreaming, thought leadership, and national policy.