Ready to discuss youth policy? Today, we’re launching the Youth Policy Working Paper series! The new series will present research findings on youth and public policy from around the world for discussion and critical comment. The series includes papers on conceptual approaches and design issues, as well as on the impact of public policy on young people. The scope of the series ranges from insights from country or project studies, theoretical discussions of the foundations of youth policy, to the methodological challenges of conducting research on and with youth.

The first paper in the series has been written by Cristina Bacalso (Policy Lead) and Alex Farrow (Consultancy Lead). The paper titled “Youth policies from around the world: International practices and country examples” discusses the growing international consensus on principles for youth policy-making.

Read the full paper here.

The paper is rooted in the 1998 Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes, but is clear that principles and standards of youth policy development are an emerging area:

No single, unified framework exists that guides the design, implementation and evaluation of youth policies and the youth sector. However, there is a growing international consensus on a number of leading principles, reconfirmed by the First Global Forum on Youth Policies held in October 2014.

Moreover, it presents some country examples of the principles used in implementation. The non-exhaustive list of principles for effective youth policies discussed in the paper includes democratic and participatory; cross-sectional and transversal; coherent and coordinated; researched and evidence-based; fairly budgeted and financed; competent and professional; monitored and evaluated; and lastly, open and freely accessible.

Originally written ahead of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, the Baku Commitment to Youth Policies has now presented a more comprehensive set of guiding principles for youth policy development. To our knowledge, Mongolia will be the first country to adopt a national youth policy using the eight principles agreed in Azerbaijan by UNDP, UNESCO, Council of Europe and the Envoy on Youth. The paper concludes that:

It is the absence of commonly agreed denominators for youth policies and coherent cross-sectoral frameworks that has instigated this Forum, held in the autumn of 2014. It has brought together a variety of governmental and non-governmental actors to discuss the challenges of youth policy and build a common understanding of future guiding principles, which are expected to shape regional and national youth policy frameworks from 2015 onwards.

In 2016, the Youth Policy Working Paper Series will focus on youth policy principles, the global youth indices, the current state of youth participation and feature a special student edition.

The series builds on our research agenda, including our extensive national Youth Policy Reviews, snapshots of national youth policies in the Fact Sheets and the analysis of the global State of Youth Policy, as well as our in-country work with governments, parliaments and international agencies across the world.

Written by Ellen Ehmke

Ellen Ehmke

Ellen is a researcher and analyst with a special interest in policy and its implementation. A core motivation in her work is to overcome structures of inequality and – as well as by – strengthening democratic participation. Ellen studied political science in Berlin and Istanbul and is about to complete her PhD at the University of Kassel. She has been a student and youth activist since her teens.