Main actors: World Bank
History of Engagement with Youth
By the early 2000s senior management at the World Bank had become aware that the bank needed to address the children and youth agenda in a more systematic and integrated manner. The Children & Youth Team was established in late 2002 within the Human Development Network to guide and foster coordination and partnerships that contribute to more effective children and youth development work.
The World Bank can engage with young people ages 15 to 24 to further the objectives below. The Bank is aware of the limitations of its definition of youth. An extensive discussion of this in relation to World Bank objectives is available at
- To provide the World Bank a strategic framework for action in the area of Children and Youth (C&Y);
- To support regions in developing, implementing, and monitoring C&Y operational plans;
- To improve coordination among sectors, networks, and regional work;
- To ensure consistency with companion development strategies in human development, social protection, social development, urban strategies, gender, and other sectoral groups;
- To provide effective and innovative knowledge management;
- To promote improved C&Y learning outcomes across sectors and countries;
- To contribute to shaping the World Bank’s collaboration on C&Y issues with other international agencies and donors;
- To raise additional funds; and
- To facilitate dialogue with children and youth worldwide, especially in developing countries.
Concrete figures are not available to the public for expenditures by the World Bank in the youth sector. However, marking the UN International Year of Youth (August 2010) the Bank has published information of their investments in youth-related projects (education, health, and work programs) in the last 10 years. In that time the Bank has invested more than $9.5 billion, only in 2010 – $2.3 billion). The World Bank has invested resources in activities to develop and consult on its C&Y Strategy and, as per the objectives of the C&Y Team, to support the implementation, conduct, and monitoring of operational plans for children and youth, regionally and locally. At the same time, young people are the beneficiaries of World Bank (co)financed programs, and youth organizations can make use of the World Bank Small Grants Program for local communities (see www.worldbank.org/smallgrants). The World Bank also runs the Global (Public-Private) Partnership for Youth Investment (GPYI) (see http://go.worldbank.org/NVHL1NT170). In addition, a World Bank loan has occasionally been used for the development of a national youth policy or elements of a national youth policy (e.g., in Macedonia).
More information available at http://go.worldbank.org/HVCA3FYRO0.
Major Agencies and Programs
World Bank Children and Youth Portal
More information about the activities of the World Bank to fulfill the objectives of its C&Y strategy is available on the Children and Youth Portal, the World Bank’s primary information resource for the public in this regard.
Youth Voices: Youth Consultative Groups at the Country Level
Following the initiative of the World Bank’s Peru office, Youth Voices groups have been established in 20 countries. The establishment of Youth Voices groups is—by definition—a country-led and country-owned process. The groups engage in a variety of activities depending on the country context. Generally, they are active in providing input to country assistance strategies and other policies that target or affect young people. In 2008, there were Youth Voices groups in the following countries: Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ecuador, Kenya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mozambique, Moldova, Peru, Rwanda, Turkey, Venezuela, and Yemen. Nevertheless, these are very poorly visible in the public information of country offices and programs, and the extent of their effectiveness/sustainability is far from clear.
The Y2Y Community
Y2Y consists of young World Bank Group (WBG) staffers, who are committed to and passionate about international youth development issues; believe in mainstreaming youth issues internally at WBG; and who are committed to the idea of forming a community of young staff within WBG to make effective use of fresh perspectives and ideas. Y2Y community members includes but is not limited to WBG Staff.
Y2Y coordinates a series of activities and initiatives including:
- Youth Innovation Fund (YIF) – small project grants to young WBG employees to design and manage youth development projects
- Global Youth Conference (as part of UN Week)
- Career Development Events and Initiatives
- Youth Focused BBLs and Seminars
- Y2Y Newsletter: The Young Staffer’s Guide to WBG Living
- DC Area Network of Youth Organizations
- Professional Networking Events
YouThink! World Bank Interactive Youth Website
This website provides information to children and young people about development related issues and provides them with them with the opportunity to present their ideas and debate about those issues.