Global Youth-Led Development Report Series - Report 2 - State of the Field in Youth-Led Development Through the Lens of the UN-HABITAT's Urban Youth Fund

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This report is the second volume the Global Youth-Led Development Series, a collection of themed papers created to expand the knowledge in the area of youth-led development. Youth-led development (YLD) is a term first popularized by Peacechild International to reflect a faith in the power of young people to contribute constructively to the good of society. YLD places youth at the centre of their own and their communities’ development, moving youth from passive receptors of development, to agents of positive change. Building on Peacechild’s definition, UN-Habitat in 2005 published a report leading up to the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, which looked at YLD as practiced by youth-led agencies. This report was a critical step in building an evidentiary base for YLD, as it focused on self-organized youth, and explored how these YLD agencies can become more than the sum of their parts through collective action. The report’s conclusions became part of the basis for UN-Habitat’s development of new YLD programmes, supported by the Government of Norway. In 2007, UN-Habitat convened representatives from its four One Stop Resource Youth Resource Centres based in East Africa to identify principles and promising practices for YLD. As the second volume the Global Youth-Led Development Series, this report seeks to expand the knowledge on youth-led development and agencies through investigating the functioning, needs, assets, and outcomes of youth-led development initiatives funded by UN-Habitat’s Urban Youth Fund. This report is an “engaged” research effort, in that it is not a hands-off, uninvolved approach to social inquiry; rather, UN-Habitat is deeply involved in supporting the health and well-being of urban communities, and in this instance, equally involved in supporting the role of young people as community assets and agents of positive change. This engagement is informed by, and subsequently informs, the types and levels of support that is recommended by (and often provided by) UN-Habitat. Further, this engaged research approach has spanned many years, and has involved a number of different, but related, investigations.


Carole MacNeil

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