Youth Mapping Study: DFID'S Approach to Young People

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This study was commissioned by the Youth Working Group of the Civil Society / DFID Network on Children and Youth. Its purpose was to assess the current approaches to youth in DFID’s development cooperation in both policy and country assistance practice. The study was conducted by a single consultant over a period of 30 working days, by a review of a substantial sample of DFID documents and interviews with a selection of DFID staff members (field and HQ) and partner organisations. Terms of Reference are at Annex A. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are among the most marginalised and vulnerable of the world’s poor. The extent to which they are affected by HIV / AIDS, unemployment and missed educational opportunities can result in them leading unhealthy, unfulfilled adult lives - if they live that long. On the other hand, youth represent a largely untapped resource for the contribution they can make - both to their own countries’ development and to the acheivement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) globally. They are both tomorrow’s leaders, parents, professionals and workers and today’s asset. Properly supported and given the right opportunities, girls and boys, young women and young men can play a significant part in lifting themselves, their families and communities out of poverty. Too often, however, youth are considered only or mainly as a problem to be contained; a threat to peace and security. While many of the rank and file of armed groups are youth and they are disproportionately represented in urban criminal gangs and prisons, youth are also the victims of violent conflict and of gang warfare.


Sara Maguire

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