Three Resources to Empower Youth This World Youth Skills Day

Jul 13, 2022
Large group of youth environmentalists wearing USAID hats raise their hands and cheer after completing a cleanup project.Young Moroccan environmentalists from El Haouz in Marrakesh organized an environmental campaign to collect solid waste in three nearby villages. Supported by a USAID & Tissilt Association for Development as part of a water resource management project.

The skills developed in youth today will help the world build a brighter, more sustainable future. This World Youth Skills Day, USAID’s Partnerships Incubator is celebrating by bringing you the top three youth programming tools from the resource library and by highlighting some incredible organizations working with the next generation of global leaders. 

In 2014, the United Nations established July 15 as World Youth Skills Day to acknowledge the importance of training young people for employment and entrepreneurship. Nations around the world recognize this day to celebrate and promote efforts to engage youth in international development efforts to spur innovation and lasting change. In the face of a rapidly transforming world that is coping with both expected challenges, such as climate change, and unexpected ones, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the workforce is changing for the next generation. Equipping young people with skills to keep up with the evolving jobs around them is vital to their success, and the future of their communities.

USAID’s youth programs support the belief that young people’s full participation in development efforts can contribute to sustainable investments to end cycles of poverty; build resilient, democratic societies; improve health and nutrition outcomes, and strengthen economies. To support our partners in their vital efforts to train youth, we’ve pulled together the following resources from the resource library on youth development programming:

This toolkit provides guidance and resources for implementers of youth programming in low- and middle-income countries to integrate PYD principles into their work. This toolkit can support partners with improving their performance, contribute to PYD, and ultimately influence multisector outcomes and the impact of youth programming. Organizations can also benefit from the toolkit’s robust set of frequently asked questions and its PYD glossary.

These online courses created by USAID were designed for development practitioners who want to build their knowledge and skills in youth programming. The PYD 101 course covers the fundamentals, and PYD 201 takes that knowledge to the next level, asking participants to apply their learning through a program design scenario.

This guide helps practitioners learn how to assess the needs of youth and the potential impact of sector-specific, as well as cross-sector, youth programming as an early step in program development. Combining the use of both qualitative and quantitative assessment techniques, this guide provides instructions on how to conduct hands-on research to understand stakeholders’ knowledge, perceptions, and experiences regarding youth development needs. 

Bonus: Six Organizations Building Youth Skills 

Organizations around the world are making waves in youth skills development, equipping a new generation of leaders to take on tomorrow’s challenges. Below we have highlighted six organizations from the Partner Directory that are working in the youth development space. Get to know these organizations and explore the incredible work they are doing empower youth for positive change:

  • Entrena (small business) (Dominican Republic-based headquarters) - A USAID prime partner focused on vulnerable youth to provide them with the tools and education needed for entrepreneurship and social development.
  • MENAACTION (NGO) (U.S.-based headquarters) - Established by a group of Middle Eastern youth designed to advocate for the rights of youth in the region, focusing on issues of policy, advocacy, democracy, and human rights. 
  • ​​National Federation of Youth NGOs Nepal (NFYN) (NGO) (Nepal-based headquarters) - A USAID sub-partner working to provide a common platform for youth organizations to connect with similar organizations and initiatives; share opportunities and information; and exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices around youth development. 
  • Uganda Youth Skills Training Organization (NGO) (Uganda-based headquarters) - An Indigenous-led organization equipping youth with vocational and technical skills; contributing toward environmental conservation and management; and providing start-up capital, materials, and moral support to vulnerable youth.
  • The Global Fund for Children (NGO) (U.S.-based headquarters) - This global fund provides flexible funding and capacity-building assistance to local community-based organizations that support children and youth to reach their full potential and advance their rights.
  • Youth Development Labs (NGO) (U.S.-based headquarters) - A USAID prime contractor and global design and research organization working to improve health and economic opportunities for youth by designing, testing, and advocating for youth-driven solutions that address the biggest challenges to their health and economic opportunities worldwide.

Which resources have helped your organization train the next generation of development leaders? Nominate a resource to help expand our resource library with tools that can benefit organizations like yours. 

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