1. What Is Youth Development?


Basically, a process by which all young people seek ways to meet their basic physical and social needs to build competencies, learn knowledge, and generate skills necessary to succeed in adolescence and adulthood.


Youth Development Practice is an approach to working with young people that intentionally help youth meet developmental needs, builds their capacity, and provide relationships and connections needed for their success.


2. What does the YDLC identify as priority youth issues?

Among all other youth-related issues, the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond identifies the following ten issues that ought to be of the highest priority to Governments:

    • Education
    • Employment
    • Hunger and poverty
    • Health
    • Environment
    • Drug abuse
    • Juvenile delinquency
    • Leisure-time activities
    • Girls and young women
    • Full and effective participation of youth in the life of society and in decision-making

3. What is the scope and impact of youth development?

YDLC focuses on developing leadership skills among a diverse sector across gender, race, nationality, and educational background and serves as a holistic developmental program for young people. The youth who enter the program are not viewed as “clients,” but rather as members of a politically informed and civically engaged “base”. The distinct youth services that are delivered by the youth development community involves skills training, teamwork building, peer and mentor support, etc.

The ultimate impact of youth development is both simple and profound: the engagement of large numbers of young people in leading successful efforts for positive community and systematic change.


4. How many youths are there in the world today?

There is approximately one billion youth in the world today. This means that approximately one person in five is between the age of 15 and 24 years, or 18% of the world’s population are youth, whereas the children (5-14 years) comprise 19.8%.

A recent survey has found out the following data:



youth population

% of global population


941 million



1.019 billion



1.222 billion



5. What roles can funders play?

Funders can directly support youth development through providing core-operating and program support. Moreover, it is essential to fund networking opportunities, support intermediaries, and leverage resources by involving other funders or supporting research that documents the field.

Program officers have a special role in this work. They should engage in and learn about the field; see youth development practitioners as partners; adjust expectations and strategy to accommodate innovation in youth development and provide helpful advice.


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