USAID Launches New Policy on Youth in Development

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Office of Press Relations

WASHINGTON, DC – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced the release of USAID’s Policy on Youth in Development, the first Agency-wide guidance to recognize young people as a driving force in global development and promote youth participation as partners and leaders. The policy’s guiding principles support USAID’s efforts to mainstream youth in development, carry out effective programs, and elevate youth participation throughout the world.

With more than half of the global population under the age of 30 and a majority residing in developing countries, USAID’s release of the policy reinforces that young people must be a central focus when developing country strategies and recognizes the need to support, prepare, engage and protect youth today as well as harness the energy and creativity of young people for positive change. 

“These efforts will not only advance youth development and empowerment but can also help nations accelerate economic growth and capture a demographic dividend. Harnessing this demographic opportunity is not inevitable. It will require strategic, results‐oriented investments in youth today,” Administrator Rajiv Shah said about the new policy.

Through the Youth in Development Policy, the Agency will improve the capacities of youth and enable their aspirations so they can contribute to and benefit from more stable and prosperous communities.

The Policy on Youth in Development identifies, supports and promotes research and innovation by, with and for youth. Agency policies, country strategies and partnerships will be inclusive of youth and will actively leverage the skills, priorities and ideas of young people.

The policy joins a series of recent USAID policies that guide Agency focus in the strategic planning process on important issues such as gender equality, climate change and violent extremism.

Read USAID’s Policy on Youth in Development at

Last updated: September 18, 2017

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