European Development Days: “Better policies for better youth livelihoods”, 16 June 2016, Brussels
Youth are not all the same. Although governments demonstrate growing political will to respond better to young people’s needs and aspirations, policies often fail to reach them, especially the disadvantaged youth. To understand the complexity of youth livelihoods and better target policies, reliable and age-disaggregated national data are prerequisites. While too many young people remain excluded from decision-making, it is also essential to improve participation of youth in policy processes.
These were the main conclusions of the European Development Days 2016 session “Better policies for better youth livelihoods” organised by the OECD Development Centre in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The OECD, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council presented their initiatives in implementing programmes and influencing youth participation in policy making.
Today's world youth population aged 15-24 represents the largest cohort ever to transition to adulthood, with the majority of youth in developing countries being economically and socially marginalized. With adequate policies, these young people can be engines for economic and social progress. A targeted and participative approach is more than ever needed to identify the different needs of youth and design inclusive policies.