Youth and childhood

Children and young people, and the factors that affect their well-being, are often marginalised from development policy analysis and dialogues. 

A participatory photography workshop with youth in Ethiopia Credit: David Walker/ODI

More recently, however, a growing recognition of their critical importance for national development has been fuelled by global concerns about rising youth unemployment, rising youth violence, and a new emphasis on the need for a gendered understanding of the very different adolescence experienced by girls and boys. Our work aims to clarify this pivotal life stage in development progress.

The lack of adequate gender, youth and child-sensitive social policies and programmes means that some groups, such as adolescent girls, may not be targeted effectively by interventions – not even by those that are supposed to address their lack of opportunities or violations of their right to protection. We aim to provide clear evidence-based policy and programme recommendations around the inclusion of girls, boys and young people in poverty reduction and economic development measures and the promotion of their voices in development policy dialogues.