With 1.2 billion youth in the world, it is crucial that we meaningfully engage youth to create positive social change for themselves, their families, and their communities in order for everyone to thrive. Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a widely-accepted philosophy and approach that, when applied appropriately, ensures youth are empowered to reach their full potential. PYD approaches build skills, assets, and competencies; foster healthy relationships; strengthen the environment; and transform systems.
In 2015, USAID funded the YouthPower Learning project to expand the evidence base for what works in PYD and build the capacity of youth development practitioners, researchers, and other relevant stakeholder to apply PYD on the ground. Building upon that success, the USAID-funded follow-on activity, YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation (YP2LE), will deepen the integration of PYD evidence and best practices into youth programming, ensuring more sustainable change.
USAIDs YouthPower Learning project closed major knowledge gaps in PYD theory and practice, yet there is a continuing need to build, expand, and disseminate PYD evidence and learning more widely across multiple sectors. USAIDs Journey to Self-Reliance agenda requires a fresh perspective and forward-looking approaches to achieve systems change through effective integration of PYD principles and frameworks into local community and host-government strategies.