Youth at the Centre of Government Action

A Review of the Middle East and North Africa

image of Youth at the Centre of Government Action

Young people have demonstrated resilience to shocks and led positive change in their communities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Young people (aged under 30) constitute more than half (55%) of the population across MENA, compared with 36% of the population across OECD countries. While challenges vary significantly across the region, youth unemployment rates are among the highest in the world, young people tend to express low trust in public institutions, and nearly four in ten live in fragile and conflicted-affected areas. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the need to place the needs of young people at the centre of an inclusive and resilient recovery. To support this process, this report analyses current governance arrangements and practices across 10  MENA governments in three areas: 1) uniting all government stakeholders to implement a shared, integrated youth policy and deliver services to young people; 2) building administrative and institutional capacities to mainstream the perspectives of young people in policy making; and 3) encouraging the participation and representation of young people and youth stakeholders in public and political life.


Ensuring public administrations deliver targeted policies and services for young people

This chapter analyses the formal organisation of youth affairs across governments in the Middle East and North Africa with a focus on the administrative and technical capacities within the ministries responsible for youth affairs. It finds that limited institutional and administrative capacities of these entities present a key challenge for more integrated and inclusive measures targeting young people. It also points to co-ordination challenges between different ministries and with non-governmental stakeholders. To support efforts to mainstream young people’s perspectives and needs across all policy areas, the chapter presents practices from selected OECD and MENA governments in the collection and use of age-disaggregated data and the application of public management tools in rulemaking and public budgeting.


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