With a share of 36%, youth (12-30 year) represent more than one-third of the total population in Jordan. Public governance can support youths’ transition to an autonomous life and provide opportunities for their full participation in economic, social and public life. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit young people in Jordan hard and has underscored the importance of ensuring that young people have access to high-quality public services and opportunities to participate in decision making.

This report provides an analysis of the governance arrangements put in place by the government of Jordan to deliver youth-responsive policy outcomes, focussing on five areas: 1) Jordan’s National Youth Strategy 2019-25, 2) institutional capacities of the Ministry of Youth, 3) governance tools to mainstream youth considerations in policy making and service delivery, 4) youth participation and representation in public life and 5) youth-responsive legal frameworks. The report helps policy makers -- notably the Ministry of Youth, other line ministries, government agencies and their partners -- strengthen administrative capacities to deliver policies, programmes and services that are responsive to the diverse needs of youth. Ultimately, it should help the government empower youth and build trust in public institutions.

The report is based on replies to the OECD Youth Governance Survey conducted by the Ministry of Youth as well as several fact-finding missions carried out between 2017 and 2020 in Jordan. Preliminary findings and recommendations were discussed with the Project’s Steering Committee, most notably the Discussion Paper “Towards a new partnership between government and youth in Jordan” in June 2017, and the Key Findings Paper “Building administrative capacity to empower youth in Jordan” in March 2020 in Amman. The Steering Committee brings together youth stakeholders from nine line ministries, entities affiliated to the Royal Court, universities, NGOs and international partners. The report also benefited from focus group discussions with governors, youth directors and young members of youth centres at subnational level, notably in Greater Municipality Amman and the governorates of Aqaba, Krak, Irbid, Mafraq and Tafileh. Moreover, the report includes insights from youth stakeholders from Jordan, the MENA region and OECD countries gathered during several technical workshops, high-level conferences and the MENA-OECD regional youth conferences in 2017 in Morocco and 2018 in Tunisia.

The report draws on the evidence gathered by the Public Governance Committee (PGC), the Regulatory Policy Committee, and PGC sub-bodies as well on OECD Recommendations in the area of public governance. It is also aligned with the OECD Youth Action Plan (2021). It integrates relevant insights and good practices from the OECD report (2020) Governance for Youth, Trust and Intergenerational Justice: Fit for all generations? and the OECD Policy Response (2020) “COVID-19 and Youth: Response, recovery and resilience”. It compares current practices in Jordan against international benchmarks, with a focus on OECD countries and economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It also draws on the work in Jordan on youth inclusion implemented by the OECD Development Centre until 2018.

This report is part of the regional project “Youth in Public Life: Towards open and inclusive youth engagement”, which supports the governments of Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia in fostering a more active and inclusive engagement of young people in public life and in delivering youth-responsive policy outcomes, complementing work conducted by the OECD with the government of Jordan on open government and gender equality in public life. The regional project is financially supported by the MENA Transition Fund of the G7 Deauville Partnership and is implemented by the MENA-OECD Governance Programme, as per the priorities outlined in the 2016 Tunis Declaration and the 2021 MENA-OECD Ministerial Declaration. In the context of this regional cooperation, the OECD also published the reports “Empowering youth and building trust in Morocco” and “Empowering youth and building trust in Tunisia” in June 2021.

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