Date : 28- 31 March 2019

Location: Beirut, Lebanon

The Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) was launched in 2015 as an initiative to build the region’s most dynamic network, working at the intersection of youth, innovation and sustainable development. YLP has run four successful cycles to date and, as of end of 2018, has worked with over 7,000 youth participants and supported around 5,000 projects. YLP participants have launched and established successful small businesses, won municipality elections, received recognition and awards for their innovative solutions, and presented their ideas at renowned universities and global platforms like the ECOSOC Youth Forum within the UN Headquarters in New York, Stanford University, Hult International Business School, and the European Parliament.

In 2018, YLP was recognized for its impact and work by the UNICEF Generation Unlimited campaign - a global partnership that aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.

As the programme has been successful and popular across the region, attracting immense talent and diverse skill sets, the plan for the next three years is to scale up and extend the reach to over 100,000 young people and 1,000 youth-serving organizations. In order to do so the programme is working on introducing a number of tools, platforms and ideas that will enhance the collective knowledge and bring people together on national and regional levels. The theme of this year’s YLP is “Explore, Experiment, Expand”: -

  • Exploring new mechanisms of support and capacity-building to advance youth development solutions, sharing of expertise and good practice;
  • Experimenting with new solutions and ways of maximizing the YLP network of youth-focused organizations, youth and development partners.
  • Expanding our knowledge by institutionalizing the YLP approach and developing an online Learning Facility.

The main objectives of the first YLP5 Regional Workshop:

  • Bring together selected youth-serving organizations to familiarize them with the vision, methodology, and the aims of YLP;
  • Discuss challenges preventing youth from engaging in politics as well as civic and policy dialogues;
  • Facilitate networking and knowledge exchange among participants to build their understanding of political, civic, and policy issues;
  • Explore and tap into new financial technologies and mechanisms to access investment for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Finalize National Action Plans (NAPs) with partner organizations to promote youth engagement.

Following the regional event, YLP5 will continue to provide access to technical expertise, networking, and financial opportunities for participating organizations and youth through the national activities, leading up to the second regional workshop.

The expected outputs for YLP5 2019:

  • Strengthening the capacity and skills of youth participants, enabling them to become effective political and civic leaders, thinkers, innovators, and change-makers;
  • Consolidating and expanding YLP’s network of youth-serving partner organizations to strengthen the ecosystem for youth-led innovation for development in the Arab region;
  • Creating a knowledge-sharing platform to provide youth and partners with access to innovative materials, methodologies, and tools related to political and civic engagement and social innovation.

Throughout the year the YLP regional team, through UNDP County offices, will work with partner organizations to implement the NAPs developed during the March workshop and conduct national activities from April to November, including preparation on political and civic participation and policy dialogue. Following these activities, there will be a second regional forum in the end of 2019 or as decided during the first regional workshop.

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