A Mapping of Larger Youth Employment Programmes in Developing Countries

1st January 2018
Author: Zenobia Ismail

This rapid literature review combines academic and grey literature to identify larger youth employment programmes in developing countries. The review identifies the countries, which have a national youth policy. There is no literature that assesses the sustainability of national youth policies. Rather, the literature makes general statements regarding the issues that governments should address in their national youth policy. The literature makes little reference to the scale of youth employment programmes and consequently there is no consensus regarding the criteria for determining which interventions are large in terms of scale. However, larger youth employment programmes tend to derive all or some of their funding from domestic governments (Fox & Kaul, 2017; Kluve et al., 2016). The literature concentrates on explaining the root causes of youth unemployment and advocating for holistic policy responses from national governments, which address both supply and demand side constraints on youth employment in developing countries (Filmer & Fox, 2014; Pieters, 2013). There are several impact assessments of youth employment interventions and a few comprehensive meta-analysis studies, which compare findings across a range of interventions. However, there is little mention of scale with regard to youth employment programmes. There is consensus in the literature that youth employment programmes which are partly or fully funded by domestic governments tend to be large-scale (Fox & Kaul, 2017; Kluve et al., 2016). The key findings from an analysis of Youth Policy Lab database are: Only 50% of countries in the world have national youth policies, National youth organisations are widespread in Europe and Oceania (over 90%) while they are found in 63% of African countries and in less than half the countries in Asia (49%) and the Americas (47%) (Youth Policy Press, 2014); and over 90% of the countries have a national youth authority (usually a ministry or department) and there are no differences across regions (Youth Policy Press, 2014).

Download Report
Suggested Citation

Ismail, Z. (2018). A Mapping of Larger Youth Employment Programmes in Developing Countries. K4D Helpdesk Report. Birmingham are UK: University of Birmingham


1st January 2018


Continent: Global