Global Youth Initiative

Global Youth Initiative


The Global Youth Initiative is the first multi-stakeholder, global initiative aiming to ensure meaningful youth engagement and leadership in education policymaking

The Global Youth Initiative aims at addressing obstacles and bottlenecks preventing meaningful youth participation in a more systematic manner and at a larger scale, building on existing initiatives and lessons learned, drawing on the comparative advantages of key partners, and mobilizing additional resources to support youth engagement in education. 

Seven regional youth consultations held in Africa, Arab-States, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin-America, and North America were held to shape the initiative and take forward the recommendations of the Youth Declaration. The Youth Declaration, the first document of its kind and the outcome of months of consultation involving half a million youth in 170 countries, outlines the collective vision, proposals, and commitments from youth on transforming education. It serves as the basis of the Global Youth Initiative.

The Global Youth Engagement Indicator, which is currently in the making, will provide a measure of success and will be reported on annually, providing a better picture of the state of youth engagement in education at the national level. 

Strategies and activities

The Global Youth Initiative is based on the premise that transforming education systems requires strengthened youth engagement, which means that youth must have access to adequate technical and financial resources, must be offered opportunities to engage meaningfully in decision-making processes, and that youth and student movements need to connect among each other and with other stakeholders to create a global education movement.

As such, the Global Youth Initiative is structured around the following three main components:

  1. Youth Empowerment and Leadership: The capacity of youth and students, especially the most marginalized, is strengthened to help them become agents of change in transforming education in their specific national contexts. 
  1. Youth Engagement and Participation: Opportunities exist for youth and students to meaningfully engage and participate in all stages of decision-making processes. 
  1. Youth-led Global Education Movement: A youth-led global education movement is grown through increased collaboration and cross-fertilization among youth and student networks, and with other stakeholders. 


This initiative will be coordinated and monitored by the Inter-Agency Secretariat of the SDG4 High Level Steering Committee and the SDG4Youth Network, as the youth platform of the Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM), together with the UN Office of the SG’s Envoy on Youth.

A Youth Engagement Committee will be set up to bring partners together, take stock of progress and follow up on the overall implementation of the initiative. The committee will meet on a monthly basis and will prepare the reports to the SDG4 High Level Committee. 



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How to engage

Stay tuned for updates on how to get involved with the Global Youth Initiative. At this time, we welcome all public and private donors interested in making a difference for young people in education, to support the initiative.


Find out more about the Global Youth Initiative