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HDNCY Working Paper Series

The majority of the developing world’s poor are children and youth. Although significant progress has been made in reducing income poverty worldwide, the fact remains that most of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) outcomes directly targeting the young are not likely to be met unless greater attention is paid to the next generation.

How can the World Bank build on its experience — and that of its partners — to assist countries in scaling up action swiftly and significantly in those areas where there is clear evidence of what works? How can we deepen global knowledge on those issues which have proven hardest to solve?

The Human Development Network Children and Youth Department (HDNCY) Working Paper Series examines issues of a cross-sectoral nature that affect children and youth. The series disseminates work in progress to encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas on policy-oriented topics in a non-technical way.

Cover: Youth Advisory Groups - New Allies in the World Bank's Work
No. 6
April 2008

Youth Advisory Groups - New Allies in the World Bank's Work

If the World Bank wants to be true to its commitment of scaling up investment in children and youth, it must not only work for them but also work with them. More and more, World Bank clients and donors are recognizing the potential of young people as development actors. Given a chance, young people can contribute significantly to the Bank’s mission of alleviating poverty through economic, social, and political development. Youth Advisory Groups are a promising, new Bank initiative that links youth and decision makers in effecting changes in their communities that benefit all. This report captures the experiences and lessons learned from this initiative and outlines the variety of approaches and activities possible within the Youth Advisory Group framework. The report also highlights the benefits to the World Bank of including youth in Bank projects and analytic work while the youth, in turn, gain competencies and leadership skills that can change their lives and make them agents of change in their communities.

The Role of Youth Skills Development in the Transition to Work: A Global Review [PDF-708KB]
No. 5
February 2007

The Role of Youth Skills Development in the Transition to Work: A Global Review

Policymakers worldwide are concerned with helping youth acquire the skills and competencies needed for entering the world of work and becoming productive citizens and providers for their families. Countries and households adopt and combine different approaches to acquiring skills ranging from formal school settings, outside schools in non-formal training programs, and in the workplace itself. This paper reviews literature from advanced and developing countries on the role played by skills in the transition to work and the economic outcomes in earnings and employment associated with the different approaches. Using results from rigorous program evaluations that control for selection bias, the paper highlights effective strategies for equipping youth with skills to make the transition to work, and for those who miss early education, it identifies programs that can offer youth a second chance to make this transition.

WPS no. 4
[PDF- 1171KB]No.4
February 2006


Young People in South Eastern Europe - From Risk to Empowerment

In South Eastern Europe, tapping the potential of youth is crucial for building more stable and cohesive societies prepared to enter the European Union.  The findings of this study reveal that young people in SEE have become more marginalized and vulnerable during the transition away from communism, their needs and potential unaddressed by policymakers.  They are less likely to finish secondary school, more likely to be idle and unemployed, as well as more likely to become heroin addicts, commit suicide, or become victims of homicide.  The study in particular points to the high vulnerability of adolescent boys and young men in ways that have been perhaps underestimated in the past. Social exclusion and disaffection of boys is directly linked to violence, which in ethnically divided societies might escalate and re-ignite conflict.

Improving Child Health in Post-Conflict Countries - Can the World Bank Contribute?
No. 3
June 2005

Improving Child Health in Post Conflict Countries

At the beginning of the new Millennium, almost one third of the world’s population was living in countries that were at severe risk of, affected by, or emerging from armed conflicts. The characteristics of conflicts— violence, poverty, food insecurity, destruction of health and other vital infrastructure, large population displacements, and the breakdown of family units—are ideal conditions for disease and trauma to proliferate. Children are particularly vulnerable. This paper first analyzes the direct impact of conflict on the health of children and the indirect effects on health system capacity. Effective and proven interventions that can reduce the adverse health impacts of conflict on children are described. The paper then presents case studies of World Bank operations in four conflict-affected countries. While each case study has its own setting and experiences, some common lessons are extracted. The paper concludes by suggesting what the Bank can do to better address the health needs of children affected by conflict.

Children & Youth: A Resource Guide for World Bank Staff
No. 2

Children and Youth Resource Guide for Bank Staff

This Resource Guide is a companion volume to Children & Youth: A Framework for Action, which outlines a vigorous course for the Bank to place outcomes for children and youth more centrally across all of our work. The Guide is intended as an evolving toolkit, building on the work of the Bank and its partners.

Children & Youth: A Framework For Action
No. 1

Children and Youth Framework for Action

This Framework for Action places the prospects and well-being of children and youth at the center of the Bank’s work. It identifies opportunities and risks, highlights gaps in knowledge, poses difficult questions and charts a path accelerating our work to improve the lives today of those who will inherit the planet from us tomorrow.

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