Page content

Youth Empowerment, Engagement & Knowledge Project – SHABABEEK

Achieving sustainable human development is attainable only with full involvement of young women and men in their   communities and countries. With over 112 million youth between the ages of 15 and 29 – making up to 30 percent of the population in the Arab region, youth have the potential to drive significant positive change and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works across the Arab region through its Youth Empowerment, Engagement and Knowledge project, SHABABEEK, to create an environment that supports young people to lead in developing viable sustainable solutions that tackle the most pressing challenges in their communities. With an emphasis on the economic empowerment and civic participation of young people, the project seeks to highlight the aspirations and perspectives of youth and offer them opportunities to take on the role of innovative key actors in their societies. 

Together with our partners, including governments, civil society organizations and the private sector, we push for more empowerment and investment in youth towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, a common objective that the youth inclusion will help accelerate. 

30 K

Youth since 2015


Partners on the ground


Countries in the Arab region

Our approach 


1. Youth employment and entrepreneurship

In the Arab region, youth unemployment rates are high, and young people face numerous challenges when starting their own businesses. SHABABEEK aims to harness the creativity and dynamism of young people to re-imagine sustainable and inclusive economic models that work within the limits of our planet. The project supports development of policies, resources, and education to help young people become successful entrepreneurs to support that inclusive growth. To achieve this, the project plans to strengthen a network of public and private funding opportunities such as enterprise support, venture capital funds, and business accelerators. The project also recognizes the importance of creating decent job opportunities for young people in conflict-affected countries to promote stability. 

2. Youth civic engagement and participation

SHABABEEK wants to promote inclusive models for collective action that include the voices of young people. The project supports youth engagement in public life and policy design through the principles of co-creation and inclusion. The project plans to achieve this by creating civic education programs, strengthening youth-serving structures and networks such as innovation hubs and youth councils, and promoting the involvement of young people in policy-making. The project also seeks to enhance institutional capacities and ensure coordination between state institutions and non-governmental bodies to link youth objectives to broader national development goals and sectoral strategies. 


Our initiatives  



We work closely with our partners to co-create solutions for youth in the Arab region. In addition to our donor partners, SHABABEEK works with UNDP country offices in the region, UNDP Nordic Representative Office, and other UN agencies. 

Follow SHABABEEK on social media!