Youth Leadership Programme 6: Decade of Action launch

June 10, 2020

UNDP Bahrain, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, is excited to announce the sixth edition of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) in the year 2020. This article contains all you need to know about YLP6 and how to be part of it!

What is the Youth Leadership Programme?


The YLP is an initiative under the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, launched in 2015 to build the region's most dynamic network working at the intersection of youth, innovation and sustainable development. The programme aims to empower a generation of young leaders, changemakers, and social innovators, to grow their capacity in tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their countries and the Arab region.

YLP has run five successful cycles and, as of end of 2019, has worked with over 20,000 youth participants and supported 7,000+ 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.

How YLP started in 2015

YLP is built on three core pillars:

Bahrain UNDP country office joined the Youth Leadership Programme in its third edition (YLP3). Since then, and through working with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs and local youth-serving organizations, we have slowly shaped the YLP experience in Bahrain.

Every country in the Arab region does YLP slightly differently, and in Bahrain, we worked closely with our partners to unlock the potential of young people in Bahrain and foster their active role in achieving the SDGs. We did this by developing our YLP participants' social innovation ideas through facilitating dynamic workshops and inviting inspiring speakers. The young participants would create groups that focus on a strong idea and work together to present it to a local judging committee, where the winners would then join the YLP Regional Forum to present their ideas and connect with other young social innovators across the region.

YLP6 and the Decade of Action

2020 is a remarkable year in many ways. Unforeseen changes have happened in our societies due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the ways we are working together and socializing. Staying at home and social distancing have become part of our everyday life.

We believe that young people can be in the forefront in responding to pandemics and in supporting the recovery of their communities and societies. Many are already active as health workers and community leaders, whereas others are developing innovative solutions to support vulnerable populations or building low-cost health devices such as face masks.

However, in the middle of the immediate response, we need to keep the long-term development challenges in mind. The COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, yet its creating an opportunity for building our communities back better.

In 2020, with a Decade of Action to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda, YLP6 is looking closely at Three Key Topics:

Climate Change (SDG13) is one of the most complex and pressing issues we are facing as a global community. The climate has always gone through changes in the past, only today it is in rapid change, that is making it harder for human communities to adapt to an increase in global temperature (as we can feel here in the Gulf), a rise in sea levels, and the sharp degradation of nature’s ecosystems that our human civilizations rely on.

Climate Action means to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, reverse ecological degradation, mitigate adverse environmental changes, and develop resilient and adaptive strategies for a changing climate.

SDG16 is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.

Civic Engagement means to be involved in making a difference in the civic life of your community, through engaging with national strategies, policies, and implementation. We believe that to achieve change, youth need to actively engage in the national dialogue in Bahrain, to share their voice and be part of policy development.

COVID-19 has suddenly exposed fundamental weaknesses in our global system. It has shown beyond doubt how the prevalence of poverty, weak health systems, lack of education, and above all sub-optimal global cooperation, is exacerbating the crisis. Achieving the SDGs will put us on a solid foundation and a firm path to dealing with global health risks and emerging infectious diseases.

Tackling Pandemics means to strengthen our health response systems, developing effective collaboration strategies, and building back better to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks.

Guided by our exploration of these topics, we are going further in developing Bahrain’s youth capacity in personal development, self-awareness, critical thinking, collaborative leadership, and holistic problem-solving to tackle the challenges we face here in Bahrain and in the Arab region. YLP6 will be focusing on expanding and learning from young people’s perspective and mindset on the world, and creating a space for their creative ideas to grow and thrive. 

Our YLP6 Objectives

YLP6 Bahrain is developed and implemented through the collaboration with and support of the YLP regional team, located in Amman.

This year’s YLP6 is planned and implemented through a close collaboration of the National Committee: A team of young representatives from UNDP Bahrain, the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, Ayadi Relief, Rotaract Club of Bahrain, AIESEC Bahrain, Global Shapers Manama Hub, and YLP5 Alumni,

Join our YLP6 Journey

We are inviting Bahrain’s youth to join our YLP6 journey this year!

The programme will consist of two main parts. The YLP6 Experience stage and the Teams Mentorship stage. Each stage ends with an event, the SDGs Challenge and the YLP6 Regional Forum (respectively). The third stage of Reflections will bring the participants back together to share and give feedback on their YLP6 experience.

The year at a glance:

YLP6 Experience

After selecting successful applicants to join YLP6, the main experience starts mid July, The series of workshops will include:

  • A deep dive into the SDGs and how it affects us
  • Understand the social innovation ecosystem in Bahrain
  • Explore the challenges we face in Bahrain and in the region
  • Develop yourself and discover how you can participate in changing the world
  • Learn how to use design-thinking and critical analysis for social good
  • Collaborate effectively with others and learn about team dynamics
  • Create a team and develop your social innovation idea

SDGs Challenge

By the end of the YLP6 Experience, participants will have grouped together in teams, focusing on developing their social innovation idea. The teams will then present their ideas to a judging panel at the SDGs Challenge event. The winning teams will proceed to the next stage.

Teams Mentorship

Once we select the winning teams, we will further develop the capacity of the participants and mature their idea in the Teams Mentorship stage, This will include:

  • Gain mentoring with experts appropriate to your team’s idea
  • Develop your leadership and teaching capacity
  • Learn how to facilitate dynamic and engaging workshops
  • Enhance your technical and presentation skills
  • Join the YLP6 Regional Forum!

YLP6 Regional Forum

Every year, the YLP ends with a regional forum where successful youth participants travel to a hosting Arab country. YLP participants get to meet youth from all around the Arab region, share knowledge, learn from each others’ ideas, and network with other young people, regional social innovation experts and policy leaders, and international development organizations. The format and date of the Regional Forum will be defined at a later time, depending on the COVID-19 situation in the region.


It is important to understand the real impact of the YLP6 on the participants, and create a space where we can share our experience of the programme. During this stage, all YLP6 participants will come together to reflect on their learnings, share their feedback, how to keep connected, and how to continue to work together on achieving the Agenda 2030.

YLP6 participation criteria:

  • Age between 19 – 29 years old
  • Fluency in English and Arabic language
  • High motivation and interest in collaboration for social innovation
  • Passion to create positive change to global challenges in the local context
  • Capability and willingness to participate actively throughout the programme
  • Both experienced and inexperienced participants are encouraged to apply

Apply here to join the Youth Leadership Programme 6!
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