Youth Leadership Programme

Youth Leadership Programme


The Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) has built one of the most dynamic networks of young people in the Arab region, employing tools of innovation for sustainable development impact. The youth in the Arab states face many challenges related to their economic, political and social integration in to their societies. Over 60 % of the population in the Arab states is under the age of 30, and one third are between 24 and 29 years of age. These youth present a great, untapped potential for driving development and change in the region.

YLP’s mission is to invest in young women and men across the region to unleash their potential to become social innovators, leaders, thinkers and a powerful force for change in their communities, countries and the region at large. YLP equips youth with tools to develop their own unique and innovative solutions to address real-life challenges and further the 2030 Agenda and its 17 goals. More importantly, YLP encourages participants to be entrepreneuring changemakers, capable of developing their ideas from plans to practice.

YLP provides training and capacity-building for youth through workshops, innovation camps, hackathons and other activities. Human-centered innovation and Design Thinking methodology provide valuable tools for social innovation and tackling the complex development challenges in the region.

“Since its launch in 2015, YLP has run five successful cycles, and as the end of 2019, has worked with over 20,000 youth participants”. 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, Stanford University, Hult International Business School, and the European Parliament.

The YLP activities are organised at the national level in Arab states through/by UNDP country offices and youth-serving organisations. Additionally, there are two regional events per year, gathering together youth, partners and other stakeholders: the launch of the new edition of YLP in spring, and the Regional Forum in autumn, where the selected youth and national partners showcase their hard work and learn about the key themes of YLP that year.

“YLP is in every way a catalyst not only for our participants and partners but also for UNDP.  YLP has already made its mark on the region, drawing in top talent and empowering them to change their communities and their futures.  We know that when taken to new heights, this programme has the potential to transform the way youth can contribute to peace and stability in their communities and around the globe.”

Mourad Wahba, Regional Director, UNDP, RBAS.

Youth Leadership Programme (YLP6)