Young Iraqi activists participate in a UNDP workshop Young Iraqi activists participate in a UNDP workshop Photo: UNDP

By Dhafer Hasan, UNDP

What are the main challenges facing youth in Iraq? What do they need to deal with those challenges and how can they better contribute to their peers and their communities? These questions are being addressed as part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project which is aimed at promoting the active participation of Iraqi youth in life, society and decision-making processes at local, regional and national levels. 



As part of the Participatory Governance Program in Iraq, UNDP is working on a Training Needs Assessment to address some of the main challenges facing youth in Iraq by equipping them with the knowledge and skills they currently need.  


In April 2013, the project published an online registration form and started a Facebook group called Youth Café, which can be found on Facebook as Youth Cafee (!/groups/youthcafee/?fref=ts). 


The form served as a tool to identify youth activists from all over Iraq, and about 1,000 registered through it. Having served as a communications tool during the process, the Youth Café on Facebook currently has 1,524 members from across the country and will continue to accompany the implementation of UNDP’s project. It has also become a space for youth to exchange information and opportunities, and to follow the implementation of the project and the assessment process. 


In addition, five regional meetings were conducted in five cities based on the communication with youth. (Baghdad – 18 May, Babil – 7 June, Missan – 8 June, Sulaymaniyah – 21 June, and Kirkuk – 22 June.) A committee of young UN staff selected more than 80 youth activists (29 percent female and 71 percent male) from different governorates to participate. 


The result of this process is a Training Needs Assessment Report that will serve as the basis for the development of a training programme for youth activists in Iraq. About 70 youth will participate in a Youth Training Camp at the end of August 2013 that will include Training of Trainers, Project Management, and Youth Mobilization. 

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNDP

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