Following requests from Pacific Island countries and territories to have their national youth policies reviewed, the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Development Programme have organised a workshop on formulating national youth policies and action plans.
The four-day workshop, which began on Wednesday (10 June 2009) and ends on Monday (15 June 2009), is being held at the CYP Centre in Honiara, Solomon Islands. It aims to tackle the challenges associated with designing and reviewing a national youth policy. Step-by-step training in policy development is a core component of the workshop.
The need for national youth policies is highlighted in the Pacific Youth Strategy 2010, the regional framework for youth development. Most countries now have a national youth policy. However, few have developed an action plan for implementing it.
‘The workshop will help national youth officers work more closely with regional and international organisations to ensure that their youth policies are in line with international and regional mandates, while still addressing national youth priorities,’ says Rose Maebiru, SPC’s Human Development Adviser for Youth.
‘It focuses on the process of developing a youth policy, translating a national policy into an action plan and engaging stakeholders in coordinating and implementing youth programmes,’ Ms Maebiru says.
The workshop will also help participants understand the roles and responsibilities of youth ministry workers in implementing, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating national youth policy action plans.
After completing the workshop, youth ministry representatives will be expected to lead the review and development of their national youth policies and action plans and to develop partnerships with national, regional and international agencies to support these actions.
To assist them in this process, CYP and SPC, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UN ESCAP), are developing a policy toolkit based on the workshop that can be used by youth development workers to guide them in developing appropriate policies and action plans. The toolkit will also be helpful in ensuring that realistic national plans are developed.
Paul Peteru, CYP Programme Manager, says participants will be able to use the toolkit as a resource to conduct similar workshops in their home countries.
‘This will be a further output of the Honiara workshop and will enable youth and youth stakeholders alike to enhance their knowledge of policy development and implementation processes.’
‘Ideally, technical assistance provided to countries on national youth policy development and implementation plans should also be a capacity building exercise for local youth leaders, officers and other youth stakeholders,’ Mr Peteru says.
During the course of the Honiara workshop, facilitators will gauge the requirements of participating delegates for other technical assistance.
Workshop participants include youth ministry representatives from Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tonga, Solomon Islands and America Samoa.
For more information please contact Rose Maebiru, SPC Human Development Adviser for Youth, tel: +687 26 01 97 or e-mail
or Tione Chinula, SPC Human Development Programme Advocacy and Communications Officer, tel: +687 26 01 57 or e-mail