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Generic Terms of Reference for YSB

The following serves as inspiration for the preparation of ToR for YSBs. The specific ToR will vary depending on the intended role and scope of the YSB.2

1. Introduction

Describe the context for establishing an YSB, including the national/regional context in terms of youth population, specific youth-related challenges, as well as national/regional youth policies and international conventions.

2. Objective and scope    

State the objective(s) of the YSB. For example, i) to create an opportunity for young people to advise and have impact on policy, programme design and/or implementation; ii) to ensure that Danish programme interventions effectively respond to the critical challenges and opportunities of youth, and iii) to enable the young people to continuously hold Danida to account on its commitments to youth development.

Describe the scope of the expected YSB work. For example, the level at which the YSB will operate; overall country programme level, thematic programme or development engagement level.

3. Specific functions and tasks of the YSB    

Describe the specific functions and tasks of the YSB in relation to the programme or development engagement.

For example to:

  • Provide information on context from a youth perspective
  • Advise on the impact of programmes and strategies on young people. It will provide a forum to influence decisions through offering new ideas and solutions on issues that affect young people to maximise their development gains
  • Challenge through critically examining policies, priorities, programmes and strategies from a youth perspective. It will challenge and shape strategic policies by exploring their impact on young people, investigate how the office engages with younger citizens and point to areas that need to change to improve the relationship with young people in the future
  • Test whether the concerns and perspectives of young people are taken into consideration in decision making, on programmes and strategies. It will test the viability of pipeline and existing programmes that largely target young people
  • Ensure that young people’s voices are heard and listened to at each level and that interventions are relevant to and help develop youth as partners and leaders in development.

State expected inputs, outputs or products of the YSB. For example preparation for meetings, elaboration of briefs and/or minutes.

4. Selection of members

The ToR should include selection criteria for members, who will be identified and appointed by the embassy and selected among a broad range of youth-relevant actors from civil society organisations, private sector, media and research institutions with the aim of ensuring a broad representation. Selection criteria must be transparent and clearly documented.

Some of the issues to consider are:

  • Geographical coverage to avoid dominance of a capital-based elite is important to consider when selecting participants for the YSB, but it may not always be possible due to logistical constraints, or it may not be relevant depending on the level of programme that the YSB will address.
  • Diversity, gender balance and inclusion of disadvantaged youth, as well as possession of sector-relevant knowledge and experience are other parameters for selection.
  • Depending on the stage and/or level where the YSB is established, concerns regarding representativeness are pertinent. An YSB established at national level that is expected to address national policy issues provides input to programme implementation and monitoring, and evaluation will require youth representatives with a certain educational level and experience. A YSB established to follow a geographically confined DE may count on members with a lower educational level and a specific local and/or technical knowledge rather than a national policy experience.

5. Practicalities and conditions

The ToR should determine the frequency of the meetings; quarterly of biannually, and the durations of meetings (half day, full day, several days etc.).

The conditions of travel costs, accommodation, per diem and possible compensation should be established.

6. Budget

Include a budget with the above-mentioned expected cost items and any other relevant programme-specific costs, e.g. rent of meeting room, external speakers, entertainment etc.

Further Inspiration for TOR

Terms of reference for 1HMG3 Ethiopia’s youth advisory panel, DFID Ethiopia, 2018.

1 Inspiration for the development of this tool is from DFID Ethiopia: Terms of Reference for 1HMG Ethiopia’s youth advisory panel, n.d.

2 HMG includes FCO, DFID, MOD, DIT and the British Council



Ministry of Foreign Affairs


2 Asiatisk Plads

DK-1448 Copenhagen K


Tel. +45 33 92 00 00


In case of questions, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Global Youth Advisor, Thomas Rudebeck Eilertzen (