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Examples of Youth Indicators

Programme Management Tool


Donor agencies are increasingly focusing on youth. Yet only very limited data on the outcomes of youth programming is available, so the identification of the most effective forms of youth (mainstreamed or targeted) intervention is therefore often challenging. The ability to document and learn from the specific outcomes for young people is largely dependent on the design of the results framework, particularly the presence of indicators measuring specific progress related to youth.

Youth-related Indicators

There are no standard indicators for measuring young people’s development. According to the UN Youth Strategy, the UN will strengthen its knowledge production and management systems in the coming years by creating a comprehensive data tool for monitoring global, regional and national progress in young people’s development, using the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) and other indicator frameworks with continued efforts to expand the availability of disaggregated data.

With result frameworks designed to capture disaggregated data on youth, the embassies (and other development actors) will be able to measure and document progress relevant to youth and strengthen their youth approach and their ability to develop effective youth programmes.

Below is a small sample of outcome indicators aimed at measuring youth development. Please note that the indicators serve as inspiration only and must be adapted to the specific country context as well as the scope of the specific programme or development engagement.

Generally, the outcome indicators are phrased so that they focus specifically on youth, but most indicators are of a general nature and can be applied in interventions that have a mainstreamed approach to youth. Some of the indicators are copied from the SDG framework, and others are inspired by UN organisations, institutional donors or larger CSOs. Some indicators are based on data that in most cases can be extracted from existing national statistical data and surveys, whereas the perception/experience-based indicators require (context and target group) specific surveys and baselines; preferably managed/collected by the youth themselves.

In case of indicators requiring specific surveys (including baseline survey), there are resource implications which should be budgeted as part of the implementation. Nevertheless, such an endeavour may yield the most relevant data and learning on youth development.

Please note that it is simpler to develop youth-related output indicators measuring for example the number of young people involved in/completing a specific activity or number of young people gaining specific skills. Inspirational examples of (mainly) output indicators on youth engagement can be found on the USAID-funded website YouthPower.


Thematic area


Examples of outcome indicators

Growth and employment


Average income of youth (by gender/age)

Proportion of youth (by gender/age) dependent on assistance from family


Proportion of population (by gender/age) in education, employment or training (SDG-indicator: 8.6.1)


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) who experience that they have adequate livelihood/employment opportunities


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) generating surplus from livelihood activities/small-scale enterprises


Proportion of population (by gender/age*) with an account in a bank or other financial institution or with a mobile money service provider. (SDG-indicator: 8.10.2)


Proportion of youth (by gender/age*) who experience that they have adequate access to credit


*Typically, youth above the age of 18



Proportion of women (by age) in managerial positions (SDG-indicator: 5.5.2)


Proportion of population (by gender/age) who experience that local/national/ international decision-making is inclusive and responsive to youth (SDG-indicator: 16.7.2)


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) who experience that they can freely and confidently express their voice and hold government and duty bearers accountable



Existence of voter education/youth policy/youth quotas in decision-making bodies Proportion of youth voting regularly in local and national elections


Number of young people (by gender/age) elected to public office (locally/nationally)

Social sectors (sexual and reproductive health)


Number of services/facilities with improved youth-responsive characteristics


Proportion of women of reproductive age (by age) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods (SDG-indicator: 3.7.1)


Proportion of women (by age) who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care (SDG-indicator: 5.6.1)


Existence of laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access for women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education (SDG-indicator 5.6.2)


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) with comprehensive, correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS and other STDs


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) who experience that health services (including sexual reproductive health services) are accessible and youth-friendly


Percentage of youth population (by gender/age) achieving at least a fixed level of proficiency in functional (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills (SDG-indicator 4.6.1)


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) with an academic or technical qualification


Peace and security


Proportion of youth (by gender/age) understanding and being able to reflect on patterns of conflict and peace mechanisms in their district/region

Proportion of youth (by gender/age) supporting radical groups and/or radical views

Proportion of youth (by gender/age) who believe in youth mobilisation and leadership as a means to peace building

Policies and mechanisms in place to prevent young people from joining armed forces (before the age of 18), and in fragile regions initiatives reducing the incentives for migration





In case of questions, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Global Youth Advisor at [email protected]