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Youth Situational Analysis

Programme Management Tool


Young people constitute a significant proportion of the population in the developing countries, but their lived lives and living conditions differ widely from the rest of the population. In the process of developing country policy papers and thematic programmes, it is therefore important to employ a proper youth situational analysis to ensure a youth perspective and to gather sufficient information on youth-related issues. For an example of a youth analysis, please refer to USAID’s Cross-Sectoral Youth Assessment Situational Analysis for Ethiopia.

The MFA Aid Management Guidelines (AMG) templates for the formulation of projects and programmes include a template for context and stakeholder analysis (Annex 1), which includes a brief section dedicated to youth. The youth situational analysis is supplementary to the AMG and should always be accompanied by a detailed context and stakeholder analysis.


Youth Participation

A recommended approach to ensuring a youth perspective in the youth situational analysis is to consult and actively involve young people in conducting the analysis. Consultations with a representative group of youth3will often be in the form of focus group interviews, but youth involvement can be ensured by engaging existing youth organisations/movements as lead for the analysis or by including graduate students or members of youth advisory/sounding boards (Youth Situational Analysis) in the expert team conducting the analysis (Youth Situational Analysis).

Youth consultation and involvement will, among other things, facilitate:

  • Inter-generational dialogue and learning, bridging gaps between different generations’ assessment of priorities
  • Youth perspectives being included in analysis and validation of findings
  • Empowerment/capacity building of youth who will acquire new skills and an improved understanding of their own context.

Perspectives Supporting a Youth Situational Analysis

The following format represents a non-exhaustive list of questions which can help establish a contextual understanding of the national policy framework for youth and the main needs, priorities and perspectives of youth. Please note that the questions are for inspiration only they will need to be contextualised and possibly rephrased to enable young people to take active part or lead in the analysis.

Prior to conducting a youth situational analysis, it is appropriate to explore the opportunity of a joint donor analysis, as other donor agencies (e.g. EU, USAID and World Bank 2) may be conducting similar analyses.

The questions below should be combined with questions for a more detailed thematic youth situational analysis under the thematic areas: Growth and employment, Governance, Social sectors, and Peace and security.



Information based on desk studies and key informants. Key informants can, for example, be found in ministries or other authorities working with youth issues, youth councils and larger youth-led organisations.


What is the national age span for youth?                

What are the most relevant government institutions for youth?

How is youth generally viewed in society (e.g. as an opportunity, a challenge or a threat)?

Has a national youth assessment been conducted recently? If yes, what are the main findings relevant to the embassy’s engagements?

Is there a National Youth Policy? If yes, how was it developed and how effective is it?

Are there any other laws, policies or action plans of particular relevance to youth, and what structures exist to implement/enforce these laws, policies and/or plans?

What are the main national youth platforms? Are they regarded as representative of youth and as legitimate entities; i.e. do they have a democratic structure, are they open to diversity and do they have regional/local representation?

Are any larger youth programmes currently being implemented by government or donor agencies? If yes, what are the main areas/targets of relevance to the embassy’s engagements?


Information based on focus group interviews with youth



Who is regarded as youth in your specific country/geographical area; i.e. what unifies/diversifies youth?

What are your dreams and aspirations?

What key challenges do you face in daily life?

What do you think are the root causes of dissatisfaction amongst some youth?

Do you generally have a positive sense of identity and a positive attitude towards your future prospects?

Education and livelihoods

What opportunities are there for you to get an education/develop skills/earn money?

What challenges, if any, do you face to get an education/develop skills/earn money?

What influences (positively or negatively) your abilities to realise your aspirations within education and the labour market (probe participants to consider influencers from micro level (peers, family members etc.) to community level influences and the broader macro-level structures and systems.                


What influences your abilities to be healthy (e.g., risky personal decision-making, peer pressure, availability/lack of family support, availability/lack of health facilities, medications, youth friendly services etc.)?

Civic engagement:

What are the main youth led organisations in your area?

What opportunities exist at the community level for you to engage in civic activities (e.g., youth forums or advisory councils)?

What opportunities exist at the national level (e.g., national youth policies, youth parliamentarians.)?

What influences (positively or negatively) your abilities to engage in youth organisations/civic activities?

How do young people access information (e.g. via radio, newspaper, TV, internet or other sources)?


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