The Commonwealth Secretariat places special emphasis on supporting young people to design and drive youth-led initiatives.
We provide technical assistance and support for national, regional and global youth networks from such as the Commonwealth Youth Council and the Commonwealth Students Association.
View list of Youth Networks
The Commonwealth Secretariat convenes a four-yearly Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM), including a Youth Leaders Forum and Stakeholders Forum.
The meeting enables government ministers and senior officials to share good practices, debate emerging issues, take stock of pioneering initiatives and forge new partnerships for resourcing youth development.
The recommendations from each Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting are considered by leaders at the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Learn more about Youth Ministers Meetings
The Youth Development Index (YDI), developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, measures the status of young people in 183 countries around the world.
The index is a comprehensive measure across 5 domains that are critical to youth development:
- civic participation
- political participation.
It informs policy-makers about young people's needs and opportunities, indicating areas of success and where attention and investment is needed. It also acts as a data advocacy tool, highlighting the importance of gathering statistics on key youth indicators in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Explore the latest Global Youth Development Index
The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate the contribution of young people to achieving global development goals.
The awards, presented to Commonwealth citizens aged 15–29, showcase the work of outstanding young people who are leading initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to peace building.
Each year an outstanding entrant is named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, with regional awards given for Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe.
The awards demonstrate to leaders and other policy-makers the importance of young people’s role in development. The awards also serve to inspire other young people to take action in their communities.
Development work can be within any number of areas, such as skills training, arts and culture, environment protection, education, health and well-being, human rights, technology, sport, science and many more areas.
Youth workers are instrumental to the positive development of young people, ensuring young people fulfil their potential and become assets to their societies.
The Commonwealth Youth Programme promotes the professionalisation of youth work by facilitating youth work education and training, setting competency standards, celebrating good practice, and advocating for national and international youth worker associations.
Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards
First launched in 2013, the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards celebrate the professionals and local heroes who play a pivotal role in the development of young people.
The winners of Youth Worker Awards are announced in November during Youth Work Week.
Read about past winners
Youth Work Week
Youth Work Week is a celebration of the achievements of youth workers and young people, taking place every November.
The UK National Youth Agency has organised Youth Work Week since 1993, providing an opportunity for youth organisations, youth workers and young people to highlight the value of their work.
Since 2012 the Commonwealth Secretariat has worked to expand the reach and scope of Youth Work Week across the 53 nations of the Commonwealth.
Each year sees more than a hundred Youth Work Week events taking place across the globe including youth forums, employment workshops, conferences, award ceremonies and community events.
The Commonwealth Secretariat encourages youth clubs, national youth councils, youth ministries, departments, commissions and national youth organisations, to get involved in Youth Work Week by hosting an event or activity for Youth Work Week.
For more information and sessions visit the National Youth Agency and CAYWA’s websites.
YourCommonwealth is a youth blog featuring news and feature articles, as well as video content, generated by young people, students and youth leaders.
It is a platform for the voices of young people from Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific to be heard.
Contributors aged 15-29 exchange perspectives on events happening in their country or community or issues that affect young people around the world, such as poverty or climate change.
The website was established through the Commonwealth Youth Programme and is overseen by an independent editor.