National Youth Strategy KSA – Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia, with a population of 31.5 million has GDP of US$646 billion. Youth make up 21% of the population and have an unemployment rate of 5.5%. While the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) is 16.1%, the proportion of female youth (25.9%) is higher than that of male youth (6.6%). The average educational attainment is 8.4 school years in KSA where the adjusted net enrolment rate for upper secondary education reached 69.3% in 2014.

In 2010, the Ministry of Economy and Planning and UNDP agreed to develop a National Youth Strategy for Saudi Arabia. The strategy emphasized many national priorities, such as sustainable growth, job creation, and the creation of a market for knowledge-based jobs for youth seeking jobs.


Implementation of programme/ initiative:

National Youth Strategy is a partnership between the Ministry of Economy and Planning and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The National Youth Strategy aims at developing a thorough action plan which includes programs and actions that will directly influence the mainstreaming and efficient inclusion of youth in national development processes.


Main challenges:

  • Ability to find appropriate organizations which can implement the action plan
  • Lack of qualified national experts needed for technical implementation
  • Lack of coordination between governmental and research organizations
  • Lack of awareness among youth and the community


Results achieved:

  • Implementation of a series of workshops, as well as improving the managerial, technical and organizational capacities of senior officials, and beneficiaries for better understanding of the strategy analysis
  • Developed capacities of stakeholders and youth enabling them to interact, manage, coordinate, and implement diverse aspects of the action plan.
  • Improved monitoring and evaluation of the implementation.


Moving Forward:

The Shura Council endorsed the National Youth Strategy, facilitating actual implementation. Nevertheless, translating strategies into action plans requires coordination between ministries and other involved parties, as well as skills and capacities which need to be addressed to improve the capacities of national organizations.  The current phase of the project will conduct a full review and assessment of the National Youth Strategy and will develop a thorough action plan targeting capacity building of national institutions.



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AHDR, 2016

World Bank, 2016

International Labor Organization, 2016

Project Details

Date: October 10, 2017

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