Supporting the Engagement of Youth and Civil Society in Public Policy Dialogue in North Africa – Morocco

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Morocco has a population of 34.37 million and GDP US$100.593 billion. Youth make up 13.5% of the population and 19.8% of the working-age population. While unemployment rate is 10%, unemployment among female youth (10.6%) is higher than that among male youth (9.7%). The average educational attainment is 6.4 school years in Morocco where the adjusted net enrolment rate for upper secondary education reached 3.1.8% in 2012.  Less than 9% of Moroccan youth had volunteered in an organization in 2014.

The project was implemented from October 2012 to September 2015 to engage youth and civil society in public policy dialogue through training of trainers and providing organization support to conduct local public policy programs using the Project Citizen curriculum. The latter, used in a previously UNDEF-funded project in Morocco, is tailored to engage civil society organizations (CSOs) and youth in public policy analysis.


Implementation of programme/ initiative:

Supporting the Engagement of Youth and Civil Society in Public Policy Dialogue in North Africa is a partnership between United Nations Democracy Fund and Moroccan Centre for Civic Education. The project aimed at supporting the participation of youth in public policy activities and debates organized by CSOs by supporting their local projects. More specifically, the project aimed at encouraging youth and CSOs to conduct policy analysis to identify problems and propose relevant solutions for decision-makers, developing effective advocacy and leadership skills for youth and CSOs to be able to advocate for their solutions among decision-makers, and developing a sustainable regional network of policy advocates via social media networks.


Main challenges:

  • Cultural traditions and political practices which affirm respect for older generations and concentrate the power of political decision-making among them.
  • Lack of gender balance among political decision-makers
  • The historical weakness of CSOs in Morocco
  • The governance structure is still unaware of the role played by CSOs in policy advocacy


Results achieved:

The project motivated hundreds of participating youth to implement local development projects; examples include:

  • A group of journalists continued to raise civic awareness among youth in Casablanca
  • Other groups continued to implement activities, such as raising awareness on drugs, organizing campaigns motivating girls to complete secondary education, engaging in vocational training for unemployed youth, and researching the exploitation of underage domestic employees

In addition, the project arranged meetings between local elected officials and young civil society members, submitted recommended public policies by youth participants to Moroccan Parliament, and established a youth council network bringing together 30 national youth councils.


Moving Forward:

  • The project included important elements of sustainability as it helped the implementing NGO in improving its organizations capacity and expertise with regards to training of youth and supports CSOs.



  • The project, funded by UNDEF, was also conducted in Tunisia by the Social Development and Empowerment Centre and achieved effective results.



AHDR 2016

Women’s school-to-work transition in the Arab Mediterranean countries, 2017

World Bank, 2016

OECD Youth in the MENA region, 2016

International Labor Organization, 2016

Project Details

Date: October 12, 2017

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