Mapping South-South Cooperation in the Arab States

Arab States

South-South Youth Exchange: Youth from Saudi Arabia Exploring Global Development Solutions

Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:01 Written by 
  • Location(s): Saudi Arabia
  • Type(s): Mechanism
  • Theme(s): Youth Empowerment
  • SDG(s): 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Locations in the Arab States: Saudi Arabia
  • Types in the Arab States: Mechanism
  • Themes in the Arab States: Youth Empowerment
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Types of ComSec Solutions: Solution

Geographic focus: Brazil, China, India, South Korea

Thematic focus areas supported by the mechanism:

MDG 8 on Global Partnerships for Development; As in the whole Arab region, youth empowerment is a growing challenge in Saudi Arabia, with about 60% of the population under 30 years of age. While local efforts are under way to improve education systems and expand the non-oil employment-generating industry, another need is to empower Saudi youth to emerge as globally connected citizens by sharing development experiences and lessons with partners across the emerging South .

In support of the government's push for greater intercultural dialogue, UNDP has partnered with a South-South youth exchange project through which young Saudis and women visited counterparts in Brazil, China, India and South Korea in 2012 to explore role models youth employment, urban development, green economy, ICT for development and generation of knowledge economy.

Stages / stages in the practical application of the mechanism:

The South-South youth exchange mechanism is based on a process of identification of thematic priorities to empower young Saudis and relevant exchange countries for specific themes, identification of young men and women from regions of the country, developing an agenda rigorous training for exchange visits and undertaking evaluation and follow-up to capture the lessons learned and ways to integrate these lessons into local youth empowerment activities in Saudi Arabia. It also involved a process to continue involving young people across the South as alumni of the initiative. The exchange is overseen by a Project Council with various government and private sector partners that provide guidance, quality assurance and funding.

Results to date:

The facility has been a hit with positive ratings from Saudi institutions and host partners in Brazil, China, India and South Korea.

Young Saudis benefited greatly from exposure to development models in other emerging economies and began to apply the lessons learned in their work in the Kingdom. It served as the basis for new potential South-South cooperation on specific issues of bilateral interest between countries. For example, in the Saudi-India Youth Exchange process, which focused on the role of ICT for development, was presented an innovative idea for the web-based platform for contributions of citizens to global development for development as an initiative diverted now under review by UNDP and the Government.

Most Recent Annual Budget (USD): 500,000

Total budget (USD): 1,000,000

Focal Point and Contact:
Haifa Al Mogrin
Program Associate
UNDP Saudi Arabia
UN sites, diplomatic quarter, Riyadh 11614
Saudi Arabia
Tel: + 966-1-4885301
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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