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Contact for this Project:

Susana Puerto-Gonzalez
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
International Labour Office
CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)22 799.6584

Lead Country Network

The YEN Lead Country Network is a group of governments from developing and emerging countries that have voluntarily committed themselves to prioritizing youth employment on their national policy agendas. The goal of the Lead Country Network is to identify benchmarks for successful youth employment initiatives that can be shared and replicated in peer Lead Countries.

Lead Country Network members participate in a regular “Benchmarking Exercise” and annually report to the YEN Secretariat on the status of selected youth labor market indicators and progress made in terms of policy and institutional arrangements. In exchange for this commitment, Lead Countries are entitled to a couple of benefits ranging from training on how to compile and analyze labor market information to technical assistance on monitoring and evaluation, and access to information and world-wide best practices.

The Lead Country Network was created in 2001 under an U.N. resolution and as a joint policy response of the UN, World Bank, and ILO to improve employment opportunities for young people.


The Lead Country Network is the flagship product of YEN’s activities aiming to foster governments’ engagement in the development and promotion of improved youth employment opportunities. This section informs about the objectives, activities and expected results of the network as well as a depiction of current member countries.    

Benefits and Commitments

The Lead Country Network is based on a close collaboration between the YEN Secretariat and the individual members of the Lead Country Network. Lead Countries receive a number of benefits for delivering certain commitments. Please find more information on benefits and commitments in this section.   

Benchmarking Exercise

The Benchmarking Exercise is at the heart of the Lead Country Network’s activities. It ensures that information on youth employment in Lead Countries is collected regularly and lays ground to discussions on success and challenges of youth employment initiatives. In this section, the reader will find more information on the areas for Benchmarks and Benchmarking tools and will be able to download relevant documents and templates.    

How to become a Lead Country

If you are interested in becoming a Lead Country, please find here all necessary information on how to apply for a LCN membership. This section also provides you with a template of an official application letter for downloading.

Staying connected

This section aims to provide you with information as regards to meetings and events of the Lead Country Network. In order to facilitate the exchange among Lead Countries, YEN set up a LCN groupsite. Here, you will find the link to the YEN groupsite as well as key documents to download.

Lead Country Process

Last update:01.08.2011 ^ top