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The Lead Country Network (LCN) is the flagship product of YEN’s activities. It was created in 2001 under an U.N. Resolution as a joint policy response of the UN, World Bank, and ILO. The LCN is a global initiative aiming to tackle the youth employment challenge at the highest level and to support policymakers in developing and emerging countries in their efforts to promote employment opportunities for youth. The key objective of the network is to identify benchmarks for successful youth employment initiatives that can be shared and replicated among LCN members and abroad. The Lead Country Network recognizes countries who have committed themselves to report to the YEN Secretariat on the status of selected youth labor market indicators and progress made in terms of policy and institutional arrangements by participating in the so-called Benchmarking Exercise.

Expected results of the Lead Country Network:

1) Better diagnostics: governments have a better understanding of youth labor markets and core causes of youth unemployment.
2) Realistic and consistent youth employment policies.
3) Better design of youth employment programs.
4) Additional countries join the network, learn, and share their own experiences.

The map below lists YEN's current Lead Countries. Click on the different YEN globe icons to get more information on each Lead Country's status and the focal point agency:

View YEN Lead Countries in a larger map 

In 2009, in consultation with the focal points in the Lead Countries, YEN came out with a new agenda for the network aiming to: (i) establish benchmarks for successful youth employment interventions, (ii) improve the portfolio of services for the member countries, (iii) make countries accountable for their Lead Country status, and (iv) maintain an open channel of communication between the YEN Secretariat and the Lead Countries.

Accordingly, Lead Countries are working now together in establishing benchmarks for successful youth employment interventions under the “Benchmarking Exercise”. The exercise seeks to provide a picture of where Lead Countries stand as regards to youth employment, and to promote the use of this information among Lead Countries as a benchmark for future policy decisions and monitoring.

The Lead Country Network is framed by a number of benefits and commitments that makes it an attractive avenue for youth employment promotion and information sharing. Benefits to lead countries include technical assistance in the development of youth employment initiatives, capacity-building on developing youth participation in youth employment initiatives, support in devising fundraising strategies for youth employment programs, and access to experiences and good practices from other countries. Please find more information on in the section Benefits and Commitments.

Last update:29.07.2011 ^ top