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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.1 General context

Last update: 25 March 2024
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  1. Main concepts
  2. Youth interest in global issues

Main concepts

There are no specific Danish concepts or definitions specifically used for youth participation and policymaking at the global level. Even though there is no official definition, certain concepts and understanding of developmental cooperation capture and underpin the understanding of global issues in a Danish context.

In Denmark, Danida is the term used for Denmark’s development cooperation under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The national strategy for development cooperation from 2021 was approved by a broad majority in parliament and focuses on the following themes, which define the national view of what development cooperation consists of.

Green development aid deals with development cooperation in the areas of climate change, green transition, biodiversity, and sustainable living.

Traditional development cooperation focuses on sustainable and long-term solutions to develop and support local resilience to challenges such as poverty, insecurity, migration, conflicts, and violence. 

The development cooperation focuses on human rights and equal opportunities, democracy, local partnerships, prevention of humanitarian crises, and peacekeeping.

The strategy also expresses an explicit focus on young people in developing countries as actors of change. The Danish development cooperation, therefore, supports young people who fight for positive changes in developing countries.

Youth interest in global issues

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts a yearly survey on Danes’ knowledge of and opinion on Danish development cooperation activitiesThe latest survey indicates that young people (18-30-year-olds) are, in several areas, more positive towards Danish development cooperation and the SDGs than other age groups.

For instance, there are more young people (22%) that think Denmark should spend more money on development aid, than in the older age groups (13-17%). 

Young people also find it more interesting to hear about development aid (53%), than people over 30 years (41%), and they have a more realistic view of the global development in poverty (more young people know that the number of people living in poverty has declined over the past 25 years).
When it comes to knowledge about the SDGs, it is also clear from the survey that young people have a deeper knowledge of the goals (35% say that they know the SDGs very well compared to 8-13% in the older age groups).

The survey also reports that 18-30-year-olds have done charitable work than any other age group, especially as volunteers, and the younger age group is more active in events.
Compared to other age groups, more people in the 18-30 age group respond that Denmark should prioritise human rights and climate action in development cooperation activities.