9.1 General context
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There are no specific Danish concepts or definitions specifically used about youth participation and policy-making 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: this dimension of the strategy deals with development cooperation in the area of climate changes, 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, and the Danish development cooperation supports young people in developing countries who fight for positive changes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for an annual survey on Danes’ knowledge of and opinion on Danish development cooperation activities. The 2022 survey indicates that during the last two years, young people (18-30-year-olds) have become more positive towards Danish development cooperation than any other age group.
Compared to other age groups, young people in the 18-30 age group respond that Denmark should prioritise human rights to a higher degree in development cooperation activities.
The survey indicates that young people have a more positive view of Danish development cooperation than older generations. For instance, the survey asks about Danes’ perception of people benefitting from development cooperation. Compared by age group, young people agree the most (53%) that people benefitting from developmental cooperation in the long-term wish/hope to be independent of development aid from Denmark. 40-45% of all other age groups share this belief. Furthermore, when talking about foreign aid it is not unusual to hear claims about corruption, inefficiency and misguided spending. However, young people agree less than other age groups that development aid ends in the wrong hands. 31% of young people in the 18-30 age group believe that development aid ends up in the wrong hands, whereas 40-43% of all other age groups agree that development aid ends up in the wrong hands.
The survey also reports that more 18-30-year-olds have done charitable work than any other age group, especially as volunteers, and are more active in events.