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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation

Last update: 25 March 2024
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  1. Intercontinental youth work cooperation
  2. Development cooperation activities

Intercontinental youth work cooperation

The Danish Youth Council (DUF) funds international projects run by Danish children and youth organisations.

DUF’s global youth programme consists of a large range of international projects, some of which are:

The international pool of funding: offers young people in Danish organisations working with children and young people the opportunity to enter into partnerships with youth organisations in the Global South.

Under this pool of funding, DUF member organisations have the opportunity to apply for funding for eight different measures all of which support the member organisations to enter into international partnerships. The eight measures vary from partner identification and pilot projects to partnership projects and youth exchanges.

The international pool has three horizontal priorities:

  • Volunteering
  • Gender equality in children
  • Young people’s participation, influence, and rights

Capacity building: learning activities and guidance support and enhance DUF member organisations’ international engagement, projects and partnerships, for instance, through workshops, youth leader training, seminars on the development of partnerships, etc.

Youth delegate programme: The programme gives young people an international voice and the possibility to exchange views with policymakers at an international level. The programme is described in section 9.3.

Supporting activities: The objective is to enhance young people’s international engagement, participation, and influence. The measure includes two sub-measures:

  • The cross-political network in Ukraine: the network functions as a forum for debate, dialogue, and exchange of views between young people in Denmark and young people in Ukraine. The network focuses on young people’s political participation and influence, and young people meet despite different political persuasions.
  • The Danish-African youth network, PARTICIPATE: described in section 9.4. The objective of the Danish-African youth network, PARTICIPATE, is to strengthen youth organisations in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Denmark. The network is established between DUF, Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) in Zimbabwe, and Youth Alive! Kenya (YAK) in Kenya. The network contributes to capacity building and active citizenship, and the goal is to turn young people into agents of change who can facilitate change in their own organisations and societies for the benefit of others.

Public engagement and information: DUF and its member organisations actively inform about youth development cooperation and its results and, thereby, highlight the value of international cooperation. The target group is youth organisations.

There are quality assurance mechanisms for initiatives under the global youth programme[RHS1] , which include assessment criteria and a final report after the project period. The final report includes both an evaluation of the project as well as a financial statement and accounting. After this, any due funding will be paid out or beneficiaries will be asked to return unused funds to DUF.

The programme is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 2023, the grant was 17.5 million DKK.

The Youth Culture and Diversity project

The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme is Denmark’s collaboration program with the Middle East and North Africa. The program helps strengthen good governance and ensure economic opportunities, especially for young people and women in the region, through partnerships. Countries of focus are Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.

The Danish Youth Council (DUF) administers the Youth Culture and Diversity project, which is funded through the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme. The project consists of two projects to engage young people and build bridges across national, ethnic, social, and ideological dividing lines.

The two programmes are:

  • The dialogue ambassadors
  • Future Leaders 

Future Leaders is a large-scale partnership between the Danish YMCA-Scouts and Les Scouts Tunisiens based on a young-to-young approach. Young people are trained in active citizenship, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship enabling them to contribute to their local communities. The project focuses on citizenship, freedom of speech, advocacy, democratic rights, and youth empowerment. This has been carried out through five subprojects in which Danish and Tunisian scouts have developed and implemented activities together. The focus has been on company start-ups, leadership and management, communication, and organisational strategy.

The Danish Youth Council (DUF) runs a programme aimed at strengthening the dialogue and intercultural understanding between young people from Denmark and the partner countries Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan. Participants from the four partner countries participate in a seminar where they are trained in dialogue tools, facilitation skills and conducting dialogue activities. Since 2009, more than 25 000 young persons have become trained dialogue ambassadors.

Quality assurance mechanisms are established in Denmark and the partner countries.

In the partner countries, quality assurance consists of several elements:

  • A monitoring check where all local partners are visited and the progress and potential challenges are assessed
  • A financial check: DUF monitors whether the allocated funds are used as agreed

Furthermore, all partners meet at least twice a year and share experiences in order to improve the quality of the activities. At the local level, each partner country has individual evaluation measures following each dialogue workshop. A common topic in all local evaluations is the evaluation of the education of new dialogue ambassadors and an evaluation of the ambassadors’ training of young people.

See sections 4.5 and 9.4.


Sjómaq is a project with the objective to strengthen the bond between young people in the Danish Realm, which consists of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark. Despite a long common history, many young people feel that they know little about each other’s cultures, languages and society. Young people can learn more about each other by discussing prejudices and cultural differences.

The project funds activities across the three countries and hosts a range of annual activities.

The project is administered by DUF, AFS, and MFS from the Faroe Islands and SORLAK from Greenland.

The project is funded with a total of 3 million DKK from the Finance Bill 2022 (North Atlantic Pool).

 [RHS1]Link virker ikke

Development cooperation activities

Under the Danish Eastern Neighbourhood programme, a programme under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support democracy, human rights and green transition in Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, DUF and Danish Cultural Institute (DCI) administer the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House.

The Ukrainian-Danish Youth House is a platform to strengthen youth participation through dialogue, capacity building and partnerships.

The Youth House is a base for co-creative, democratic activism and youth-to-youth cooperation and for strengthening the relationships between youth from Ukraine and Denmark by exchanging ideas, culture and knowledge.

Under the Danish Eastern Neighbourhood programme, a programme under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the objective of supporting democracy, human rights and green transition, the New Democracy fund supports dialogue, collaboration and partnerships in Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

The New Democracy Fund

The overall objective of the New Democracy Fund is to support an independent, diverse, resilient and, responsive civil society in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

A key objective of the New Democracy Fund is to promote a culture of democracy and human rights by engaging in regional networking and peer-to-peer exchange of experiences amongst civil society actors in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries and Denmark.

The fund operates within six thematic focus areas:

  • Green just transition
  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Labour market
  • Media
  • Youth

With a total budget of 180 million DKK for 2023-2026, the fund supports new and existing partnerships between civil society actors in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries and Denmark.

Denmark funds a range of organisations through Danish developmental aid. The focus is on integrating youth into human rights, sustainable development goals and development cooperation. As mentioned in section 9.3, a youth package was launched in 2017 that, for instance, includes concrete steps to ensure that youth cuts across Denmark’s other strategic development priorities such as gender equality, education, jobs and entrepreneurship, empowerment, and human rights.

Operation A Day’s Work (Operation Dagsværk) promotes development cooperation activities among young people. See section 9.4.

NGOs and youth organisations in Denmark are the main arenas where young people participate in issues directly or indirectly related to global issues. Youth organisations often address global issues such as sustainable development, development cooperation, environmental issues, and human rights. Youth organisations in Denmark may apply for public funding as described in section 2.1.