Analysis of Youth Policy Formulation and Implementation with a Special Emphasis on Youth Participation: A Multiple Case Analysis

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Addis Ababa University


The FDRE National Youth Policy emphasized the role of youth in determining their own destiny through their active participation in the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies that affect them. Accordingly, the purpose of the study was to analyze youth policy formulation and implementation focusing on the participation of the youth and explore the challenges in the implementation of strategies for youth participation in the policy process. A policy analysis framework was used to analyze the content, the role of actors, and the context of the development of the policy and policy packages and demonstrate the dynamics among them. In addition, youth access and influence on the policy process was analyzed to gauge the progress made in realizing the democratic rights of the youth and their meaningful participation. The methodology used is a multiple case study approach at macro, meso and micro levels to analyze the formulation and implementation processes at various levels of administration. A qualitative approach was used to analyze the research questions in the study. In-depth interviews with key informants, document review and observation methods of data collection were used and in addition served as a way to triangulate the data. A purposive sampling method was used to select and undertake in-depth interviews with a total of 15 Key Informants from both the government i.e the Youth Department at the Ministry, Youth Bureau at Addis Ababa City Government and the youth secretariats in the selected Sub-city and woreda, and the Youth actors comprising of the Ethiopian Youth Federation, Addis Ababa Youth Federation and Addis Ababa Youth Association. The Key Informants were selected for their special knowledge and insights of the policy formulation and implementation processes and different interview guides were used for each organization, group and various hierarchical levels to obtain the data. Findings indicate that most of the progressive strategies for ensuring the meaningful participation of the youth through independent participation of the youth in the policy process, implementing structures and mechanisms forwarded in the National Youth Policy have not been reflected in the subsequent policy packages and there were insignificant changes among the various policy packages. Findings also indicated as one of the challenges in the policy process, the state’s influence on the policy environment which limited the participation of the youth to government affiliated national and regional youth federations and associations which are under the shadow of the government as they rely on it for their financial needs which in turn has affected their bargaining power. The government’s youth departments at the City government level also face similar issues of capacity which impeded the monitoring and coordination of youth issues and in addition face autonomy issues due to the top-down approach of the federal government. In conclusion, the government has been lagging in ensuring the participation of the youth through the provision of access to the policy process and enhancing the quality of their participation. Strong legal frameworks to ensure the autonomy of the youth organizations and creative ways to reach and involve youth are necessary to safeguard the participation of the youth.


A thesis submitted to the Department of Public Administration and Development Management of Addis Ababa University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters in Public Management and Policy (MPMP)


Case study, Formulation, Implementation, Youth policy