The Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD) is a community of practice and advocacy coalition of leading U.S.- based youth and community development organizations.

IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. It enables local individuals and institutions to build key elements of a vibrant society: quality education, independent media and strong communities. IREX’s focus areas are: Civil Society Strengthening, Conflict Resolution, Education, Gender, Media Development, Technology for Development and Youth. Founded in 1968, IREX employs field-tested methods and innovative uses of technologies to develop practical and locally-driven solutions with our partners in more than 100 countries.


IREX and Youth Development: Around the world, IREX's youth programs both inspire young people to act as agents of change and equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to transform their communities, prepare for a meaningful, active adulthood, and act as advocates of peace. 
IREX believes:
  • that every young person has a distinct voice and the potential to contribute meaningfully to his or her community, country, and world.
  • in youth as assets and change agents who find their own creative and sustainable solutions to their challenges, and who have a role in all aspects of civil society.
  • that youth participation is fundamental to effective development.
  • that our role is to enable, to empower, to support, to build and sustain networks, to provide access to resources, and to listen.
IREX has worked…
  • WITH at-risk youth age 12-29; youth leaders, students; out-of-school youth; ethnic and religious minorities, youth-serving professionals, teachers and mentors; youth CSO and NGOs; policy-makers and local leaders; families and communities.
  • TO empower youth to create active community initiatives; to help young women find safe and productive jobs; to engage policymakers to recognize youth voices; to engage youth across ethnic, and clan divides; to connect students to peers around the world; to nurture and support youth leaders; and to support and strengthen youth-serving organizations.
  • IN over 100 countries throughout the world, including the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Carribean. 
  • TO engage youth meaningfully in conflict mitigation and peace-building programs by assisting youth and community leaders at a grassroots level to facilitate dialogue and strengthen community ties, building the capacity of civil society actors to address conflict locally and nationally, and bringing citizens and marginalized groups into the peace building process.
  • TO design appropriate programming for young men and young women though developing programs in leadership training for women and girls, supporting life skills development for boys and girls, training journalists in gender-sensitive reporting, strengthening women’s NGOs, and combating human trafficking.
IREX’s Approach to Youth Development:
  • Draws on our belief that a cross-sectoral, systems-based approach best prepares youth to be fully integrated and positive drivers of change and development in their communities.
  • Is grounded in Postive Youth Development theory, which aims to empower youth to successfully transition to healthy, economically productive, and engaged adults, through a focus on assets rather than deficits, through approaching youth as a resource rather than a problem, and through holistically nurturing competencies rather than addressing problematic issues in isolation.
  • Recognizes that male and female youth face different challenges and that programming to mainstream young men and young women’s participation will need to be tailored to these challenges.
Rachel Surkin, Deputy Director Education Programs Division
2121 K Street NW, Suite 700 | Washington D.C. 20037
Phone: +1 202.628.8188