IRD improves youth well-being around the world with programming that supports job creation, training for employment and leadership skills, post-conflict reconciliation, sound policy development, and institutional capacity building.

The USAID-funded SERASI program is a post-conflict peace building and governance project. SERASI specifically built local capacity of public institutions, civil society organizations, and other partners in designing and implementing projects that address the causes and consequences of violent conflict through community-driven activities that promote constructive dialogue. The project facilitated greater understanding among citizens, improved communication, and helped seal lasting peace.

The Iraq Community Stabilization Program (CSP), also funded by USAID, engaged unemployed Iraqi males ages 13–30 and other groups at risk for recruitment into insurgency by enrolling them in youth activities or offering them training and employment. The youth component was widely embraced by Iraqis nationwide. Activities included a variety of sports, arts, and life skills programs, including athletic competitions, poetry festivals, art exhibits, drama, peace camps, and public debates. These activities encouraged community members to develop positive relationships and overcome ethnic and religious differences.

The Health Linkages and National Networks for Iraqis in Jordan (HLNN) is increasing the use of maternal, child, and reproductive health care services at Ministry of Health clinics by refugee Iraqi women and youth and reducing their reliance on parallel health structures. The USAID-funded project also used violence- and conflict-mitigation programs and theater to educate at-risk youth about their reproductive health options and on the issue of gender-based violence. Over 350 men and 200 youth participated in violence prevention and conflict mitigation workshops and nearly 2,000 Iraqi youth participated in skill building activities.

IRD builds confidence among youth in rule of law and local government, develops civic engagement skills among youth, and trains the next generation of leaders in the public and private sectors.The USAID-funded Iraq Community Action Program (ICAP) has been working in the Baghdad metropolitan area to facilitate citizen participation in the community development process, support nascent advocacy groups that have emerged around community interests, and work with local government agencies to respond. As roughly 20 percent of Iraqis are ages15–25, one of the most effective ways to empower communities is to engage youth.


Cambodia Food for Education

IRD is promoting primary education and reducing the incidence of hunger in 125 s... more

Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools

The Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools (CMP) project is a five-year... more

Grassroots Theater Initiative

The Grassroots Theater Initiative introduced theater founded on the “theater of the... more

Increasing Community and Private-Sector Involvement in Education

Sindh is Pakistan’s second largest province in population and economic output. Desp... more

Preventing Loss of Sight in Laos

Laos had twice as many cases of childhood blindness as neighboring Thailand in 2... more

Providing At-Risk Youth with Employment & Educational Opportunity

Two major challenges on Mississippi Gulf Coast communities—challenges that were onl... more