The International Youth Foundation (IYF) and The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) are pleased to announce a new partnership to create the Global Youth Wellbeing Index. The goal is to gather available data related to youth to assess and compare the state of young people’s development around the world and measure progress. The Index will be part of a broader research and policy agenda called the Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative, to be led by Dr. Nicole Goldin, a former Senior Advisor for Policy at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in conjunction with CSIS William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, Daniel Runde.

IYF and Hilton Worldwide recently announced their commitment to develop the Index, and CSIS and IYF are now partnering to turn this concept into reality. The metrics of such an Index will concentrate on key youth domains such as employment, education, health, and civic engagement, among other areas. Ultimately, the Index will make the central issues facing youth more quantifiable and, in so doing, spur governments, businesses, and donors to invest in youth in ways that best leverage their resources and drive lasting impact.

“One of the principle driving forces of global security today is changing demographics,” said CSIS president and CEO John Hamre. “A youth bulge is simultaneously a security challenge and a tremendous development opportunity, as well as a major strategic issue for the United States going forward. I am very pleased to have Nicole lead this initiative at CSIS.”

Bill Reese, IYF president and CEO, added: “There are a number of barriers that stand between young people and their opportunities for a decent livelihood. Governments, civil society and the private sector must take concrete actions to significantly lower these impediments, and CSIS and IYF will bring together the data, people, and ideas needed to build societies in which every young person has the chance to learn, work, and lead.”

CSIS’s Daniel Runde greeted Dr. Goldin’s appointment as an indication of strong institutional commitment to advancing youth development. Referring to the multi-stakeholder-driven approach of the CSIS-IYF partnership, he said: “By combining the public, private, and non-profit sectors, we have the best chance of confronting the complex challenge of youth employment, in a strategic, diplomatic, and developmental way.”

Dr. Goldin was until December the senior advisor in the Policy, Planning and Learning Bureau at the US Agency for International Development, where she managed policy creation and engagement processes as well as critical inter-agency development initiatives, particularly those focused on youth. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator on diverse youth and development issues. She joined USAID in September 2009 from the US Department of State, where she was senior advisor to the Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Dr. Goldin holds a PhD in Economics from University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), an MSc in Development from the London School of Economics (LSE), an MA in International Political Economy from American University, as well as a BA in East Asian Studies from Union College. She is also a member of the Adjunct Faculty of George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs.