Digital Youth Council Strengthens Next Generation of Changemakers

Photo credit: YouthLead

Launched in 2021, USAID’s Digital Youth Councilis a cohort of 12 young leaders between the ages of 18 and 25 who are focused on issues related to digital platforms and safety, and who are interested in reducing digital harm for children and youth.

Members work together to advise, inform, and advocate for greater protection from digital harm, thereby strengthening the next generation of digital changemakers and advocates. Their role is only becoming increasingly important in our digital age, and as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) renews its commitment to the Digital Strategy, an Agency-wide vision for the responsible use of digital technology in development and humanitarian work. 

Digital Youth Council members not only serve as an important voice in helping guide the continued implementation of USAID’s Digital Strategy, but also help raise awareness of digital harm in their respective countries, and influence national leaders, the private sector, civil society, their community, and other youth on how best to keep safe while learning, playing, and exploring the digital world.  

The Council is supported by YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation (YP2LE), a USAID-funded activity focused on building and disseminating evidence on Positive Youth Development (PYD).  

In the winter of 2022, the Digital Council selected a new group of 12 young changemakers from Colombia, Indonesia, Georgia, Ukraine, Brazil, Libya, Uganda, Vietnam, Tunisia, Gambia, India, Vietnam, and Trinidad. Building off of year 1 activities, the International Youth Digital Leadership Council (IYDLC) Year 2, through USAID’s YouthLead Platform, has brought together a representative group of up to 12 innovative young changemakers from across USAID’s YouthLead impact areas to inform and propose adjustments to strengthen USAID’s response to protecting children and youth from digital harm.

The Council’s objectives are twofold: 1) reduce digital harm for children and youth and 2) have a better understanding of how children and youth want to interact within the digital ecosystem. Council members will be encouraged to either champion their own topic or break into smaller groups to address specific issues or areas of interest. With guidance from USAID, the Council will be equipped to use their personal experiences and to represent their country/region to help inform and advocate for greater protection from digital harms.

Launched in 2018 under the USAID-funded project YouthPower Learning, is designed for young changemakers making a positive impact in their community through service, activism, advocacy, education, and entrepreneurship.

Interested in meeting the current Council Members? Register and become a member of to read their full bios. If you want to see yourself among the ranks, applications to apply to the Digital Youth Council typically open in December each year. Keep an eye on YouthLead’s Instagram for upcoming announcements.