This paper is based on work started in 1990 at the AED Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and continued at the International Youth Foundation and the Forum for Youth Investment (formerly IYF-US). It builds directly upon Pittman and Irby’s 1996 paper, Preventing Problems or Promoting Development. This updated version incorporates critical ideas about young people as participants and change makers — ideas that, in our minds, are the next, most powerful iterations of the youth development approach.

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