National Dialogue Forum

Young Peace and Development Corps

The Youth Development Program (YDP) initiated by the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) acknowledges the demographic phenomenon of the youth bulge in Pakistan as not only a potential risk but also a significant opportunity. The youth population, characterized by its sheer numbers, energy, and creative potential, can serve as catalysts for peace promotion and positive social transformation. Consequently, YDP is designed to create an enabling environment and provide opportunities for meaningful social and political engagement among young people. This strategic approach aims to empower the youth to assume leadership roles in advancing stability and sustainable development in Pakistan.

A central tenet of YDP is the recognition of the critical need for inclusive open spaces and meaningful engagement opportunities for young people within both the social and political realms. By facilitating access to such spaces and opportunities, YDP seeks to foster pluralism and facilitate the integration of young individuals into the socio-political fabric of society. This integration is vital for ensuring that the collective decisions that shape our nation include the perspectives and aspirations of its youth.

As part of the YDP framework, empowered "Young Champions of Social Change" emerge within secure campus-based environments established as chapters of the Young Peace and Development Corps (YPDC) network. These secure spaces provide a conducive atmosphere for these Young Champions to operate as social entrepreneurs. Within these spaces, they take on the role of organizers, mobilizers, and engagers, reaching out to a wider youth audience. This outreach is crucial for mitigating the vulnerability of young individuals to violence and extremism.

YPDC leads to a gradual shift in paradigm. It is a concerted effort to promote youths as active leaders and partners in peace processes. YPDC leverages youth engagement to uproot violence and conflicts embedded in the communities and country. YPDC helps in achieving the following:


Creating Spaces for Youth Voices:

YPDC recognizes youth as more than just victims or perpetrators of violence; it acknowledges them as social actors with unique perspectives and contributions. By facilitating opportunities for youth to express their opinions to decision-makers and society at large, YPDC ensures that their voices are heard and respected.


Enhancing Youth Peace-Building Skills:

While many young peace builders are already making a positive impact with limited resources, YPDC recognizes the importance of providing them with the necessary tools to become even more effective change-makers. The program offers a wide range of training, covering content-based topics such as conflict resolution and gender issues, as well as practical-focused areas such as advocacy, communication, and project management.


Building Trust between Youth and Key Stakeholders:

YPDC mobilizes youth to actively participate in peace-building efforts by facilitating collaboration with local and national governments, policymakers, leaders, and representatives from the development and corporate sectors. YPDC’s aim is to bridge the gap between youth and key stakeholders, facilitating their integration into local and national policymaking processes while simultaneously empowering them to address their own peace priorities.


Promoting Cross-Cultural Exchanges for Inclusivity:

YPDC places a strong emphasis on promoting diversity and cross-cultural exchanges. By doing so, it serves as a platform for spreading awareness about interfaith harmony, peaceful coexistence, and community engagement in the peace process. YPDC also builds the capacity of youth in dealing with peace-sensitive issues and conflict resolution, enabling them to become influential leaders who advocate for peace and development across various domains. This approach encourages students to actively engage in development discourse, transforming the national narrative into a more positive and optimistic one.

Key Milestones

The Leaders Fellowship Program (LSIP)

The Leaders Fellowship Program (LSIP), a unique initiative introduced in 2019 under the auspices of the Young Peace and Development Corps (YPDC), offers undergraduate students from various universities across Pakistan an invaluable opportunity to participate in an engaging program. This program serves as a platform for students to refine their analytical and soft skills, fostering the development of innovative ideas and solutions to address a spectrum of societal challenges.

LSIP is tailor-made for university students, equipping them with the skills necessary to become proactive agents of peace and social change. It empowers them to assume a constructive role in countering intolerance and biases prevalent in their university campuses and other social contexts.

YPDC – LSIP is exclusively designed for members of YPDC from all corners of Pakistan. This fully funded, high-powered 4-week experience takes place in Islamabad, serving as a pivotal stepping stone for the personal and professional growth of young leaders dedicated to the principles of peace, social change, and inclusivity.

National Policymaking Competition

The National Dialogue Forum (NDF), in collaboration with the University of Lahore, hosts the National Policy Making Competition. This competition provides practical exposure to policymaking outside traditional classrooms, refining students’ skills in policy memo writing and presentations.

Involving youth in policymaking promotes a sense of ownership and diversity in policy development. It ensures that the voices of the next generation, most affected by policies, are heard, valued, and nurtured, allowing them to build leadership skills and gain real-world governance experience.

This competition attracts 60 teams from over 26 universities across Pakistan, focusing on three modules: Public Policy, Economy and Development, and Foreign Policy. It served as a platform for Pakistan’s talented youth to showcase innovative ideas and contribute to the nation’s growth. In each category, a single winning team was selected based on their proposals for addressing significant challenges and 
opportunities. This competition underscores the vital role of youth in shaping the country’s policies and fostering progress.

Leadership Boot Camp Peshawar

The Leadership Boot Camp (LBC) marked a significant milestone for YPDC, characterized by its innovative approach. This initiative played a pivotal role in guiding and motivating youth from across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) towards embracing leadership. The camp, conducted in partnership with IM Sciences Peshawar, provided a platform for these young individuals to interact with emerging leaders from diverse sectors in Pakistan, enriching their journey of personal and professional development.

Under the overarching theme “Inspiring the Youth to become Future Leaders,” various leaders joined us for an interactive session in an engaging Ted-Ex styled format. Furthermore, LBC offered young women the opportunity to engage with influential mentors and inspirational figures in the realm of women’s leadership. Through these interactions, participants gain valuable insights to help them transform their aspirations for positive change into tangible realities. This event also aims to spotlight the ways in which young women are navigating transformative changes to catalyze significant movements and create opportunities for others.

Social Action Projects on Campus

Social action projects conducted by students across Pakistan are at the heart of youth engagement. The YPDC Chapters, organized and mobilized through youth conventions and empowered via NDF skill development programs, serve as the primary drivers of these initiatives on campuses.

Every year, Campus Engagement Plans (CEPs) are crafted and subsequently implemented by YPDC Young Leaders within their respective campuses. These CEPs encompass a range of social action projects aimed at disseminating key program themes through Dialogue, Debate, Music, Drama, and more. 
Notably, Climate Action and awareness, peacebuilding, have emerged as prominent sectors of focus within these projects. YPDC chapters actively collaborate with various student bodies (on and off campus) to ensure maximum engagement and impact. Furthermore, YPDC chapters effectively harness the digital space to extend their reach and engage with youth beyond the confines of university campuses. This holistic approach to youth engagement underscores the commitment to fostering positive change and societal progress.

Provincial Conventions (KP, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab)

Conventions are held yearly in all provinces. During the Conventions in 2019, YPDC engaged a large proportion of Pakistan’s youth from a multitude of universities, with the objective of training them, familiarising them with our proposed Campus Engagement Plans, and introducing them to guest speakers with expertise in various fields. As a result of the provincial convention, a mechanism for the yearly formation of YPDC councils was developed and implemented in all chaptersAs a result of the trainings during the provincial conventions, new practices by YPDC Councils were adopted to engage more participation and engage other student run bodies for communicating messages of peace and tolerance in their campuses and social media.


Any student from an HEC recognized university can be a part of YPDC. Use the form below to register.

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