IJAB - International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany
IJAB strengthens and shapes international youth work and international youth policy cooperation across Europe and around the world. We promote international exchanges and programmes with the aim of creating greater mutual understanding, offering international learning opportunities, enabling more participation, and combating xenophobia, racism and violence.
IJAB implements projects on youth policy-related issues together with its international partners and promotes the exchange of expertise within the child and youth services community, bringing together stakeholders from Germany and abroad to this end. IJAB informs and advises child and youth services providers, policymakers and administrators and offers training courses, expert exchanges, handbooks and manuals, and specialist publications. It also advises young people on going abroad and obtaining funding.
IJAB, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, was established in 1967. Today, it works on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, its own member organisations and other youth work providers.
JUGEND für Europa, the National Agency for the EU programmes Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps in Germany, is affiliated with IJAB.
International youth work and youth policy cooperation give young people greater opportunities for education, personal development and participation in a globalised world. They contribute towards tolerance and peace, help to counteract discriminating and racist attitudes and violence, and create the awareness necessary for a peaceful coexistence in a culturally diverse society.
IJAB seeks to foster greater mutual understanding among young people from different backgrounds and cultures. It promotes the development of intercultural skills and international learning, encourages international learning, and inspires an open dialogue on social diversity. To us at IJAB, international youth work and youth policy cooperation contribute towards the development of a strong civil society, a democratic polity, and greater social justice.
IJAB ensures a lively exchange of expertise between youth stakeholders around the world. Broadening the view beyond one’s own horizons helps produce new ideas and develop new solutions. Often, youth workers in other countries will already have a solution to a given issue that can be applied to one’s own situation – or which can inspire an entirely new course of action. To this end, IJAB brings together stakeholders in Germany and abroad and helps them to engage in a dialogue on youth policy-related issues. International conferences, meetings, projects and expert programmes are opportunities to share information, discuss current issues and design new approaches. IJAB functions as an interface in this sense and provides advice and training – a valuable source of fresh international input for Germany’s child and youth services community and youth policymakers. Through its work, IJAB helps develop the child and youth services field and shape youth policy in Germany and across Europe.
IJAB maintains long-standing, reliable and equitable relations with a large number of partners around the globe. International youth policy cooperation makes a vital contribution towards shaping policy together, exchanging information with other countries, and learning from each other. A major prerequisite for this is the existence of stable partnerships with the countries in question. Working on behalf of the Federal Youth Ministry, IJAB has implemented the youth policy agreements between the Federal Republic of Germany and its partner countries since it was founded in 1967. In the context of Germany’s bi- and multilateral youth policy relations, IJAB implements exchanges and programmes for child and youth services experts as well as for policymakers in this area. IJAB is also a member of various international networks in the youth field.
IJAB represents the policy interests of the international youth work community and ensures they receive visibility. International youth work has been shown to have a strong influence on young people’s personal development and educational biographies and hence is of major value to society. IJAB develops tools and methods to help highlight these benefits and ensure they receive greater public awareness. For instance, it collects data that demonstrates these impacts and presents that information in transparent and comprehensible form. Through its lobbying activities, IJAB represents the interests and concerns of the youth work community at the political level. Its public relations work is aimed predominantly at the expert community, with some campaigns directed at selected groups of young people, too. IJAB monitors youth work and youth policy activities across the EU as well as worldwide and spreads awareness among the expert community of important developments and achievements through print and online media.
IJAB lays the groundwork for successful international youth work, providing unbiased advice to young people, youth work experts and a wide variety of organisations about going abroad and obtaining funding for this purpose.
IJAB offers experts, organisations and youth policy stakeholders opportunities for training and career development. The activities on offer range from webinars and expert conferences to coaching on organisational development. It regularly publishes specialist materials that help experts remain up to date on developments in the field. Practical tools and aids, such as an online multilingual glossary of child and youth services terms and handbooks on specialist topics, assist experts in their day-to-day work.