International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)


IREX is a global development and education organization. We strive for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals reach their full potential, governments serve their people, and communities thrive.

IREX works with partners in more than 100 countries in four areas essential to progress: empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information. Our work includes reducing corruption, stopping misinformation, and building social trust.

IREX's approach to youth development is to increase youth’s abilities to better position them for work and participation in society, improve opportunities to help youth apply and strengthen those abilities, and support institutions to become more responsive to youth needs while empowering youth as forces for positive change.

Founding year: 1968

Region: Global

Themes: Inclusion; Skills and Education; Health & Emotional Resilience 


Key Highlights


Our “Youth Well-Being Along Their Learning to Earning Journeys” work portfolio explores the role that multisectoral, holistic programmatic approaches that center well-being play in ensuring more relevant, timely, and effective workforce solutions for youth. Grounded in youth voice, our seminal report and Kenya, Malawi, and Ukraine country spotlights present programmatic and funding recommendations that can help the development community be more in tune with youth needs.


CALI’s Youth Digital Upskilling initiative “Digital ESE” aims to equip youth with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices to Efficiently, Safely, and Effectively engage in life-long learning to support employment and earning outcomes. This work draws upon IREX’s expertise in stopping misinformation, bolstering youth leadership, and building situated knowledge through youth-led research. We are presently engaging in a human-centered design with youth leaders in Kenya to develop a pilot tool and curricular structure that will ensure youth: Have the necessary digital citizenship skills to interact effectively and safely online; are better equipped to take advantage of the broad spectrum of non-traditional learning opportunities available to them; and are able to benchmark their skills against the changing requirements of the labor force and identify ways to address gaps.


The Research-to-Change Toolkit (Youth Excel's Research-to-Change Toolkit | YouthLead) designed by the Youth Excel: Our Knowledge, Leading Change consortium, guides youth-led and youth-serving organizations to strengthen their positive youth development programs using research and data. Youth Excel is a global program that empowers young people and youth organizations to use implementation research to strengthen local, national, and global development solutions. Youth Excel supports young leaders and youth-led and youth-serving organizations around the globe to conduct quality implementation research; use data and learnings to improve their own cross-sectoral, positive youth development programs; synthesize data and learning; and engage in intergenerational dialogue with adult decision-makers so that together youth and adults can shape and advance data-informed development policies, agendas, and programs.