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Youth Development in the Caribbean. Small States |Forum IBRD/IMF Annual Meetings Dubai 2003. Study Objectives . Identify the causes (risk and protective factors) behind various youth behaviors and development. Measure the cost of negative youth behaviors to the individual and to society

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youth development in the caribbean

Youth Development in the Caribbean

Small States |Forum

IBRD/IMF

Annual Meetings

Dubai 2003

study objectives
Study Objectives
  • Identify the causes (risk and protective factors) behind various youth behaviors and development.
  • Measure the cost of negative youth behaviors to the individual and to society
  • Explore key intervention points for youth development.
scope and data
Scope and Data
  • Data
    • Quantitative
      • Household surveys
      • CARICOM country survey of adolescent students.
    • Qualitative:
      • St. Lucia and Dominican Republic focus groups
      • Consultations: Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic
slide4
MAIN FINDINGS

Although the majority of young people make the transition to adulthood smoothly..... A growing minority do not.

growing numbers of young people are at risk
Growing numbers of young people are “at risk”

Regional trends:

  • Youth unemployment: 33% Jamaica, 30% DR
  • Highest incidence of AIDS/HIV outside of Africa
  • 17% physically abused
  • 10-17% of children begin sexual activity before age 10
  • Incidence of rage is high: 40%
  • 20% of boys carry firearms to school and involved in gangs
  • Widespread social acceptance of alcohol and marijuana use
youth development is national development
Youth Development is National Development

Some Examples of “lost” GDP due to youth behaviors:

  • Teen Pregnancy: each cohort of adolescent mothers cost the Dominican Republic US$7 million in foregone use of resources
  • School dropout: a female school leaver in St. Lucia earns (and contributes to GDP) US$ 525,000 less over her lifetime than if she finished secondary school
  • Crime: in Jamaica, tourist receipts increase 4% with 1% reduction in youth crime
  • AIDS: annual GDP would be up to 0.37% higher if no youth contracted HIV
  • Unemployment: If youth unemployment rates were equal to those in the US, GDP would be 3.72% higher in Jamaica (regional high) and 0.72% higher in Barbados (regional low)
youth respond to their environment
Youth Respond to Their Environment
  • Primary level factors
    • Family
    • Schools
    • Poverty and Inequality
    • Gender and the Family
  • Secondary level factors
    • Microenvironment: Peers, role models and social networks, communities and neighbourhoods
    • Macroenvironment: Health care system, law enforcement, judiciary, media
the challenges
The challenges
  • Scarce information: Youth programs are plentiful but little is known about their effectiveness. How to make policy & investments when information about effective policy is scarce?
  • Institutional challenges:
    • Youth is a crosscutting issue
    • At-risk youth are unattached to formal institutions
    • Youth lack an organized and vocal constituency
entry points for action some ideas
Entry Points for Action –some ideas
  • Use the Education System to address youth issues as well as academic needs
  • Public Health Care System that works with the realities of youth behavior and prioritizes confidentiality
  • Parental and Mentoring programs/activities and incentives to participate
  • Reform and Strengthen Legal, Judicial and Policing Systems to Create a Safe and Positive Environment
  • Use the Media and Social Marketing to change norms and values of youth and of adults with respect to youth
  • Create economic incentives for productive youth
  • Youth-policymaker partnerships in decision-making fora
youth are not the problem they are the product of their environments
Youth are not the problem....they are the product of their environments
  • “The drug dons ( traffickers) promote themselves to the youth. We have to promote ourselves, our programs, our community and our caring if we are to get the youth’s attention.”