Evaluation Strategies for Youth Development Programmes

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Godfrey St. Bernard


The Caribbean has a relatively large youthful population and several countries have been targeting young people as a unique sub-population that is worthy of investigation. In at least four countries of the Sub-Region, the study of young people has become an important activity with sample surveys being conducted to gather critical input data for research and decision-making.

Young people have been among the most vulnerable in the Commonwealth Caribbean. They experience disproportionately high levels of unemployment and alarming rates of exposure to risk of HIV/AIDS. Education, information and skills training are not easily accessible to them. This has to be reversed.

This paper reinforces the importance of descriptive and performance indicators in monitoring and evaluating administrative processes that impact upon youth development initiatives. It discusses data collection strategies deemed to be the most amenable to the generation of the relevant indicators and examines such indicators according to institutional entities and specific priority areas of intervention. In the main, the paper attempts to draw attention to possible links between institutional interventions and outcomes that facilitate efforts toward gauging the extent of youth empowerment. These efforts are instrumental in promoting a knowledge infrastructure that is especially critical in Caribbean countries where public accountability and systematic monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are alien to the principles of "good governance." In general, discussions throughout the paper hinge upon a framework pioneered by the Commonwealth Secretariat and known as The Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE).

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