Youth Indicators: Developing Indicators for the World Programme of Action for Youth
Report by Devindree Pillay
Monday, April 23, 2012
The United Nations recognizes that young people in all countries are a major human resource for development, positive social change and technological innovation. Their ideals, energy and vision are essential for the continuing development of their societies. As such, the World Programme for Action for Youth (WPAY) was adopted by the General Assembly. It provides an international framework for general policy and comprehensive practical guidelines for programmes to improve the situation of young people. The Programme for Action outlines 15 priority areas of youth development to be addressed, with corresponding proposals for action. These priority areas are interrelated, and fall within three main clusters: !.Youth and the Global Economy (Education / Employment / Hunger and poverty / Globalization 2. Youth and Civil Society (Environment / Leisure-time activities / Full and effective participation of youth in the life of society and in decision-making / Information and communication technologies / Intergenerational issues) 3.Youth and their Well-being (Health / Drug abuse / Juvenile delinquency / Girls and young women / HIV and AIDS / Armed conflict).
An expert group convened in December 2011 to agree on a reliable and realistic set of indicators that can assess progress towards implementing of the WPAY. On Monday 23 April, the Division for Social Policy and Development organized this side event at the Population Commission to make available the outcome of the expert group’s meeting. I found the results highly informative and thought provoking. There are 34 core and 15 supplemental indicators in the following priority areas of youth development: Education, Employment, Hunger and poverty, Health, including reproductive health, Drug abuse and juvenile delinquency, Globalization, Information and communication technology, HIV/AIDS, Girls and young women.
I am of the opinion that effective implementation of any programme in order to meet the aforementioned criteria, requires for youth to have an internal locus of control, sense of autonomy, emotional intelligence and ability to self regulate. These personal factors which promote efficacy and sustainability of intent amongst young people requires an education in self awareness which will surely be reflected in increased levels of happiness and well being amongst the youth of the world.
Perhaps happiness and well-being should also be considered as an indicator?