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Gov’t develops youth index to track youth progress

The government has embarked on the process of developing the Kenya Youth Development Index (KYDI) as a critical tool to significantly improve the country’s capacity to assess the extent to which youth are engaged in beneficial contributions to society when empowered by enabling policies and tools.

The youth index will measure the performance of youth empowerment programmes and the status of youth in comparison to development initiatives implemented by both the government and other stakeholders.

“The youth development index will collect and analyze critical data on young people to guide the country’s youth development policies and projects. By measuring their contributions and needs with hard data, we can incrementally increase the positive impact and benefits that youth can contribute to building a better future for us all,” said PS Youth Affairs Charles Sunkuli.

In a speech read on his behalf by the State Department’s Secretary of Administration Mr. Wycliffe Ogallo, the PS stated that the Index would adhere to the global measure of young people’s progress in five areas:  youth’s participation in peace processes and their education, employment, inclusion, and health care and will allow users to gain a better understanding of youth development in a single snapshot, making it a tool and resource designed to assist policymakers.

Sunkuli stated the exercise was crucial because youth make up a sizable proportion of the Kenyan population. The country’s youth population is currently 14 million, accounting for 75 per cent of the total population.

“KYDI will also be used to help the government and other policymakers decide how to allocate scarce resources among competing youth and other objectives,” said Sunkuli adding that “the Kenya Youth Development Policy, 2019, states unequivocally that evidence-based programming must take center stage if we are to make meaningful inroads into youth development.”

The PS also noted that in terms of Youth Development, the focus is currently on those areas and dimensions that are currently associated with Kenyan youth, such as education, culture, health, work, poverty, citizenship, and identity, because youth have emerged as a population group that is particularly socio-economically vulnerable.

By Hillary Busisa and Godfrey Isiye

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