Monthly Archives: September 2013

Welcome to the Youth Development Index (YDI)

Many youth development practitioners have actively laboured or anxiously awaited the formulation of a statistical tool which could facilitate the measurement of progress towards the achievement of better development outcomes for young people.

On September 19, 2013 the anxiety and sweat gave way to celebration as the Commonwealth Secretariat launched the first Youth Development Index (YDI) and it accompanying Results Report.  The Report establishes, within the first sentences of its Executive Summary,  the demographic imperative which has been the foundation of increased advocacy for and, recently, a increased attention to youth development globally. This demographic imperative is particularly significant in the Commonwealth, where the Results Report has highlighted the fact that several Commonwealth countries have youth bulges greater than global averages and these countries tend to have lower scores on the YDI, indicating the need for further action on creating new opportunities for youth development and youth empowerment.

The YDI is composed of 15 indicators for youth development across five principal domains of:

  • Health,
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Civic participation
  • Political participation.

Similar to the Human Development Index (HDI), for the YDI, a score is calculated for each country with ‘0’ reflecting the lowest score and lowest level of human development and ‘1’ the highest score and highest level of youth development. The score enable a comparative analysis across countries in the Commonwealth and in the world based on these scores.

Caribbean countries generally perform well on the Index with most countries achieving a score commensurate with Medium Youth Development. One country – Jamaica – is categorized as having High Levels of Youth Development; while one country – St. Kitts and Nevis – is characterized as having Low Youth Development. A summary of the rankings of Caribbean countries (12 Commonwealth Caribbean and 3 non-Commonwealth Caribbean) are outlined in the table below.

RANKING  Commonwealth YDI

(51 countries)

RANKING
Global YDI

 (170 countries)

Country

Score

7

22

Jamaica

0.75

9

28

Trinidad and Tobago

0.74

10

31

Guyana

0.73

11

38

Belize

0.72

13

40

The Bahamas

0.72

14

43

Barbados

0.72

65

Panama

0.69

67

Dominican Republic

0.68

23

87

Antigua and Barbuda

0.63

30

109

St. Lucia

0.53

38

126

Grenada

0.47

41

133

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

0.43

139

Haiti

0.41

50

158

St. Kitts and Nevis

0.30

Interestingly, the Results Report highlights the fact that the scores on the index are not significantly influenced by changes in the external environment such as international conflict, trade or foreign investment. Rather, the internal (country-level) conditions have a greater correlation with the levels of youth development calculated. The advent of the YDI, therefore, created greater impetus for governmental and state action towards advancing evidence-based youth development programming. The lack of full data remains a challenge globally and in the Caribbean – a challenge which must now be overcome in order to permit the sustainability and effectiveness of this new tool. Further research is needed, as a complement to the statistics, on case studies of youth development performance – the Results Report’s recommendation of case study analysis of developing countries which perform well on the index – particularly in the area of Civic Participation – is instructive.

To examine the index and download the report, please visit: http://youthdevelopmentindex.org

We’d love to hear your views on the rankings and the implications of the scores for the work which still needs to be done in meeting the youth development and youth empowerment needs of Caribbean young people. 

Advertisements