2012 Ethiopia: Evaluation of Adolescent Development Programme
Author: BDS-Centre for Development Research
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The multifaceted and complex nature of the issues confronting the youth in Ethiopia have necessitated UNICEF’s intervention to partner with the Ethiopian Government effort to tackle the prevalence of unemployment, poverty and vulnerability among the youth. These together with various national policies and strategies (ADLI, PASDP, SDPRP, GTP) have provided the context for the implementation of GOE-UNICEF youth development program. Although the issues which are directly consequential to the youth (e.g. unemployment, poverty, vulnerability) have been spelled out only recently in the form of the national youth policy, the government’s overarching goal of achieving sustained growth in agriculture and recently in the industrial sector to end/reduce poverty has also been useful to young people of the nation in terms of expanding employment and income generating opportunities through various targeted interventions such as encouraging and supporting micro and small scale business enterprises.
The UNICEF-assisted youth development program has represented the government’s explicit desire and willingness to address problems of the youth in a more effective manner. In the context of this, between 2007 and 2011, the Government of Ethiopia designed (under the auspices of the former Ministry of Youth and Sports, now Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, MOWCYA) and implemented a youth development program that aimed at improving the problems of unemployment, poverty and vulnerability among the youth. The program received financial and technical assistance from UNICEF.
The main purpose of this evaluation is to assess the overall impact, effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and sustainability of the ‘UNICEF-Ethiopia Adolescent/Youth Development Programme (2007-2011) so as to provide UNICEF and the MOWCYA with an appropriate policy directions and tools for further strengthening of the programme.
Appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods were employed, including relevant document/literature review, surveys (1,607 youth, beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries), key informant interviews (MOWCYA, NGOs , management of all sampled youth centres/clubs, and youth), focus group discussions (youth beneficiaries) and direct observation at youth centres. In-depth and key informant interviews allowed a thorough and individual perspective on sensitive topics while focus group discussions provided the efficient collection of a diversity of opinions on topics. The combined techniques permitted the investigation of knowledge and attitudes about an issue with breadth, depth, social and cultural relevance. Field work was conducted at 20 woredas in Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Tigray and Afar Regions and Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administration. The evaluation particularly highlighted the effectiveness of all interventions in clusters 1-4, in bringing about behavioural changes for the combat against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and youth development.
Both purposive and random sampling were used to come up with reliable evaluation output. Quantitative as well as qualitative data was collected from all stakeholders involved in the process. Survey data was analyzed using SPSS and frequency tables and graphs were used to present results of descriptive statistics. While qualitative data was summarized and presented in form of narratives and triangulated with the quantitative findings. The limitations of this study was that a more rigorous analysis of unit cost of intervention by regions was not conducted due to partial or complete absence of secondary data (cost and activity done) in all youth centres and different hierarchies of the government due to poor data recording practices.
Findings and Conclusions:
Based on the results from the programme evaluation study, one may conclude that the programme has changed the lives of the youth in several ways. First, the programme has inspired the youth to participate in voluntary activities (95 per cent of targets (more than 160,000 youth) are deployed as youth volunteer and 100 per cent of targets (358 youth) are employed as youth interns, and 57 per cent of youth respondents have been participating in volunteer activities). Second, a number of youths have benefited from the services provided at the youth centres. Third, the programme has also helped many youth to develop different life skills by organising different training sessions. Fourth, it has changed the lives of many youth through the provision of livelihood improvement training as well as the provision of credits to start small businesses. The livelihood training had enabled youth to get a job (126 respondents out of the 334 who took the livelihood improvement training) and start their own business (133/334 respondents). 78 per cent (115/147) of those who took credit and started their own businesses reported that their income had increased, which in turn had led to increased consumption and savings and improve their and their family’s living standard. Overall, the programme has contributed to the national scheme of creating employment opportunities for the youth, and their families. One limitation, however, was that the programme has covered only a small proportion of the youth population. Several problems have also compromised the quality of services that the youth centres provided to the beneficiaries.
• Young people have the energy and the time to give voluntary work to their communities. It is necessary to tap this hidden potential and harness it for the benefit and development of local communities.
• The number of girls who accomplished voluntary activities and those who visited the youth centres and benefited from the services was far lower than that of boys. Youth centre managers and other stakeholders should exert concerted effort to change this scenario. The effort should be directed toward creating awareness among girls who had never visited the centres. Parents and the community at large should also be addressed to understand that the youth centre is established for the good of the youth.
• MoWCYA and the regional bureaus should continue to access the capacity building training for more youth across the country.
• It is important to offer similar livelihood improvement opportunities to youth across the country to reduce the unemployment rate among youth.
• MOWCYA, in collaboration with its development partners such as UNICEF, needs to work out ways of broadening and scaling up the credit service and to increase the youth beneficiaries.
• Youth centres should be expanded to areas where they do not exist and diversify their services and equipping themselves with more facilities.
• When planning to establish youth centres, it is necessary to consider not only urban areas but also rural towns/kebeles.
• Promote and advertise the youth centres and their services.
• Organize trainings on recording and keeping data to who will later be employed as record officer of the youth centre.
• It is important to note that the needs of the youth might change as time progresses. Concerned bodies need to carry out periodic assessment to gauge the relevance of the services of the centres to the needs of the youth.
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