Commonwealth Youth and Development - Volume 5, Issue 2, 2007
Volume 5, Issue 2, 2007
Author Linda CornwellSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5 (2007)More Less
This issue of Commonwealth Youth and Development contains an interesting and eclectic array of articles where 'youth' and 'development' are the key variables. Writing from the Caribbean, Henry Charles reflects on the commitment expressed by heads of government of member countries of the Commonwealth to values such as respect, tolerance and understanding. He then explores the implications of these values for the work of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Author Henry CharlesSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 2 –8 (2007)More Less
The Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) met in Malta on 25-27 November 2005. Fifty-two of the 53 member countries were represented, and 38 heads of state of government attended this meeting. CHOGM is the highest decision-making body of the Commonwealth and its meetings provide an opportunity to examine the global economic, social and political climate; and assess the existing and emerging challenges and opportunities for member countries. The outcome of this rigorous discourse and interrogative process is a platform for action that essentially becomes the mandate for the Commonwealth Secretariat and its agencies.
Focusing on the 'human' in human capital : positive youth development as a foundation for maximising human capital investmentSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 9 –20 (2007)More Less
Although human capital as a concept is covered in great detail in the economics and human resources literatures, efforts to understand human aspects of it are lacking, and little attention seems to be paid to how human differences affect the outcome of human capital investments. This article attempts to look at how positive youth development can have great benefits to those interested in the development of human capital in young people towards preparing them for professional life. The article argues that the positive youth development approach is an effective strategy for building human assets and competencies for maximising human capital, and turning inputs (training and education) into future 'value added' for organisations, businesses and communities. Assets and competencies can also be understood as one's internal infrastructure, that is, attitude, mental capacity, willingness and desire to learn, thinking ability, morality and ethics, work ethic, resiliency, coping abilities and the like. The stronger the internal 'infrastructure' of the individual, the more likely human capital inputs will be maximised. It is proposed that the concepts presented in the paper be further developed through research that examines how and to what extent exposure to developmental supports and opportunities shape young workers' potential and actual human capital enhancement.
Author Willa LouwSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 21 –31 (2007)More Less
Africanisation is generally seen as a renewed focus on Africa, to reclaim what has been taken from Africa. A new sense of pride is emerging that is evident in the local curriculum: there is a renewed spotlight on indigenous knowledge, the diverse student body in a higher education institution, and an African community competing with the demands of a global society. This article, while sympathetic to the demands of globalisation, focuses on how a local community in South Africa should become responsible for its own 'sense of belonging' in the field of education development. It features an Africanised curriculum and specifically designed study material for the higher education student who may be here in South Africa (rural or urban), may live elsewhere in Africa, or may be a local student who has migrated elsewhere on the globe. This article also attempts to create awareness in all communities of the need to be involved in their own curricula by looking at local problems such as language, culture, values, the role of legislation, and training. These have arisen from attempting to Africanise a curriculum to enable a community not only to participate in its own education, but also to become responsible for its own education development.
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 32 –50 (2007)More Less
Youth participation in armed conflicts is an increasingly widespread phenomenon particularly in recent hostilities. Throughout the world, more than 300,000 young children have been recruited by government and non-government forces to serve as combatants, cooks, spies, 'wives' and messengers. More than 120,000 of these young people are in Africa, mainly in Angola, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda (Taylor 2000, 14). Owing to this widespread phenomenon, increasing efforts at analyses and approaches are developed by scholars and aid agencies to understand and investigate the nature of the problem and offer some solutions to it.
This empirical study investigates the situation of Rwandan youth ex-combatants in the DRC. The focus is on how and why young people become involved in conflicts as fighters, how the ensuing conflict influences them, and how the disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes (DDRR) set up by international aid agencies attempt to address the special needs of the youth as they relate to reintegration in their home communities.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews and group discussions were conducted with 26 demobilised ex-combatants and other stakeholders in northern Rwanda. The study challenges the assumptions of the Western model of childhood and child soldiering and some of the approaches of international aid agencies. This relates especially to the exclusive emphases on victimisation and trauma counselling in response to the needs of young people in armed conflicts. The study argues for a more representative and focused approach emphasising the socio-cultural context of ex-combatants and shows how and why youth join armed groups voluntarily. Their resilience and coping strategies in the midst of conflict and their ability to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of conflict are highlighted. The functionalist notion of order and stability in Rwandan communities plays a role as an underlying assumption in the study.
Author Robyn BroadbentSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 51 –62 (2007)More Less
This article outlines work undertaken with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). The research team was commissioned to evaluate the outcomes of youth governance changes that had been processed by the foundation's board. This article is the last in the series that discusses the importance of change at organisational level that provides young people with the opportunity to make decisions on the boards of incorporated organisations such as the foundation. It utilised the work by Commonwealth youth ministers and the United Nations Social Development Committee (UNSDC) to embed the FYA principles in an international context to strengthen the learning for other organisations.
This article reflects on that literature and lists five principles that were utilised as a framework for the future. The aim of publishing it, based on the final report, is to continue to contribute to the development of good practice in other organisations that are focused on ensuring that young people have a meaningful role in the decision making of the governance of our communities.
Fostering child-centred approaches to transport research, planning and policy development : a pilot methodologySource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 5, pp 63 –75 (2007)More Less
Transport plays a significant role in the lives of children and young people, facilitating or constraining their ability to discharge their domestic responsibilities, providing opportunities for earning an income, supporting or inhibiting the development of social networks, and influencing their health and educational achievements. Yet children and young people receive remarkably little attention in transport policy and planning. Since children constitute over half the population of most developing countries, this is a surprising oversight.
Much of our knowledge of children and transport is gleaned from observation and anecdotal evidence. There has been little systematic study of the issues. Children are not seriously considered stakeholders to be consulted in transport-planning activities and their needs are invisible in the decision-making processes of the transport sector. The need to address this oversight cannot be overemphasised.
This article presents a pilot methodology and examines some methodological and ethical challenges emanating from a pilot study involving three countries: India, Ghana and South Africa. The approach is intended to ensure that the voices of children and young people as transport stakeholders emerge sufficiently to influence transport research, planning and policies aimed at enhancing their access to socio-economic opportunities.