5 Stories of Youth Unemployment Worldwide from the GroundTruth Project
(originally published in The World Post)
By Eric Johnson, The GroundTruth Project
Right now one-third of young people around the globe, between the ages of 15 and 29, aren’t in school or in the workforce. What are the factors driving this unemployment crisis, and what could help address it?
In 2013, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT led this interest when it published a paper with rigorous evidence supporting youth development interventions. Well researched and widely distributed, this paper formed an important evidence base in favor of youth development programs. It was added to major studies by USAID, 3ie and the World Bank.
In 2016, we joined that effort. The GroundTruth Project, RTI International and the Global Center for Youth Employment launched a YouthVoices initiative and platform to give young people a space to tell their stories. The platform gives the media, policymakers and researchers a way to understand what young people are going through.
Just four months old, the YouthVoices platform has gathered more than 400 submissions from young people around the world - and although this is a limited representation, analysis of the text and video submissions are essential additions to researchers’ evidence base.
For example, researches have looked into the issue of family influence on youth education and labor market outcomes. Family dynamics can affect youth outcomes in a wide variety of areas, such as nutritional and cognitive development, education or career choice, social or geographic mobility, personal finances and household responsibilities.
To understand the perspectives of some youth on these issues, I searched the YouthVoices platform for the terms “family,” “parent,” “sister,” “brother” and “children.” The search returned 237 mentions by youth who had submitted text or video in response to the question, “What is your dream job? What is standing in your way from achieving it?”
Here are five of those submissions. Their emerging themes clearly indicate issues with family responsibilities, family-related financial constraints and family influence on career choice. They also show how family can be a motivating factor - several submissions discussed the need to support one’s family and make them proud.
Continue reading the submissions on The World Post where this article was originally published.
Learn more about Children International's employment programs.