Youth employment is both an economic and a security issue for Africa, with the lack of decent livelihood opportunities as one of the driving forces behind violence or organized crime. Sub-Saharan Africa is going through fast social, political, and economic transformations that have a deep impact on youth. Promoting youth employment is one of the 21st century challenges of the sub-continent. The Ministry of Youths Indigenization and Economic Empowerment aims to teach practical knowledge, provide employment opportunities and promote gender equality. Through youth empowerment, they encourage economic development, reduce population displacement, and enhance community cohesiveness and local security and order to give young people the necessary tools to build a sustainable, bright future.
2.1 Walters Capacity Building Concept approach: Theoretical framework of the study.
The study is going to be carried by Walter’s Capacity Development Concept also known as the Capacity Development Results Framework (CDRF). Capacity Development as a concept or a field of intervention has seen quite some developments in the last decade. What has not changed however is that Capacity Development is firmly anchored in development paradigms and is linked to the development process of individuals, organizations, institutions and societies at large? In the nineties of the last century capacity development was mainly seen as an intervention linked to teaching and training directed at individuals working in organizations. It was also often referred to as capacity building implying that capacities did not yet exist, and needed to be built up from scratch.
Otoo etal, (2009) states that the Capacity Development Results Framework (CDRF or the Framework) is a new approach to the design, implementation, monitoring, management, and evaluation of development programs. It addresses well documented problems in the narrow field of capacity development, the Framework can be profitably applied to assess the feasibility and coherence of proposed development projects, to monitor projects during implementation (with a view to taking corrective action), or to assess the results, or even the design, of completed projects. It can also be used as a step-by-step guide to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of projects and programs designed to build capacity for development at a national or sub national levelThe CDRF ties together various strands of change theory, capacity economics, pedagogical science, project management, and monitoring and evaluation practice to provide a rigorous yet practical instrument. A key feature of the Framework is its focus on capacity factors that impede the achievement of development goals, and on how learning interventions can be designed to improve the development friendliness? of capacity factors by supporting locally driven change. CDRF addresses several long-standing criticisms of capacity development work, including the lack of clear definitions, coherent conceptual frameworks, and effective monitoring of results. It also promotes a common, systematic approach to capacity development.
He further argues that the CDRF can help to clarify objectives, assess prevailing capacity factors, identify appropriate agents of change and change processes, and guide the design of effective learning activities. The Framework encourages articulation of a complete results chain that bridges the gap often found between broad overall objectives and specific learning activities. The CDRF requires stakeholders and practitioners to think through and trace out the relationship of a defined set of variables to any development goal in a given context, and to model explicitly the change process that is expected to be facilitated by learning.
3.1 Youth empowerment
Youths Empowerment is process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives (Katushambe, 2012). They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Youth empowerment aims to improve quality of life and it is achieved through participation in youth empowerment programs. However, scholars argue that child’s rights implementation should go beyond learning about formal rights and procedures to give birth to a concrete experience of rights. There are numerous models that youth empowerment programs use that help youth achieve empowerment. A variety of youth empowerment initiatives are underway around the world. These programs can be through non-profit organizations, government organizations, schools or private organizations.
More so, according to Montsho (2017) youth empowerment is different than youth development because development is centered on developing individuals, while empowerment is focused on creating greater community change relies on the development of individual capacity. Empowerment movements, including youth empowerment, originate, gain momentum, become viable, and become institutionalized. It is often addressed as a gateway to intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building. Activities may focus on youth-led media, youth rights, youth councils, youth activism, youth involvement in community decision-making, and other methods.
Campbell etal, (2012) allude that there is an empowerment theory that focuses on processes that enable participation; enhance control through shared decision making; and create opportunities to learn, practice, and increase skills. Empowerment theory suggests that engaging youth in pro-social, meaningful, and community-enhancing activities that the youth themselves define and control, helps youth gain vital skills, responsibilities, and confidence necessary to become productive and healthy adults. He further asserts that youth empowerment examines six interdependent dimensions of types of empowerment psychological, community, organizational, economic, social and cultural. Psychological empowerment aims to create self confidence and give youth the skills to acquire knowledge. Community empowerment focuses on enhancing the community through leadership development, improving communication, and creating a network of support to mobilize the community to address concerns; organizational empowerment aims to create a base of resources for a community, including voluntary organizations, unions and associations that aim to protect, promote and advocate for the powerless; economic empowerment teaches entrepreneurial skills, how to take ownership of their assets and how to have income security; social empowerment teaches youth about social inclusion and literacy as well as helping kids find the resources to be proactive in their communities. Cultural empowerment aims to recreate cultural practices and redefine cultural rules and norms for youth. Through these dimensions of empowerment, programs can work on empowering youth in one or more aspects of their lives.
Moreover, empowerment programs have its own goals aimed at creating healthier and higher qualities of life for underprivileged or at risk youth (World Bank, 2009). The five competencies of a healthy youth are: (1) positive sense of self, (2) self- control, (3) decision-making skills, (4) a moral system of belief, and (5) pro-social connectedness. Developmental interventions and programs have to be anchored on these competencies that define positive outcomes of healthy youth. These empowerment programs thrive in positive developmental settings. Positive developmental settings promote youth competence, confidence and connections. Two features of the positive developmental youth settings are supportive relationships and support for efficacy and mattering. Supportive relationships are those that are between youth and non familial adults that foster trust and respect. Support for efficacy and mattering specifically focuses on youth being active, instrumental agents of change in their communities, collective decision making and adults listen to and respect their voice. The beneficial outcomes to youth empowerment programs are improved social skills, improved behavior, increased academic achievement, increased self-esteem and increased self-efficacy.
Moreover, other youth empowerment programs are focused on poverty alleviation. Living standards are for those living in poverty are declining causing forms of deprivation as it relates to food, resources and education. Programs aimed at empowering poor youth, work toward livelihood protection or livelihood promotion. Empowerment movements are used as a social action model, aiming for disadvantaged people to become empowered, organized, and educated so that they may create change. These programs advocate for constructive confrontations to enhance the social power of people who are considered disadvantaged. Youth empowerment has also been used as a framework to prevent and reduce youth violence. Ajani etal, (2015) posit that these youth empowerment programs can improve conflict avoidance and resolution skills, increase group leadership skills, and civic efficacy and improve ethnic identity and reduce racial conflict.
Furthermore, Ledford etal, (2013) allude that in Namibia, one popular empowerment program is Pots of Hope. Pots of Hope’s main goal is to reduce the vulnerability youth to HIV and Aids through education, information and awareness, as well as income security projects. Pots of Hope works by educating, and providing counseling to those in rural settings who do not have access to those resources. This program focuses on organizational empowerment within the community. Youth empowerment is often addressed as a gateway to intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building. Local, state, provincial, regional, national, and international government agencies and nonprofit community based organizations provide programs centered on youth empowerment. Activities involved therein may focus on youth led media, youth rights, youth councils, youth activism, youth involvement in community decision making, and other methods.
Participation of youths in established empowerment programs may result in a variety of benefits. The practices of youth involvement and empowerment become embedded within the organizational culture and the community culture (Nwanko etal, 2015). Adults and organizations also benefit from empowerment programs. The both become more communicable and responsive to youth in the community, which leads to program improvements as well as increased participation from youth.
3.2 Understanding Capacity building and empowerment
Through capacity building, capacity of young people to actively contribute to decision making processes, social development and livelihoods in their communities will be increased. This will result in improved self esteem and confidence by the young people, whose voices will be strengthened to influence social and economic decisions that affect their lives in their respective communities (Eade, 1997). Coordination across community organizations can provide a more diverse variety of youth development programs in rural areas. Through partnerships, communities can “identify and channel resources” to help deficiently accomplish capacity building program goals. Effective partnerships can help locate volunteers, train staff members, increase positive communication between programs and the community, provide specific resources such as access to technology and transportation, and fund programs increases to fund and maintain capacity growth are unlikely in rural communities. Therefore, other sources of funding, such as contributions from civic, religious, or business associations, should be explored. Rural areas might be unable to hire a professional, year-round recreation coordinator, even with alternate sources of funds, suggest hiring a recreation professional to coordinate area programs in the summer, rather than the entire year. Many rural residents recognize the usefulness of recreation programs and believe recreation opportunities in their community should be expanded. These residents are likely to support the hiring of a professional summer program coordinator. Some rural areas have established funding hire such a coordinator. The necessary funding will likely come from the community, so engaging individuals and organizations as stakeholders is invaluable.
More so, for successful youth development efforts trusted local stakeholders must be involved. Rural areas, in particular, often face increasingly limited resources in program options, staff, and volunteers. Stakeholders can be vital sources for capacity building. Through partnerships and the provision of volunteers and workers, stakeholders can provide valuable sources of support to influence change in the community (Chakunda and Chakaipa, 2015). Good workers and diverse, quality partnerships can contribute to successful capacity development. When approaching youth development capacity building in rural areas, all stakeholders, including the youth for whom programs are being created, should be involved. Youth hold untapped capacity for community development, but are often overlooked as stakeholders, which limits the growth of community development in rural areas. Using these young people’s abilities benefits the community and the youth themselves. Youth can provide resources such as time, enthusiasm, and active engagement. These resources help programs succeed. Benefits to involved youth include increasing their knowledge, skills, and engagement; finding a place in the community; and learning how to contribute to a community.
Moreover, ILO (2012a) asserts that rural community members of all ages should be part of creating and maintaining capacity building programs for youth development. To accomplish this community-wide engagement, organizations should concentrate on members of the rural community “making more of the programming decisions for themselves”. This involvement accesses community understanding that is “crucial to any effort by outsiders but easily overlooked by planners who have not had or do not seek the opportunity to ask”. Community members provide an understanding of community beliefs and developmental desires. Use of this local knowledge helps develop a clear vision of the community, its resources, and its process to communicate and grow. Relying on solutions outside of the community can undercut community capacity building. Growth occurs when rural communities work out problems without heavily relying on outside sources, although some initial resources such as funding and training may be necessary. This independence creates “community agency,” or the capacity for a community to affect change. Community agency can develop through accessing potential capacity and empowering residents to create an outcome that benefits the rural community. Empowerment enables residents to recognize challenges and develop solutions; this, in turn, assists the community in developing “a sense of self determination and capacity”.
Bolstering human capital and producing knowledge for youth is thereby crucial for developing employment opportunities in rural areas and for rural development in general (Montsho, 2017) Education and vocational training are important components to improve rural livelihoods since a majority of the rural poor still derive their main livelihood from their labour in agriculture. Further, knowledge and information are powerful tools in the process of change, together with capability to get organized and access to productive assets, particularly land, financial services, appropriate technology and labour saving technology.
3.2.1 NGOs and Capacity building
NGOs; that work to build up local organizations so that they can do more to support local people themselves are known as ‘capacity building’ (ILO, 2012). For instance, it might include helping small community groups come together and provide support to their members or helping national NGOs or government institutions to work better and grow. When it works well, capacity building can help local organizations deliver relevant services on a sustainable basis to local people that include lobbying and assisting empowerment. However, like all NGO activity, capacity building brings its own challenges. In particular, it is hard for outsiders to understand local organizations’ operating context both internal and external. It is also often hard to be sure who is driving the ‘capacity building’ process whether the NGO providing the assistance, or the organization receiving it. If the NGO providing assistance is driving the process, or if the capacity building support is not relevant, then any organization which is built up may not keep going on its own. An important component of the NGO capacity building program is the opportunity offered to NGOs to have access to free advice and support given by a team of experienced mentors, who have volunteered for this program.
Ullerberg (2009) asserts that one of the important reasons for lower level of performance of the NGOs is because of low level of capacities of the NGOs. The NGOs have a plenty of people with volunteer spirit and willingness to work among the disadvantaged population in difficult situations. But a large numbers of NGOs do not have competencies and capacities to deliver program, undertake planning and management of the program, mobilization of local resources and their management etc. Because of lack of such competencies, most of the NGOs face questions about their sustainability and viability of their organizations. Different studies regarding capacities have stated that the NGOs need assistance to enhance capacity to implement development programs by establishing effective management and administrative system. The assistance should include means for developing appropriate mechanisms to plan and carryout tasks in collaboration with other organizations. The capacity building programs should include management training of key decision makers of NGOs who tend to be more activists than managers, building the capacity of management and other staff by assisting them to acquire organizational, management and behavioral skills so that they can produce an interesting combination of home grown activism and modern management technique that would help them to achieve better results.
Nwanko etal, (2015) posit that Capacity building programs need to focus on assisting individual staff members to understand the importance of performing and completing their tasks within the given time. It is necessary to assist them to learn taking initiatives to respond to the emerging needs of the communities they serve. In addition, the staffs need to understand their responsibilities better vis-à-vis their beneficiaries. Establishing these simple but core work principles can make NGOs more effective in implementing development programs. Development efforts can be more effective if they are run and managed by trained personnel who understand the process of planning, management including decision making, communication and human relation skills. The training and human resource development activities will enable the NGOs to achieve what they have set out to in the first place. The process would help them understand their strengths better and identify areas where they should concentrate most establishing priority. They should be able to be efficient, transparent, accountable and sustainable organizations. It is generally known fact that the NGOs can do some of the work that the larger membership organizations like youth organization and women’s organization cannot do. Although they are stronger because they are usually supported by external agencies including the government. But their agenda is more political than developmental. An effective capacity building process must encourage participation by all those involved. If stakeholders such as NGOs are involved and share ownership in the process of development they will feel more responsible for the outcome and sustainability of the development. Engaging NGOs who are directly affected by the situation allows for more effective decision-making, it also makes development work more transparent.
2.2.2 NGOs and youths empowerment
Ulleberg (2009) highlights that developing country with large youth populations could see their economics soar if the right investments are made in education, health planning and protection of rights. A number of NGOs have been formed to empower youths. some other NGOs their mission is to educate, empower and engage disadvantaged youth to break the cycle of poverty and become agents of change in their homes, schools and communities and envision a society where youth are key actors in the positive development. Youth’s empowerment through capacity building is designed to fill the gaps left by the ministry of youths in order to strengthen skills. Some NGOs creates a space for youths by exploring and expressing the reality in which they live in and the issues they affect them such as health, quality of education, poverty, violence and unemployment. NGO empowerment provides means for youths to engage their peers to communicate their views on topics of interests and to hone their writing and research skills.
3.3 Factors that affects youth’s empowerment and the strategies that has been adopted
3.3.1 Global or general factors that affect youths
Kimando (2012) alludes that there are a number of global factors that affect youths in generally. These factors include climate change; poverty, unemployment and globalization as well as lack of appropriate skills. There is a growing consensus that the failure to mainstream and coordinate youth policies and programmes and to monitor and evaluate their implementation both within countries and at the continental level has been a serious constraint to using the youth capacities to the full.
World Bank (2009) states that climate change and increased frequency and severity of humanitarian crises have the potential to adversely impact not only young people’s health and nutrition, but also their education and development. For instance, families who lose their livelihood to drought may no longer be able to afford sending children to school or paying for health care. Therefore, leaving the young people at risk.
Poverty, unemployment and globalization
According to Kazi and Leonard (2012) youths are often seen as the next generation of actors on the social and economic stage. While it is true that the future economic development of nations depends on harnessing their energy and developing their skills, this view does not take account of the social and economic contribution that many adolescents and young people make today. It also fails to acknowledge that many young people are struggling to find adequate employment that can provide them with a safe foothold above the poverty line and that their prospects of attaining such security have worsened amid the global economic malaise that has taken hold since 2007. Most young people in general are in a better position to take advantage of global development than any previous generation, due in part to improved levels of education and better health. However, many of them remain excluded from the opportunities afforded by globalization.
Lack of appropriate skills
Saratiel (2014) notes that youthful stage is a time when poverty and inequity pass to the next generation. This is particularly true among youths with low levels of education. Almost half of the world’s youths of appropriate age do not attend secondary school. And when they do attend, many of them fail to complete their studies or finish with insufficient skills especially those high-level competencies that are increasingly required by the modern globalized economy. This skills deficit is contributing to bleak youth economic employment trends. In August 2010, the International Labour Organization released the latest edition of Global Employment Trends for Youth; whose central theme was the impact of the global economic crisis on youth aged 15–24.
3.3.2 Strategies adopted
African States have made significant progress in recognizing the dire challenges and great opportunities on youth present in Africa. A step forward, for national and regional youth networks have been established including the Pan African Youth Union (PYU) (ILO, 2012). These networks channel youth engagement and promote youth perspectives to be incorporated into national, regional, and continental policies, strategies, and programmes. African Union Heads of States at their July 2006 Summit, in Banjul, endorsed the African Youth Charter to strengthen, reinforce, and consolidate continental and regional partnerships and relations (ILO, 2012). The Charter also aimed to prioritize youth development on the African Union’s development agenda. The African Youth Charter is the political and legal document that serves as the strategic framework to propel youth empowerment and development at continental, regional, and national levels. The Charter is a comprehensive framework addressing young people’s rights and obligations. It is also the social contract between the State and the Youth, in response to priority development and empowerment needs. The adoption and entry into force of the African Youth Charter is therefore a significant milestone for youth development in general, and youth employment in particular. This is because the African countries that ratified, adopted, and signed the Charter must develop and implement comprehensive, integrated, and cross-sectoral Youth Policies, with the active involvement of young people. To attain this end, such policy developments should strengthen and mainstream youth employment and hence development issues into broader development goals and priorities.
Katushambe (2012) posits that in 1995, governments focused particularly on youth unemployment in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the conclusion of the World Summit for Social Development. The UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 explicitly committed governments to pursue strategies aimed at providing young people with productive work opportunities. The Youth Employment Network (YEN) comprising the UN, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank was set up to help them fulfill that commitment. In 2001, a team of youth employment experts appointed by the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, made recommendations in four key policy areas employability, entrepreneurship, equal opportunities for young men and women, and employment creation and the YEN is now working with many countries to devise or implement national action plans addressing them. Countries across the developing world have taken up the challenge of tackling youth unemployment, primarily by establishing initiatives to enhance skills. Using the YEN recommendations, Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports, the Kampala City Council and Germany’s international development agency developed a curriculum to complement formal schooling that teaches young people reading, writing and arithmetic skills while teaching them about their rights and giving them practical skills to improve their employment prospects.
Montsho (2012) states that in developing countries, the social assistance aspect of social protection has a primary, broad role in reducing poverty and is a key component of development policy. In developing countries with the relevant experience, there is increasing evidence that social protection programmes can not only improve children’s health, nutrition and educational achievement but also reduce the danger of abuse and exploitation. Social protection is vital if countries are to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and offer the economic opportunities so badly needed by adolescents and young people entering the job market.
More so, National Youth Policy (NYP) intends to give to the development of its young men and women. It clearly defines the place and role of youth in society and the responsibility of society to youth and should be supported by the following three universal concepts: ‘Participation’, ‘Equity’ and ‘Cohesion’ (Deborah, 1997). Youth policies help mainstream the concerns of girls and boys in various sector ministries and in overarching international, regional, national and local strategies. It is not only states that are called upon to take action here; the policies must be embedded in the institutions too. They should not be adopted as isolated policies, but should instead be integrated into more general national and international poverty reduction and development strategies.
2.5 Chapter summary
This chapter conceptualizes the literature review based on the findings done by some scholar concerning NGO capacity building as an empowerment strategy for youths. It is noted that NGOs among the world has played a pivotal role to empower youths social and economically by conducting activities that capacitate them so as to become entrepreneurs in order to curb the problem of unemployment that has made youths for today suffer.