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C H A P T E R S I X Toward Youth Inclusion A Framework for Change This book details the vast gap between outcast youth in war-affected Africa and the international development enterprise. It reveals how international development aid is reaching marginalized youth ineffectively and inefficiently, including war-affected African youth, who are among those most in need of acceptance and support. What follows is a framework for collectively supporting a process to reverse this trend and tap into the reserve of tenacity, ingenuity, and diverse skills that youth in war and postwar Africa, and elsewhere, have to offer. The framework aims to advance an inclusive approach to development work generally and youth development in particular. The aim is not to highlight specific interventions—such as policies concerning land,housing,or informal economic sector reform or programs for job training,trauma counseling,basic skills, or accelerated learning. Nor is the aim to urge engagements in the lives of specific subsets of marginalized and excluded youth populations.The reason is that the particulars of policy,advocacy,and program efforts should surface directly from the results of high-quality,context-specific,trust-based, integrated qualitative and quantitative assessment work conducted before any action is undertaken. The purpose of the framework is to orient thinking and action toward inclusiveness, relevance, and receptivity. The new orientation promises to recognize and empower young people, who are consistently put down and profoundly underestimated. The framework has the potential to boost the effectiveness of promising new concepts such as positive youth development, calls to expand inclusive economic growth for youth (Yudhoyono,Sirleaf,and Cameron 2013: 8), internal agency reforms like usaid’s youth policy (usaid 2012), and mission adjustments like the World Bank’s enhanced emphasis on inclusive growth and halting extreme poverty (World Bank 2013b; Igoe 1 8 8 V E R S O R U N N I N G H E A D 2013) and DfID’s commitment to addressing social exclusion (Department for International Development 2005; Betts, Watson, and Gaynor 2010).1 These approaches, and many more, currently have to be shoehorned into an aid environment constricted by a host of priorities, sectors, procedures, measures, regulations, and expectations, as well as by insufficient accurate information about youth alienation,exclusion,and resilience and the impact of war and of governance that is corrupt and threatening. The framework proposes revisions to the ways in which the international development enterprise , together with developing country governments, learns, plans, and proceeds. The framework divides into two corresponding parts.The first lists a set of sixteen elements that lay new groundwork for change within institutions.The second provides a progression of steps for instituting in-country activities. Together, they promise to drive development work toward more effective and inclusive action for marginalized youth as well as for international development work in general. Four youth in Burundi in 2012. T O W A R D Y O U T H I N C L U S I O N 1 8 9 Elements for Reforming Institutional Action The following framework elements provide a foundation for reforming the work of development institutions and boosting inclusion in development policies and practices concerning marginalized youth: 1. Place excluded female and male youth at the center of development work. Given that most developing countries have enormous populations of female and male youth and most youth endure systemic, cultural, and other kinds of exclusion, their priorities and the factors that exclude many of them must inform the work of development institutions directly. Striving to reverse exclusion and support excluded young people has the potential to boost economies, stabilize societies, and expand access to fundamental rights significantly. 2. Retain this rule of thumb: find out who the “bad” youth are and pursue ways to address their priorities. Youth castigated as “bad”are the key to reversing exclusive practices and supporting youth imperatives.There are likely to be large and challenging groups of young people to engage with, particularly during and after wars. Former female and male combatants , those with alcohol or drug abuse problems, those who steal or prostitute themselves for a living, those who are viewed as failed men and women—these and many more “bad”youth require attention and assistance. Recognition and support for such young people promises to nourish and direct their entrepreneurial acumen toward much more stable and beneficial goals. Qualitative research on the context of morality and legality (noted in element 9, below) should investigate local definitions of good...


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