Cities of Youth: Cities of Prosperity

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This report is a background report for the upcoming State of the Urban Youth Report (SUYR) 2011/2012—Prosperous Cities. Youth are key to the prosperity of cities in the developing world, yet they face many barriers to them fulfilling of this role, most notably access to education, vocational training, and employment. Governments and institutions have an important role in assisting youth overcome these barriers through policies that facilitate equitable access to education and employment. This report will focus on the nexus between employment, cities, and youth; all areas that have only recently become recognized as important drivers of economic prosperity and the alleviation of poverty in the developing world. The report will analyze the factors that level the playing field and increase youth’s ability to become employed, with a goal to increase the understanding of the role youth play in bringing about prosperity in cities. The report will identify an urgent need for governments to support youth transitions to employment. Chapter 1 will analyze pertinent research on youth and employment. This analysis will situate youth employment globally, identifying its current state, and review the barriers that youth face. Chapter 2 will analyze the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of six geographically representative cities. Issues that will be analyzed are issues of human capital (youth skills), income composition, sector structure, and policies and how all these are related to city demography. This review will especially focus on the demographic youth bulge and its impact, women, and urban youth. There will be a review of data including urban assets with a focus on access to infrastructure—water, sanitation, electricity, roads, telecommunications, including digital technology—and what these mean for the quality of life and productive activities of youth within urban areas. Chapter 3 will present major findings of this report.


Doug Ragan

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