Policy Scan: An Exploratory Study of National Youth Service Policy in 19 Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

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This paper presents findings from an exploratory study of government policies that involve youth in community service in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The research, which was performed in 2004, provides descriptive information and explores the context within which national youth service policies can emerge and thrive. While it is assumed that well-designed national youth service policies provide a framework for engaging youth in pro-social activities that benefit themselves and their communities, relatively little research is available on the subject. Findings indicate that 13 of 19 countries in the study have a national youth service policy, and that the policies vary in forms and configuration. Facilitators and obstacles of these policies are discussed. The paper concludes by providing recommendations to policy makers.


Brett Alessi

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