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Jamaica’s first National Youth Survey, which will provide insight into the needs of the country’s young people, and their perspective on key issues, is to get underway soon.
The $43 million survey, which will last for nine months, is being undertaken as part of the Inter-American Development Bank/Government of Jamaica Youth Development Programme and, according to Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange “will provide us with primary data leading to a complete set of data for youth development programmes.”
“The National Youth Survey is the first of its kind.we expect good results,” she stated at the official launch on Friday (March 19) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (second left), waits to affix her signature to copies of a contract being signed by Permanent Secretary in the Youth, Sports and Culture Ministry, Mrs. Maria Jones (second right) and Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Ms. Sonia Jackson (right), for the Institute to undertake the country’s first National Youth Survey. Looking on at left is Country Representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mr. Gerard S. Johnson. The signing took place during a ceremony, held on Friday, March 19, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, to officially launch the survey.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has been contracted to conduct the study, which will target all youth and youth-serving entities, including young people in special circumstances, unattached youth, and those with disabilities. It will incorporate but will not be limited to seven focal areas: economic; educational; physical; political and governance; protection and support; social/family; and spiritual.
Encouraging young people to participate, Ms. Grange said: “This project is for you.and I want you to work with us. The information that we will gather will allow us to better plan not so much for you, but to plan with you for your holistic development. The data will be collected at the parish level, and therefore, we encourage you to commit some time to participate in this process.”
According to a brochure outlining details of the survey, the information garnered will offer a holistic profile on young people between the ages 15 to 24 years throughout the island, and is expected to capture key areas related to Jamaica’s youth and unearth new areas.
“Information gathered from the survey will also provide a baseline by which the effectiveness and relevance of existing youth programmes and policies can be measured; aid in the strengthening of existing programmes designed for youth development; inform the development of new policies, programmes services and initiatives geared towards youth; and prompt new areas of research on topics related to youth needs, opportunities and dreams,” the brochure read.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (centre), about to sign a copy of a contract that Country Representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mr. Gerard S. Johnson (left), is signing. Also signing a copy is Permanent Secretary in the Youth, Sports and Culture Ministry, Mrs. Maria Jones (right). The contract, which was signed during a ceremony held on Friday, March 19, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, to officially launch the country’s first National Youth Survey, facilitates the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) undertaking of the activities under the survey.

In addition, it will provide baseline information for the revision of the National Youth Policy and will allow for the measurement of its impact.
Funding for the survey will be provided by the IDB, through the Youth Development Programme in two phases. Disbursement of US$11 million for the first phase spanning four years has already commenced, while the pay-out for the second phase will be dependent on a request to the IDB, based on the achievement of targets set for phase one.
During the launch, the Ministry, the IDB, and STATIN signed a contract for the study.
The Jamaica Youth Development Programme aims to strengthen the efforts of the government to design and implement policies and programmes that foster positive youth development. It facilitates the transition of unattached youth to adulthood through training, on-the-job experience, information dissemination and labour mediation services.
The National Youth Survey falls under the third component of the programme, which speaks to the institutional strengthening of the National Youth Service (NYS) and the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) including technical assistance, to support governance and articulation between various sectors.