What's a youth bulge?
More than half of PNG's population is under 25 - and many of these young people are starting their adult life in a nation rife with unemployment and social issues.
Tell me about Oaktree's youth bulge report?
In 2017, Oaktree launched a major report into the implications of the demographic youth bulge for Papua New Guinea. Decision-makers need a deeper understanding of the impact of the youth bulge on service delivery, human development, governance and security, the issues that matter to young people in PNG, and the unique skills and experience of young people which will inform the policy responses available to take advantage of these.
A large, healthy, well-educated youth population is a foundation block for sustainable economic growth. Young people have unique, creative perspectives and ideas that will be instrumental in solving complex problems that will arise in the future. Young people intrinsically understand new technologies, and readily adopt the new.
We believe that developing the human resources of the country will pay dividends for decades to come. However, we know that service delivery in PNG is currently under a great deal of pressure due to a lack of resources and misallocation of capital. This will become more acute as the population ages. At each stage of their lives, today’s young people will require a different set of services.
At Yangis Community School, PNG
What does the report recommend?
PNG’s national youth policy should provide clear guidance to actors within the aid sector emphasising the importance of youth participation in decision-making
Organisations working within the aid sector should develop strategies for working more effectively with young people, particularly in contexts where project outcomes are designed to impact young people, either directly or indirectly
Investment should focus on:
The promotion of effective service delivery in health and education - good health fosters growth, and education provides opportunity.
Youth-led good-governance initiatives which take advantage of new technologies, such as social accountability programs leading to the development of coalitions for change.
Priority programs for job creation in the formal sector:
- Transitional employment measures
- Strengthening links between education and employment
- Social and cultural activities which promote job creation.
Support for civil society organisations and coalitions of actors thatIn all areas, an approach is required which takes on lessons from the Doing Development Differently agenda, encouraging experimentation, quick adaptation, and embracing positive deviance.
- Foster youth leadership;
- Facilitate interface between young people and decision-makers; and
- Promote linkages with youth-led movements in the wider Asia-Pacific region for skills-sharing and advocacy on issues of regional concern such as climate change.