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World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2016, 2(3), 78-92
DOI: 10.12691/wjssh-2-3-1
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Participation of Youth in Community Development Programs in Uganda. A Comparative Study of Naads and HPI Programs in Bungokho Subcounty, Mbale District, Uganda

Anna Akandinda1, , Clovice Kankya2 and Peter R. Atekyereza1

1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

2Department of Biosecurity, Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (COVAB), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Pub. Date: August 31, 2016

Cite this paper:
Anna Akandinda, Clovice Kankya and Peter R. Atekyereza. Participation of Youth in Community Development Programs in Uganda. A Comparative Study of Naads and HPI Programs in Bungokho Subcounty, Mbale District, Uganda. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2016; 2(3):78-92. doi: 10.12691/wjssh-2-3-1


The youth, especially in developing countries have not been successfully integrated into civil society, decision-making frameworks and the general development process, which affect their present and future livelihoods. Youth in Uganda continue to dominate ranks of most vulnerable and most powerless groups in the labour market and decision making spheres. It is therefore imperative to explore the dynamics of youth’s involvement in the development process. The study evaluated participation of the youth aged 15-30 years in community development programs in Uganda by comparing NAADS and HPI programs in Mbale district. The study used sample survey design to collect data from 165 individual households and 20 key informant interviews and 4 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with female and male youth were conducted. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for social Scientist (SPSS) version 18. Qualitative data was analysed according to themes and sub themes of the study. The information gathered was utilized in identifying the level of youth involvement, benefits that accrue to youth through participation and the challenges associated with participation of youth in community development programs. Findings indicated limited involvement of youth in development process at all stages, save for implementation stage where 83% confirmed that they are involved. Through participation in community development programs, youth benefit from direct and indirect employment, acquisition of knowledge and skills, increased incomes, increased ownership of household assets/resources and improved family nutrition. The challenges for youth participation in community development (both NAADS and HPI) programs included lack of leadership and management skills among the youth, group regulatory barriers and impediments, development programs not targeting youth, irregular involvement of the youth, lack of information about development programs, youth holding negative attitude about the development programs, design and implementation challenges. There is a weakness in the lack of a comprehensive and consistence framework by both NAADS and HPI to ensure effective participation of youth at various levels of development process. It is therefore important for development actors to design youth engagement approaches and strategies to integrate youth in the development process right from program design stage. Also NAADS and HPI need to design special packages i.e. consider youth development needs and interests separate from the general community development needs and interests to attract youth to effectively participate in the process.

Participation youth community development Mbale district Uganda

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