Jamaica improves on global ranking for youth civic participation

Date Published: 
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

JAMAICA is ranked fifth out of 183 countries in terms of youth civic participation on the recently released 2016 Youth Development Index (YDI).

A Ministry of Education, Youth and Information analysis of the YDI said Jamaica’s score of .0706 is well above the global average score, and is also above the average scores for the regions of the Commonwealth, the Caribbean and Americas.

The YDI is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries. The YDI has five domains, measuring levels of education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation among young people.

Globally, the YDI score has improved by three per cent between 2010 and 2015 and Jamaica has kept pace with global trends, recording a three per cent improvement over the same period.


Members of the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica with State Minister Floyd Green


In addition to significantly improving its score on the civic participation domain, the YDI indicated that Jamaica has also shown progress as it relates to youth political participation. The political participation domain in the YDI mainly seeks to convey whether the policy environment in a country supports youth development and encourages youth engagement in decision making.

Floyd Green, minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information said Jamaica’s improvements in youth civic and political participation reflect the ministry’s commitment to expand avenues for youth to fully engage in decision-making processes.

“We have restarted Jamaica’s National Youth Parliament and have convened a Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica. Both these programmes seek to expand youth participation and ensure that youth from all sectors of society are able to have a legitimate voice in national affairs. This is in addition to support already being provided to the National Secondary Students’ Council, the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students, the National Youth Council of Jamaica and the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme”, said Minister Green.

He added: “The intention is to continue to find meaningful, innovative and creative ways to engage our youth towards influencing policies and positively impacting on the course of history at the local, national and international levels.”

The YDI makes it possible to compare the status and well-being of young people in different countries and regions. It is a resource to help policymakers, researchers and young people see how young people are faring, identify successes and achievements, and identify where policies, programmes and investments need to be targeted in order to improve the quality and state of youth development.