Preparations underway for the National Human Development Report on Pakistan’s Youth

12 Aug 2014

imageChaired by Minister Ahsan Iqbal, current Council members include Ms Bushra Gohar, Dr Akmal Hussain, Mr Qazi Ismat Isa, Dr Baela Jamil, Ms Marvi Memon, Mr Asad Omer, Dr Umar Saif and Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali.

Preparations for Pakistan’s National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2015 on youth got off to a flying start this month, with the first NHDR Advisory Council meeting held on Tuesday 12th August at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad.

The goal of Pakistan’s NHDR 2015 is to chart the opportunities and obstacles for youth in Pakistan today. In so doing the report will seek to identify how best to realize the potential of young people within the context of human development.

The report will identify a set of recommendations to transform the national and provincial policies on youth, and influence the ways investments are made for young people in Pakistan.

With almost 64% of Pakistan’s population below the age of 29 (and 31% between 15-29 years of age), youth is one of the most important forces that will forge the future of Pakistan. Yet, with no consensus on what that future will be, Pakistan’s NHDR 2015 will be asking the questions:

  • How do you empower the youth of today?
  • How do you prepare youth for active citizenship tomorrow?
  • How can youth be mobilized to become agents of positive change towards a path of prosperity, peace and human development?

The Advisory Council consists of a mix of experts, thought leaders and policy makers whose role is to provide strategic direction; oversee the report preparation, and help advocate for priority public actions emerging from the report. Chaired by Minister Ahsan Iqbal, current Council members include Ms Bushra Gohar, Dr Akmal Hussain, Mr Qazi Ismat Isa, Dr Baela Jamil, Ms Marvi Memon, Mr Asad Omer, Dr Umar Saif and Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali.

During the first Council meeting, Lead Author Dr Adil Najam outlined the proposed themes and process for developing the NHDR 2015. The themes centred around three drivers for youth empowerment – education, employment and engagement - and the process focused on an intensely participatory approach whereby the report is ‘by the youth, for the youth’. Council members commented on these proposals, making recommendations for process and highlighting important additional themes that should be tackled through the report. Themes discussed spanned physical and mental health of young people; the experience of minorities and marginalised groups in societies, and the role of technology in young people’s lives in Pakistan.

The Lead Authors and NHDR team at UNDP welcomed the thoughtful and wide-ranging feedback from Council members which is currently being incorporated into an updated draft of the proposal for NHDR development. As the NHDR team starts work in earnest in the coming months, we look forward to re-engaging Advisory Council members in the next meeting scheduled for December 2014.

The report will draw on the following sources:

  • Direct Youth Participation: From the very outset, we will seek to engage with youth through a variety of events including public hearings, focus groups, social media, structured interviews and possibly open contests. Our aim is for the NHDR 2015 to be ‘by the youth, for the youth’.
  • National Youth Survey: A rigorous piece of primary research structured around the ‘hopes and fears’ of young people in Pakistan.
  • Youth Development Index: An assessment of inclusion with respect to education, employment and civic life to supplement the national and sub-national Human Development Indices.

GET INVOLVED: Join us in a conversation on the future of youth in Pakistan. UNDP Pakistan needs your thoughts and ideas as we prepare Pakistan's NHDR 2015.