Islamabad - With the objective of tracking challenges faced by the youth of Pakistan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday set out its vision and aims for Pakistan’s National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2015 on youth during a ceremony in Islamabad.  The NHDR aims to cover three main drives of youth empowerment comprising education, employment and engagement.

The UNDP will develop country’s second NHDP (2015) which will focus on youth as a “critical force” for shaping human development in the country.  Based on fresh data, the report would be completed and launched by November 2015.

According to UNDP after the launch of the report there would be a long process of advocacy and dissemination to make sure that the proposal of the report would be understood and will be debated to create influence on policies (related to youth).

The first such report by UNDP was developed in 2003 which was more an academic exercise and was on a different subject.

 About 64 per cent of the country’s population is below 29 years of age.

So, the programme is designed in a way that it will empowered “youth” to solve the problems of the “youth”.

Guided by Lead Authors Dr Adil Najam and Dr Faisal Bari, the NHDR is intended to be ‘by the youth for the youth’. Thus, the aim is not just to develop a report but to ignite a national level conversation through an intensely participatory process spanning discussion, focus groups, radio call-in shows, social media engagements and contents with young people throughout Pakistan.

According to UNDP, the team of NHDR has formed a platform called Jawan Pakistan (JP) to generate a conversation amongst youth. The JP has been initiating different engagement activities for this purpose, including call-in shows, nationwide voice boxes that are situated at malls and sports grounds, focus groups discussion, and social media campaigns to understand youth’s point of view.

To provide a robust foundation of quantitative data, fieldwork for nationwide Youth Perception Survey (YPS) was undertaken, and the county’s leading statisticians came together to agree on the approach for sub-national Human Development and Youth Development Indices which will, eventually, be amongst the key components of the final report.

According to Marc-Andre Franche, country director UNDP in Pakistan, “It is anticipatory that the NHDR 2015 will not only generate a sustainable conversation between policymakers and young people in Pakistan but will identify relevant, evidence-informed policy interventions to improve the opportunities for Pakistan’s youth”.

“The NHDR aims at pasturing a debate across the country on solution, ideas for youth engagement and for youth free education. It is also to provide an opportunity for a wide ray of young people to get their voices heard and to be part of this process,” Marc-Andre Franche told The Nation. On this occasion, Lead Author Dr Faisal Bari said, “youth covers the most important transitions we experience in life”. “It is time to train, educate the youth to engage them to solve the issues of youth. If we did not engage the youth, the issue of youth debate will be a youth nightmare,” he said.