Economic Development

  • How do you target young people effectively? Start by knowing how they spend their time.

    A version of this post originally appeared on Making Cents’ Blog. Reposted with permission.

    Understanding how children and youth spend their time is crucial for designing effective development interventions that improve their well-being. Child time-use studies provide a tested way of shedding light on this essential topic. Perception of time varies by culture, gender, and age; youth perceive time differently than adults. The value attributed to how youth spend their time often differs among cultures. For example, in many societies girls tend to engage in home-based, non-economic chores, while boys engage in economic labor away from home. Economic labor is often more highly valued than the home-based labor, profoundly affecting how girls and boys perceive themselves and their value and place within the household. The interdependence of people within the household and the value placed on their work (at home, away from home, economic or not) influences well-being. Young people often value work in the same way they perceive that their parents do.

    Knowing where youth are and when

    When designing youth-focused programming, one key step is to understand where the target beneficiaries are throughout the day, so as to know when and where to engage them. Some labor youth engage in is designed to limit their autonomy (“keep them busy and out of trouble”).Other activities, despite being labeled as labor, provide outlets for young people to interact with people their own age with limited or no supervision. Fetching water or going to the market are two common examples. How the target beneficiaries value their time and perceive their freedom to make choices (personal agency) will affect their interest, willingness and ability to partake of project activities designed to benefit them.

    The best source of information about time-use is the youth themselves. Children as young as eight can work together in groups to describe how they spend their time. With youth groups, a facilitator can provide a framework and instructions before stepping away to provide the youth space for private discussion.

    Tools for measuring time-use

    While there are several time-use tools, a quick, efficient tool for measuring how youth spend their time is through participatory rapid appraisals, which use mapping and day/time grids and photos or drawings of places and activities. The STRIVE program has employed this tool successfully in the Philippines with children from households engaged in seaweed farming and weaving. In about one hour, you can understand:

    • Where youth are and when
    • The routes and means of transportation between locations/activities
    • Where and when you might locate your intervention
    • Where safety might be an issue
    • How your target beneficiaries perceive time and value their current activities

    For more information on the importance of child time-use studies, see Ben-Arieh, A. & A. Ofir (2002) Time for (More) Time-Use Studies: Studying the Daily Activities of Children. Childhood, 9(2), 225-248.

  • Beyond Euro 2012: Public–Private Partnerships Improve Public Services in Ukraine

    This past June, Ukraine and Poland welcomed five million fans to the 24-day soccer tournament called Euro 2012. The event introduced spectators to the hosts’ rich cultures and histories, as well as their new roads, fresh stadiums and rejuvenated restaurants and hotels.

    But beyond these event-inspired improvements, Ukraine is a country in need of serious repair. Old and inadequate water treatment facilities leave many citizens without clean water in their homes. Solid waste disposal still relies largely on open dumps. Seaports and airports need restructuring and maintenance. And roads and bridges show signs of years of neglect.

    Lack of investment in public infrastructure is particularly noticeable at the local level. The World Bank estimates local investment needs of $25 billion over the next 10 years to fund basic housing and public services, including health care, education and transportation.

    To address Ukraine’s infrastructure needs, FHI 360 is facilitating partnerships between the government and businesses to draw on the strengths of both parties. The public sector establishes the social priorities of the people, and the private sector helps finance and manage public services.

    The core of FHI 360’s Public–Private Partnership Development Program, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is a series of six pilot projects. Staff are currently working with local stakeholders in the areas of solid waste management, urban parking, improvement of health care facilities and services, and city park management.

    In order for any of these projects to take root, however, municipal government leaders, local business owners, potential donors and the citizenry must all be on board. One study FHI 360 commissioned showed that respondents are willing to pay for services if they see a tangible benefit to their quality of life. Still, Ukrainians are hesitant to trust public–private partnerships because they are concerned about corruption and a lack of transparency.

    In response, FHI 360 has launched media tours, town hall meetings, training sessions and conferences. The campaign is not only raising awareness on the benefits of public–private partnerships, it is also providing a way for stakeholders to address their concerns.

    At a forum on public–private partnerships, which FHI 360 helped organize, participants discussed how the model might work in their country. Local government and business representatives also explored opportunities for future cooperation.

    Yuriy Kaptyukh, Deputy Mayor of Zaporizhya, expressed his appreciation for the forum. “It has been very useful to share concrete examples of public–private partnerships being developed in Ukraine. It gives confidence to those municipalities and leaders who, prior to the forum, doubted the concept and thought such an endeavor was too fraught with complications to attempt.”

  • Only the Start

    This timely event was only the start of a very important conversation. We invite you to join us and our partners – PSI, PATH, ONE, and World Vision – and lend your voice to the conversation taking place at #WhyForeignAid.

    Tell Us – Why is Foreign Aid Important?

    To add to this important discussion, watch the video below and give us your thoughts by including #WhyForeignAid in your tweets. Follow the conversation, stay engaged and help us keep this discussion strong.

    • How does foreign aid improve lives?
    • Why is foreign aid is so important for building stronger economies, saving lives?
    • What are examples of funds well spent?
    • Why do Americans need to care?

     

  • On October 3rd, experts will come together to discuss how 1% of the US federal budget builds stronger economies, saves lives, and protects our borders. Tune in to watch the event live  while you add to the discussion on twitter using the hashtag #WhyForeignAid.

    This lively discussion will look at the incredible return on investment of U.S. development efforts in global health and how they contribute to building new markets for more products, preventing the proliferation of disease across borders and ensuring better health for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    View the list of speakers here

    USAID Fact Sheet:

    The Power of 1% and Global Health: Saving Lives, Improving Economic Opportunity, Promoting Security

    Press Release:

    The Power of 1%: What Americans Get for Investments in Global Health

  • Small beginnings, big impact

    I have always believed in the power of microcredit to change lives. A visit to rabbit farmer George Kihanya’s home in the Kenya Rift Valley District convinced me beyond all doubt. Kihanya’s success shows that if well implemented, community-based credit and savings schemes can turn around the lives of many rural families.

    In 2002, Kihanya was caring for his ailing mother. Newly married, he eked out a living growing maize, beans and potatoes.

    Kihanya’s fortunes changed after he started keeping rabbits. Now, he earns on average Sh60,000 (US$650) a month.

    Kihanya was introduced to rabbit farming during a course organized by the Catholic Relief Services, one of the partners in the APHIAPlus program led by FHI.
    Kihanya was chosen by his local church to be trained as a community health worker. He, along with other volunteers, was trained on how to prevent diseases, including HIV, and to link vulnerable children and families to HIV treatment, care and support. Volunteers also learned about farming and other activities, including rabbit farming, to improve food security for their families and communities.

    Inspired by Kihanya’s success, scores of families in the community are now earning money by raising rabbits.