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PERCEPTIONS OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN PUBLIC POLICY MAKING: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED AREAS WITHIN THE LA-NKWANTANANG MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY, GHANA

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The perceptions of youth involvement in public policy making has been subject of discussion amongst various scholars around the globe. With youth confirming their displeasure in many ways (such as demonstrations and violent acts) about the failure of
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  International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology   Page 1  of 61   © 2018, www.IJARIIT.com  All Rights Reserved ISSN: 2454-132X Impact factor: 4.295  (Volume 4, Issue 6) Available online at:   www.ijariit.com  PERCEPTIONS OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN PUBLIC POLICY MAKING: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED AREAS WITHIN THE LA-NKWANTANANG MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY, GHANA   by Enoch Tufafa Koshi Adedze  adedzeenoch.ea@gmail.com University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana  International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology   Page 2  of 61   © 2018, www.IJARIIT.com  All Rights Reserved ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My profound gratitude is extended to all respondents for taking time off their busy schedule to respond to the questionnaire. My final appreciation goes to friends and family for funding this research work.  International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology   Page 3  of 61   © 2018, www.IJARIIT.com  All Rights Reserved ABSTRACT The perceptions of youth involvement in public policy making has been subject of discussion amongst various scholars around the globe. With youth confirming their displeasure in many ways (such as demonstrations and violent acts) about the failure of the community authorities in involving them in policies that affect their present and future life, this study sought to investigate their perceptions of involvement in policy making. In addressing these concerns the youth involvement model and political system model as well as objectives such as examining the relationship, effect and significance between youth involvement and public policy making in three communities within the La-Nkwantanang municipal assembly (suburb of Accra Ghana) were included. Using the regression model with a quantitative approach as well as a random sampling technique to administering an adapted structured questionnaire to 120 sampled youth, results indicated that factors of youth involvement positively relate to public policy making while views gathered indicated that youth-adult partnership factor relates more and should be a better approach to enhancing public policy making. Secondly results indicated that perceptions of youth involvement has a positive effect on public policy making. Lastly perceptions of youth involvement was significant to public policy making. It was however recommended that synergizing youth involvement factors such as community readiness, youth-adult partnership, youth leadership and decision making as well as youth diversity will go along way to limit the challenges that comes with including the youth in public policy reforms.  International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology   Page 4  of 61   © 2018, www.IJARIIT.com  All Rights Reserved CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study   All over the world and with ages gone by, leaders (be it political, public or organizational) have consistently insisted that young people are the future of every facets of thoughts and ideologies in the world (UNDP, 2012). Though factual, are these comments just mere acknowledgement of young people within the society? Or there are actually actions that support these comments? Or are these comments and actions adequately felt by young people within the society? These concerns formed the basis for this study. According to UNDP and IPU (2012) young people are most referred to as the youth. Meanwhile there are several definitions of youth as postulated by social institutions. For instance the International Initiative (2004) defined youth and young adult as “ individuals from the ages of 16 through 24 ” . Also the global parliamentary report by UNDP and IPU (2012) stated that youth are  persons between the ages of 16years and 35years. For the purposes of this study the later definition was adopted because it represented a large population of young persons while it presents an acceptable perceptual appeal of who a young person is. In a survey conducted by UN IANYD in August, 2012 it was observed that an estimated 76% of 13000 respondents across 186 countries indicated that the greatest challenge for the youth were limited opportunities in effective decision making process. This inadequate participation in social issues of concern lives them marginalized hence they tend to find alternative sources for their voices to be heard. Such alternative sources may include various degrees of assault and vandalism on persons and properties. The survey indicated that though the youth formed an enormous pool of the world’s population (that is a fourth of the world’s population) they are barely given the  International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology   Page 5  of 61   © 2018, www.IJARIIT.com  All Rights Reserved opportunity to participate in key decisions. Meanwhile various reports and surveys have been conducted to give a deeper observation to this view point held by the youth. Whitlock and Hamilton (2001) report on youth participation in decision making showed some comments made by t he youth when interviewed. The interviewee stated that “A process designed for youth without their perspective is fundamentally flawed and that youth add a language and legitimacy that appeals to other youth”.  Also a report put together by Ansell and Colgues (2007) indicated that youth are unhappy about leaders or adults or parents making decisions for them without their opinion. Cairns (2001) of ‘ Investing in Children organization ’  stated that it was needless to marginalize the youth especially on matters that concern them since the best way is to see them as an equal of the adults, knowledgeable as the adults and who have contributions to make just as vital as the adults. Malmberg (1992) stated in the Netherlands that “making policies and solutions for you ngsters without engaging them is spilling energy and money”.  These views expressed show a need for youth participation in policy making. Therefore this study investigated the perceptual involvement of youth in public policy making with a focus on few communities in Ghana. However according to Making (1997) involvement supersedes but includes engagement and participation of individuals in a social discourse. He stated that participation is where people take part in a social discourse whereas engagement is providing and disseminating an information or knowledge to a class of people. Alternatively Checkoway and Gutierrez (2006) defined involvement as an act of participating in something. In furtherance they stated that youth involvement encompasses a focus on civic engagement, youth rights and intergenerational equity. Various scholars, social activist and politicians have been cited as making valuable contributions to youth involvement in policy making. Rozalis (a state attorney in Isreal) in 1998, for instance stated that “young people are residents like all others. Therefore their involvement is equal to that
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