Measuring the Impact of Gender Equality Innovations for Transformative Youth Agricultural Livelihoods Project in Ntoroko And Kasese in Western Uganda

Despite improvements in recent years, UNESCO estimates that one in five children, or 263 million adolescents and youth, are out of school worldwide. A disproportionate number live in countries affected by instability and conflict and/or extreme poverty; lack access to economic opportunities and key foundational skills; and are excluded from policies and programs that support safe and productive employment. These factors limit the ability of youth to transition out of poverty as they grow into adulthood.

Agriculture supports 90% of Uganda’s population and is likely to remain the most significant source of employment among youth in the foreseeable future. Youth in Action, an ongoing successful and large-scale youth agriculture and livelihood initiative in Uganda, found that discriminatory norms and attitudes negatively affect young women’s ability to fully benefit from the program, while hindering the sustainability of the program’s positive effects.

The Youth in Action program targets adolescents — including youth who are married and/or parenting — who have been out of school for at least five months and have low literacy and numeracy skills. This project aims to develop, implement, and evaluate a gender-transformative intervention for Youth in Action in an effort to enhance agricultural livelihoods for youth and generate stronger food security outcomes for their households and communities. The project will build on the Youth in Action model to raise awareness about gendered labour division; to enhance intra-household communication; and to improve equitable decision-making about resource allocation and reproductive choices. It will also promote young people as economic agents, participants, and leaders in agricultural production (particularly young women) in an effort to improve community and institutional attitudes towards youth.

The project will test the outcomes of this gender-transformative model against the traditional Youth in Action program. It will be implemented in three sub-counties in Uganda with an initial target of 420 youth and over 600 additional female and male community members, including guardians and spouses, private sector actors, local religious and community leaders, and government. It will eventually reach 2,000 youth in the region through peer networking and community engagement activities. Through a scaling-up strategy with local governments and other stakeholders, it is expected that the approach will be applied in other regions in Uganda.

Project ID

108900

Project status

Active

Duration

24 months

IDRC Officer

Jemimah Njuki

Total funding

CA$ 683,400

Countries

Uganda

Program

Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Cleopatra Mugyenyi

Institution

International Center for Research on Women

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website

http://www.icrw.org