Youth Inclusion in Socio-economic and Livelihood Programmes: Potential for Fostering Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention in Southern and East Africa

Peace and prosperity represent two universal objectives of nations across the world. Since the mid-2000s, a recognition of the growing representation of young people in developing countries has posed a significant dilemma to policymakers; continue to exclude youth and neglect the issues that they face, further aggravating the conditions that contribute to violence, or include youth in unpacking and addressing these conditions and contribute to greater peace and prosperity. This review integrates recent literature, policy and programming, focused on youth socio-economic inclusion, in order to identify key programming and policy recommendations that may foster greater youth inclusion and violence prevention. Whilst the literature and policies reviewed include a focus on countries in sub-Saharan Africa more broadly, the six youth programmes included in the review focus on the Eastern and Southern African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The report highlights a strong overlap between literature and strategic objectives in national and regional youth policies. Whilst showing great promise, it highlights some of the challenges that may contribute to the gaps between policy development, implementation and outcomes. This includes challenges with policy harmonisation, interdepartmental collaboration, a lack of budgeting towards as well as evaluation of policy outcomes.