National Human Development Report 2018 - Timor-Leste

Planning the Opportunities for a Youthful Population

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World leaders are increasingly acknowledging that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) alone cannot provide a full picture of a country’s progress. Enhancing human development and wellbeing requires people accessing the opportunities and means to live healthy, happy and satisfactory lives. The highly innovative 4th National Human Development Report for Timor-Leste puts the well-being of young people, three quarters of the country’s population, at the center of the development agenda. By measuring the subjective well-being of youth aged 15 to 34 across eight aspects of life based on a nation-wide survey, this report provides an excellent opportunity for decision makers to implement targeted policies and strategic investments based on an in-depth understanding of youth’s aspirations, attitudes and behaviors.



Public investment in youth

This chapter examines key issues revolving around public investment in youth education and training linked to the development of a solidarity economy and social enterprises in Timor-Leste. It also focuses on appropriate ways government financing might be used to support incubators for social enterprises among youth. Important considerations that are analysed include the following: (1) the distinction between human capability and human capital, which helps illustrate the advantages of youth education understood more broadly than simply collapsing investment in youth into skill training for particular projects; (2) the generally recognized value of concentrating on greater literacy as a foundation for structural change and new ways of working; (3) the need to address gender inequality in education and training in Timor-Leste and to recognize the major social consequences of gender inequality; (4) the desirability of enterprise building through the development of clusters, such as in rural livelihoods and food security or in health care, community development and ecotourism, that draw on the country’s strengths, while not ignoring the country’s fragility in human development; (5) the benefits of offering greater responsibility to marginalized youth and, where possible, of including their organizations in skill and livelihood initiatives; and (6) the relevance of proportionality in public investment, especially by prioritizing human development over physical infrastructure.


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