Assessing the Performance of Uganda Youth Forum as an Agent of Youth Development in Uganda: A Case Study of Nakawa Division.
Namara, Doreen K.
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NAMARA DOREEN KAROKORA (2009-M092-20034) Assessing the Performance of Uganda Youth Forum as an Agent of Youth Development in Uganda: A Case Study of Nakawa Division. This study assesses the performance of Uganda Youth Forum (UYF) as an agent of youth development in Uganda, using a case study of Nakawa Division. It explores the strategies employed by UYF, a Non-Governmental Organisation started in 1992, to address youth development needs in Nakawa Division, the limitations and challenges experienced in realising its objectives, the achievements it has registered and the strategies proposed to meet the challenges experienced. Using both descriptive and exploratory research, data were collected from 28 study participants that were purposively selected from two parishes in Nakawa Division, i.e. Naguru II and Banda. Data were collected using mainly key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). These methods were deemed adequate because the respondents were information rich considering their key role in UYF youth activities in Nakawa Division. This study, therefore, indicates that capacity building, the peer-to-peer programme, and youth-adult and organisation partnerships were the major strategies UYF employed in implementing youth development activities. This was because UYF deliberately targeted key aspects of an individual‟s developmental needs. This combination of strategies has the potential to significantly improve youth development in Nakawa Division. Visible achievements resulting from youth development activities included the provision of livelihood options to the youth, and sustained positive behaviour change among the youth. However, UYF faced challenges in implementing youth development activities. The main challenges were: Youth mobilisation difficulties greatly affected by the failure to easily separate the work of the patron of UYF and her membership to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party; dependence on donor funding affected the ability of UYF to adequately finance youth development activities as manifested in operational challenges such as transport difficulties, and high turnover of peer facilitators. There was also an inadequate monitoring and evaluation system as highlighted by lack of adequate baseline data in UYF. This study recommends that UYF should review its sensitisation or public relations strategy with the aim of strengthening its branding and visibility in the community, especially clarifying the role of UYF and of its Patron. UYF should also conduct a study to investigate the nature of the weaknesses in its monitoring and evaluation system with a view to improving its ability to gather appropriate data for programming purposes. Key Words: Uganda Youth Forum, Agent, Development, Nakawa Division.