The latest Next Generation research in Bangladesh has been launched too much interest from the Government, development partners and the media.
'Next Generation Bangladesh: 2015 and beyond' finds that 75% of young people in Bangladesh feel that the country will be more prosperous 15 years from now, and 60% believe the country is heading in the right direction.
But despite this sense of optimism, political instability, poor infrastructure and corruption were seen as major problems facing the country and of great concern to young people. Social conflict and violence were found to be linked to the underemployment that many young people face, with 62% of youth not having earned an income in the past 12 months.
The report that has launched today provides a snapshot of the mood of the nation’s youth. I am delighted there are so much optimism and the desire for a better life and country. However, the report also clearly demonstrates that to defeat poverty and aspire to a prosperous future, existing underlying issues are still barriers to jobs, inclusive growth and enterprise." - Mark Clayton, Deputy British High Commissioner
The new research, which surveyed over 5,000 youths from 15 to 30 year olds in all districts of Bangladesh, is placed in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the action plans towards reaching the SDGs are being framed, the latest Next Generation research looks into five important areas affecting young people’s lives in Bangladesh - governance, law and order, education and employability, environment and health.
The launching event was attended by Dr. Shri Biren Sikder MP, State Minster for Youth and Sports, and Mark Clayton, the Deputy High British Commissioner to Bangladesh at the British Council library in Dhaka.
The State Minister expressed his interest to have a copy of the finalised report to be able to take key points into consideration at the Ministry. Dr. Sikder reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Bangladesh in ensuring engagement of young women and men across the country in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Also speaking at the event were three young people who provided examples of their engagement in communities across Bangladesh, and how they felt the big issues affecting young people could be addressed.
The research also found that traditional education alone will not be the remedy of the high rate of youth unemployment in the country. To be prepared for employment after completing education, young people felt the education system needs to provide more ICT facilities, better trained and qualified teachers and more institutions for education and training.
Overall, it was found that young people envision a democratic, equal and green Bangladesh, with healthcare and quality education as the areas of key importance to them.
The report recommends that these major concerns of youth in Bangladesh should be echoed in the policy and planning documents of Bangladesh, including in the midterm planning documents like the 7th Five Year Plan (SFYP) and annual programme documents like the Annual Development Programme (ADP). This will not only meet the constitutional obligation of the state, but will also align the development efforts of the country in line with the global sustainable development goals.
This latest research was carried out in partnership with ActionAid Bangladesh and ULAB.