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At the time of South Africa’s transition to democracy, hopes were high for the cohort of children born at that particular moment in history. Today, twenty-two years into democracy, this group of children is ’coming of age’. Despite the many promises of a better life for all, racial, class and gender inequalities continue to shape these young people’s lives, dreams and opportunities. 
In its endeavours to meaningfully engage with the key challenges facing South Africa, the youth focus of the PII is a response to the need for evidence-based interventions that aim to empower youth and to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. PII therefore undertakes concerted efforts to bring together research, policy and practise in collaborative moments of knowledge exchange and creation. 
To read more about our Youth Projects, select the relevant links in the menu.

Our Youth projects

   Indicators to monitor Youth Well-being

   A collaborative project drawing on a number of data sources to develop a dashboard of local-level indicators that measure key dimensions of youth well-being in South Africa.

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   Systematic Overview of Youth Unemployment

   Aiming for a multi-disciplinary approach, UCT’s PII and UJ’s CSDA are leading a dedicated team of researchers to conduct the systematic overview, to suggest a more comprehensive and integrated Theory of Change for youth employability and to translate this into policy-oriented documents. Senior staff are collaborating to support junior researchers or post graduate students in producing the overview, synthesis and final reports. This project is supported by the Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution, and Inclusive Growth (REDI3x3).


   Yazi - PII's Youth information Portal

   In an attempt to meet young people in their request for information, The Poverty and Inequality Initiative, in partnership with The Children’s Institute, Ikamva Youth and the DG Murray Trust have developed 'Yazi', an easily accessible information portal that visually maps the pathways through the educational system – from grade 9 onwards – into higher education or into the world of work. It is meant to provide young people with the details they need to make informed decisions about their educational or career trajectories. After an initial pilot stage, it is envisaged that the portal will be evaluated and the outcomes of the evaluation translated into policy-relevant material.  


   2015 Youth-focused Child Gauge

   The South African Child Gauge® is an annual publication of the Children's Institute, University of Cape Town. It provides a snap-shot of the status of children in South Africa, and in particular monitors progress towards the realisation of their rights. Each year, the publication focuses on a major challenge affecting children’s well-being as a lens to critically analyse the position of children and the potential policy responses required.


   Youth Policy Dialogues

   The aim of the workshop was to bring policymakers and researchers together to engage on what sort of policies would be most effective in steering the country towards a new and more inclusive development path. It was attended by a range of academic researchers and NGO leaders who are pro-active in helping young people make the difficult transition between school and employment, and policymakers.