Fuss over youth survey
Head of the Centre for Leadership and Govern-ance at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr Lloyd Waller, has shot down claims by the Ministry of Youth and Culture and its agency, the National Youth Service (NYS), that it had commissioned the National Youth Values and Attitudes Survey conducted in 2014.
Head of the NYS board, Maureen Webber, complained in an email to Waller on Wednesday that an article published in The Gleaner that day did not attribute credit to the NYS for commissioning the survey.
The Gleaner reported that the survey found that Jamaican youth were screaming for more attention from the State and that many would leave the country if they got the chance to search for opportunities to advance themselves.
They also complained that crime was too rampant for comfort.
This issue was raised when a member of the NYS stated in a January 14 email: "I just read a brief newspaper report on the subject survey.
"As the Government of Jamaica's youth development agency, we at NYS would be grateful to receive a copy of the results/publication, at your earliest convenience."
Another email dated the same day was dispatched to Waller by Webber. "I now understand that the NYS commissioned the study; it is a bit unfortunate that the way it appears is that this study was done independent of our parent ministry."
In response, Waller said: "Please note that this study was done independently of the MYC (Ministry of Youth and Culture) and funded by the Centre for Leadership and Governance, through our pool of funds that we receive from our international foundations, development partners and private-sector partners."
Added Waller: "Every year, the CLG (Centre for Leadership and Governance) does a national study. For example, 2011-12 - National Social Media and Political Participation Study, 2012-13 - Political Leadership Survey, 2013-14 - National Youth Values and Attitude Study, this year - National Political Victimisation Survey. The data is usually disseminated to academics for publication."
He said this was the first time since 2006, when the centre did the National Political Culture Study, that it also included the media, on the request of one of its funders.
"This particular study benefited from input from academics familiar with and working in youth-related issues as well as values and attitudes-related sociological issues who have published locally and globally," he said.
Said Waller: "We undertook a consultancy for the NCYD (National Centre for Youth Development) but that was specifically to develop a National Youth Mainstreaming Strategy."
Waller promised that the report, which is being prepared, will be guided by all relevant documents in the public domain for comparative purposes.