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Decision Support System - Table 1: Economic structure across countries 5

Decision Support System

Developing a model that helps make strategic choices and evaluate alternatives would be a challenging task. It would be useful to think how building of such a Decision Support System (DSS) could be effected.

In developing plans of actions for specific regions, policy formulators and planners would need to take into account several other variables that have not been discussed in this paper. Primary among the ones that have not been discussed here include natural resources (land, water, climate) and socio-cultural factors (family, institutions, etc.). There would be a need for micro analysis of the macro variables i.e. the variables that have been introduced in this paper would need to be studied in depth for specific regions. The core of such a DSS would need to be a data processing engine that can be loaded on with region specific data as and when required.

Main-streaming youth employment issue

Rural youth need employment. Unemployed rural youth appear more of a burden to their families and societies as trouble makers. Sometimes there are several programs that originate from this view of the rural youth and are based on the concern that they should be kept busy. Rural youth however as we have discussed in the paper present a strategic choice for achieving rural development. Increased income through employment and consequent demand stimulation in the rural markets would by itself foster us towards achieving the goal of rural development. While a suggestion about what FAO could do in this has been included earlier, that alone would not be adequate. It would require a much wider collaborative effort.

Reviving extension

Extension is an extremely useful service that governments have delivered to rural communities. In the light of state minimalism, the axe has also fallen on plan outlays for these services. In the coming knowledge centric economic scenario, faster assimilation of productive technologies and responsiveness to market demands would be extremely critical. Governments and International development agencies should give adequate attention to reforming this crucial agency so that it can be brought out of its current dysfunctionality. Another important aspect to take into account while reviving extension would be broad basing the range of services it delivers to include technology, management and market information for RNFE activities, which is expected to be the driver of new employment.


The value of participatory approaches in development interventions over the blue-print approach has been acknowledged widely across the community of development practitioners. Despite about a decade of focus on participation, the challenge of how to introduce participatory methods still remains. Youth are at the stage of life when the need to be heard, accepted and recognized is quite high. There is a need that substantive experts should work along with experts in participation (especially youth participation). Further there is a need to disseminate the philosophy and practice of participation across to all organizations involved at any stage of development interventions. A challenging task would be to impart this training to CBOs and government organizations.

Basic infrastructure

Basic infrastructure appears to be an obvious requirement for any kind of development to take place. It is so obvious that most of the times its reference is also forgotten. However, the dismal scene of basic infrastructure forces us to include that here in a paper that could include several other advanced level concerns that limit options for youth employment.

With governments rolling back their services, it is most important that development community, even those with youth employment concerns accord a high importance to this issue.

Annexe I - UN Country Classification

Developed regions

Northern America



Australia and New Zealand

Less Developed Regions


Americas excluding Canada and United States in Northern America


Central America

South America

Asia excluding Japan

Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand

Least Developed Countries


Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia


Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Yemen




Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu


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1 Author has written this paper in his individual capacity. All opinions are his personal.

2 Poverty is a very complex and multidimensional problem. In particular, the poor are frequently deprived of the direct benefits which are supposed to accrue to them under various government programs, and also access to public goods which are mostly provided for the rich in urban areas. For a larger discussion of poverty and inequality, see Sen (1999).

3 http://www.fao.org/ruralyouth/e-faqs.htm accessed July 29, 2002

4 Youth Unit, Division of Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, New York

5 GDP at purchaser prices is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. The industrial origin of value added is determined by the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) revision 3. Agriculture corresponds to ISIC divisions 1–5 and includes forestry and fishing. Industry comprises mining, manufacturing (also reported as a separate subgroup), construction, electricity, water, and gas (ISIC divisions 10–45). Manufacturing refers to industries belonging to divisions 15–37. Services correspond to ISIC divisions 50– 99. The volume of GDP is the sum of value added, measured at constant prices, by households, government, and the enterprises operating in the economy.

6 The Rural Non-Farm Economy: Report on Presentations and Discussions at the World Bank

7 The data given are regional averages of country cases. The income shares represent the share of non-farm income in the total income of households that are mainly farm households (including the rural land less). The employment shares represent the share of households in the rural population (in both rural areas and small rural towns) for which non-farm activity is the primary occupation.

8 The mean refers to the mean over the case studies considered for each region and sub region.

9 The concept of employment, i.e. having an employer, a job, a workplace is being challenged in urban centers and it has never been a reality in most rural and indigenous communities. Rural people engage in often diverse and complex strategies best described as livelihoods. Conceptually, livelihoods connote the means activities, entitlements and assets by which people make a living. Assets in this context are defined not only natural (land, water etc.) but also social (community, family etc.) and physical (roads, markets etc.). The sustainability of these livelihoods becomes a function of how people utilize asset portfolios on both short-term and long-term basis.

10 This map shows only the most commonly found environmental factors in rural societies. Each location would have its own typical factors to add to it. The distances are also perceptual and would vary widely from one place to another.

11 On the basis of state and district-level data for rural areas, rural towns and the combined area in India, Hazell and Haggblade found that on average a Rs 100 increase in agricultural income is associated with a Rs 64 increase in RNF income, distributed with Rs 25 in rural areas and Rs 39 in rural towns. Infrastructure, rural population density and farm income levels increase the multiplier. Thus, the figure is as high as 93 in states characterized by high agricultural productivity, high rural population density and rural urbanization, such as Punjab and Haryana, but only 46 in low productivity states such as Bihar.

12 This definition of stakeholders tells us three important things: first stakeholders are persons or collectives of persons, second they can affect resource management and third that they are affected by resource management by resource management. The level to which a stakeholder can affect tells us about its


whereas the level to which it is affected tells us about its


in a given resource management situation.

13 Secondary needs could be understood as needs for tools that help solve fulfill primary needs as identified by Maslow.

14 Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message to Congress, December 3, 1907

15 Participation includes but is not limited to listening and consultation. Listening and consultation are carried out by external experts that enrich them. In the process of experts’ listening to people the benefit that expert draws are far greater than what the people get. On the contrary what participation entails is a

sharing process

. It is a process that develops a shared vision and common perspective. (Divyakirti, 2000)

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