Brunei is highest ranked in ASEAN for youth dev’t

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI Darussalam was the highest ranked Southeast Asian country in the Commonwealth’s 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI), which was released online yesterday.

The YDI ranked Brunei 31st out of 183 countries, making it among the 10 highest-ranked Commonwealth countries.

Malaysia was ranked 34th overall within the index (ninth within the Commonwealth countries), while Singapore ranked 43rd overall (11th within the Commonwealth countries).

The YDI is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure multi-dimensional progress on youth development in the 183 countries within five domains: education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civil participation.

Brunei achieved an overall 2015 YDI score of 0.731 — up from its score of 0.714 in 2010 — placing it in the “very high” youth development level within the index.

In the 2016 Global YDI report, the Commonwealth Secretariat said that the YDI score is a number between zero and one, with a score of one representing the highest level of youth development attainable for a country.

The 2016 Global YDI also included separate rankings for each of the five domains.

Brunei was ranked 13th for health and wellbeing, and 37th for education.

Meanwhile, it was ranked 54th for employment and opportunity, 70th for civic participation and 128th for political participation.

It was stated in the report that the Commonwealth is home to one-third of the global youth population, and that collectively there was a five per cent increase in the average YDI score of Commonwealth countries between 2010 and 2015.

The Commonwealth Secretariat in the report also clarified that the YDI was guided by the Commonwealth definition of youth as people between the ages of 15 and 29, while recognising that some countries and international institutions define youth differently.

“The YDI makes it possible to compare the status and well-being of people in different countries and regions,” it said.

It also said that the YDI’s primary goal is to generate a conversation among key stakeholders, help policymakers identify priority areas for intervention and reform and empower young people with information, among others.

According to the report, the inaugural iteration of the YDI published by the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2013, was the first ever attempt at capturing the multi-dimensional properties that indicate progress in youth development at the country level.

“The new YDI reflects improvements in methodology and data that have made it possible to build a more sophisticated and nuanced picture of youth development across the world,” the Commonwealth Secretariat said.

The Brunei Times