Participatory Gender-Oriented Study of the Information Needs of the Youth in a Rural Community in South-Eastern Nigeria
AbstractAn adequate understanding of the information needs of the youth is crucial in planning programmes that address their socio-economic wellbeing. This study investigated the information needs of the youth in Uzoagba, a rural community in South-Eastern Nigeria. Data were collected from the youth through focus group discussions involving 220 participants, and a questionnaire survey involving 250 respondents. One female, one male and one mixed-gender focus groups for each of three age categories, 7-12 years, 13-19 years, and 20-30 years, were used to generate information on the information needs of the youth. The questionnaire which consisted of closed and open questions was used to collect data on demographic characteristics, information needs and current sources of information of the respondents. Two categories of the youth could be identified. The first comprised those aged 12 years or less who desired information concerning their education, health/HIV/AIDS and income. The second group comprised those older than 12 years whose needs concerned income/employment and education. The youth wanted to develop their personal capacities through education in order to integrate themselves into productive activities in the community. The expressed need for information about how to participate in income-generating activities relates to the youth’s desire
to contribute resources to their family and community. It is recommended that governments should provide appropriate forums for the youth to articulate their information, educational and social needs as input into policies and programmes that affect them.