Theme 4: PYD for Marginalized or Vulnerable Populations
GAP: None of the PYD programs explicitly addressed special needs or inclusion of vulnerable or marginalized groups (other than girls and women) such as LGBTI, indigenous and disabled youth, ethnic minorities, and youth offenders.
The systematic review found a major gap in evidence for PYD programming having impact on vulnerable or marginalized populations, including (but not limited to) lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth; youth with disabilities; youth who inject drugs; youth who engage in transactional sex; incarcerated youth; child soldiers; rural youth; youth in conflict or politically unstable settings; and ethnically minority youth. Vulnerable or marginalized youth populations are those that, for any reason, tend to be excluded from “universal” youth programming that could benefit them. These populations were also not specifically targeted for youth-focused programming.
PYD programs can be designed so that they are applicable to all youth (aka “universal” programs), or they can be tailored so that they are applicable specifically for a particular subgroup of youth. Universal prevention strategies are designed to reach the entire population, without regard to individual risk factors and are intended to reach a large audience. In many contexts, an inclusive universal approach will be the best for safeguarding the wellbeing of individuals who are discriminated against. Participation in a universal program does not reveal aspects of a person's identity that they might prefer not to share and inclusion of diverse populations in a universal program can reduce stigma. Selective (or tailored) interventions target subgroups of the general population that are known to be at risk for negative outcomes or have been denied resources or excluded from benefits. This is a useful strategy when the needs of a subgroup are known to be different than those of other youth in the population, and when being identified with the subgroup is either unavoidable or does not introduce further hardship. More evidence is needed about the context in which universal or tailored PYD programs are most appropriate.
Key questions and illustrative sub-questions
1. What are the barriers to and facilitators for including vulnerable or marginalized populations in universal PYD programs?
- How are vulnerable and marginalized groups experiencing these barriers and facilitators?
- How effective are universal PYD programs at serving the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sub-groups?
2. How effective are tailored PYD programs at serving the needs of vulnerable or marginalized populations?
- What impact do tailored PYD programs have on reducing barriers to programming specific for this population?
- How do we work with special populations to create, design and implement programs for them?
Potential Strategies to Address Theme 4: PYD for Vulnerable or Marginalized Populations