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Do young people act to make a difference?

Twaweza undertakes numerous communication interventions particularly focused on young people, with the aim of influencing knowledge and norms and promoting civic engagement. There are a number of key factors that determine whether people might be willing to take private, public, individual or collective actions to address problems they are facing. A major driving force for people’s willingness and ability to become more active is their sense of self-efficacy, general and political.

Self-efficacy is effectively people’s own perceptions of their ability to overcome obstacles and meet their own goals. Naturally, a person’s sense of their capacity in this regard will play an important role in determining how he or she acts to address challenges. The concept of self-efficacy is relevant in the context of interventions meant to foster or enhance citizen agency. Therefore, when Twaweza commissioned a survey in 2014 among Ugandans aged 15-35, an important component included looking at whether young people in Uganda are active in tackling community problems, whether they approach government with their issues and of their own sense of political and general self-efficacy.

This brief presents findings in three parts, exploring young Uganda’s senses of self-efficacy, their political efficacy and what actions they have already taken in their community.

Key Findings

  • Many youth say they can solve their own problems if they exert enough effort into finding a solution for themselves.
  • Youth in Uganda believe they can handle difficulties based on their own coping capabilities.
  • Many believe that they have no say in how the government runs the country.
  • It is also a common belief that voting is the only way in which people can have a say in how the government runs.

Read more: Citizen Agency LME monitoring Uganda young people

Authors: Varja Lipovsek

Editors: Risha Chande

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Organizations: Twaweza East Africa

Pages: 4

Year: 2014

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