Pilot Project Report: Understanding the aspirations of young people in rural communities in South Sulawesi
Social, economic and environmental change is sweeping across Indonesia – bringing new opportunities for the country’s young people.
In this Pilot Project, we set out to identify the aspirations of young people in PAIR focus areas in South Sulawesi, and the skills, education, and training priorities needed to support them. Our research included demographic profiling, spatial and landscape mapping, a legal and policy analysis, and a media review of youth representations in agriculture.
Young people are moving out of agricultural production in South Sulawesi’s rural hinterland areas. Young women are seeking more education and shifting into service sector industries, while young men tend to stay in rural and coastal production or join construction industries supporting infrastructure development.
Key youth development policies and national media representation emphasise leadership, responsibility, and entrepreneurship. Across policy and media, Indonesia’s aging farmer population is of growing concern and reflects the socio-economic profile of young people in South Sulawesi. The disruption due to COVID-19 is unevenly impacting young women and men who are navigating livelihood shifts from rural to urban spaces.
Our research has established the foundations for a larger strategic project to examine how young people respond to major agrarian changes and disruptions, makes recommendations for educational programs and policy reforms, and leverages the longer-term PAIR strategic approach.