A study in youth livelihood pathways was conducted in rural Azerbaijan from April to July in 2008. The primary objective of this study was to understand the perceptions, practices and opportunities for livelihood strategies among youth by youth and their parents.
Both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus group discussions - FGDs) were used. The main focus of this blog is on the FGDs findings. A total of 345 youth and 108 parents were involved in 35 FGDs to disucss youth livelihood pathways. There were four FGD groups: girls, boys, mothers, fathers. In these FGDs, one of the topics discussed was, "what is needed for a successful start-up of a livelihood in your community?"
Youth and adults discussed and listed what was necessary for a successful start-up. Then at the end of each FGDs, participants were asked to score (vote) on the listed items. The results of this process was a matrix comprised of rows of issues, column of four groups (boys, girls, mothers and fathers), with the score values in the cells.
Using the free network drawing tool, Netdraw (Borgatti), the diagram below presents the connections and consensus among girls, boys, mothers and fathers on what is needed for a successful start-up of a livelihood in their Azer community.
The darker lines represent more votes and the seven issues at the top left corner were issues mentioned in the FGDs but did not receive a score by any of the participants at the end of the FGDs.
The diagram quickly shows the issues but also the degree of consensus among the four groups. In the yellow circle, the three issues of 1) tools and equipment, 2) location, and 3) financial support were mentioned and scored by all groups. Also, though not completely, but in general boys place priority on hard (material) issues compared to girls who place more priority on soft (interpersonal) issues as needed for a successful start-up.
Also, interesting, is that in this post-soviet state parents still see the need for a successful start-up business to have a "backer/supporter" which still highlights relality.
From these results, the program was able to quickly learn what were some of the livelihood issues and concerns of the youth and their parents to design more appropriate livelihood programming.