In Maharashtra, state-sponsored programmes that support school dropouts and young offenders in finding employment and integrating into society are severely limited by a lack of resources and capacity.
While several government-sponsored schemes do exist, in reality, however, support for school dropouts is largely provided on an ad hoc basis, and predominantly by non-governmental organisations. In this context, we conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of Kherwadi Social Welfare Association’s Yuva Parivartan programme. This is one of the largest non-governmental interventions directed towards school dropouts and juvenile offenders.
The overarching evaluation question adopted was ‘Can targeted preventive action and access to employment for school dropouts act as a preventive measure against delinquency and crime?’ The following five programme-specific Sub-Questions (SQ) were used for evaluation purposes:
SQ1: Is the Yuva Parivartan (YP) programme effective at imparting on youth a set of prosocial values that are consistent with job-seeking and crime-avoidance behaviours?
SQ2: Are the benefits of the YP programme reaching the population who self-report committing a crime?
SQ3: Does the YP programme lead to pro-social behavioural changes?
SQ4: Is there a relationship between attitudes towards aggressive and/or violent behaviour, entitlement, anti-social intent and employment outcomes?
SQ5: Does the YP programme manage to instil a feeling of confidence among the trainees about their future prospects of finding a job?