Increased investments in youth and their wellbeing now are crucial to seizing Timor-Leste’s demographic opportunity: UNDP report

Young people have the potential to play an extremely important role in the country’s achievement of its future development aspirations

Posted April 3, 2018

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Dili, 03 April 2018: Timor-Leste is about to enter a unique 30-40-year demographic opportunity window with the potential for rapid economic and human development gains. While many countries are challenged by their aging populations, Timor-Leste, the second youngest country in the Asia-Pacific region, has an opportunity to translate its blessing into socio-economic dividends by unlocking the potential of its youthful population.

However, this endeavour is challenged by a significant number of unemployed and underemployed youth who face multiple wellbeing vulnerabilities, particularly in education and community vitality. Unless more targeted and quality investments are made now in health, education and the economy, Timor-Leste may miss out on this unique opportunity to unleash its development potential over the next few decades.

Launched today by Minister for the Council of Ministers Adriano do Nascimento, the Timor-Leste National Human Development Report 2018, entitled ‘Planning the Opportunities for a Youthful Population’ aims to promote public discussion and policy making around investing in youth and their well-being to benefit from a potential demographic dividend. The report is the outcome of a two-year collaboration between the UNDP, the Government of Timor-Leste and Flinders University, Australia.

“Timor-Leste is presented with a unique opportunity to make a significant leap forward in its human development,” said Mr. Roy Trivedy, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. “This can only be harnessed through an empowered generation of young women and men who are appropriately skilled, well-educated, and equipped to contribute fully to the process of nation building.”

Timor-Leste is one of the youngest countries in the world with 74 per cent of the population aged under 35, making it the second youngest nation in the Asia-Pacific region after Afghanistan and 15th youngest globally. Consequently, young people have the potential to play an extremely important role in the country’s achievement of its future development aspirations.

The report measures the subjective well-being of youth aged 15-34 across eight aspects of well-being based on a nationwide survey. Promisingly, it finds that three quarters of youth across Timor-Leste perceive themselves as leading healthy and satisfactory lives overall, however, it also finds that more than 80 percent experience deprivations in education and community vitality.

“Political leaders, government officials, businesses, community leaders and development partners have a responsibility to invest now in the wellbeing of youth. We need to unlock the potential of young people to contribute more effectively to Timor-Leste’s development to help create a more prosperous and sustainable future for all,” said Mr. Trivedy.

Inadequate investments in education and training result in a large pool of unemployed youth who feel unprepared for and lack the skills required to access decent employment. This is intensified for adolescent girls and young women who are further disadvantaged in fully participating in education and the economy due to gender roles. The perceived support youth receive from their communities is limited while more than 75 per cent have elevated levels of concern related to safety and security.

Considering the noticeable decline in birth rate in recent years and the arrival of a demographic window of opportunity, the report proposes that the largest human development gains and a rise in GDP per capita from $2,619 in 2015 to $15,375 in 2030 can be achieved if interventions in education and the economy are complemented by increased access to reproductive health services.

The report recommends allocating 25 per cent of the state budget to education and training and calls for several reforms to achieve better quality education and the transformation of economically inactive youth into entrepreneurs in agriculture, tourism and other sectors of the economy that show potential for growth.

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Project Manager and Principal Author: Dr. Merve / +670 73496408


UNDP Timor-Leste, Felisberta Moniz da Silva: +670 780 23310 (Tetun and English)

UNDP Timor-Leste, Jennifer Harrison: / +670 77087058 (English)


Timor-Leste’s 4th National Human Development Report is a collaborative project between the Government of Timor-Leste, UNDP and Flinders University, Australia. It aims to promote public discussion and policy making around the realization of young age structures, investing in youth and their well-being to benefit from a potential demographic dividend. The report is a tool for evidence-based decision making towards improved human development and well-being in Timor-Leste, particularly among the youth. Download the report:

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.


Hasa’e investementu iha Joven no sira nia moris-diak agora mak importante tebes atu aproveita Timor-Leste nia oportunidade demografika: Relatoriu husi PNUD

Dili, 03 Abril 2018: Timor-Leste atu tama dadauk ba janela uniku ida tinan 30-40 ba oportunidade demografika ho potensialidade ba dezenvolvimentu ekonomiku no umanu ne’ebe lais. Enkuantu nasaun barak enfreta dezafiu husi sira nia populasaun idozus, Timor-Leste, segundu nasaun ne’ebe joven liu iha rejiaun Asia-Pasifiku, iha oportunidade atu transfere tulun ne’e ba socio-ekonomiku dividendu liu-husi loke potensialidade populasain joven sira nian.

Maibe, esforsu ne’e hasoru dezafiu husi numeru joven dezempregu ne’ebe hasoru vulnerabilidade oioin iha  moris diak, partikularmente iha edukasaun no vitalidade komunitaria. Investimentu ho kualidade no tarjetu tenke aumenta barak liu ba saúde, edukasaun no ekonomia agora, se lae Timor-Leste bele lakon oportunidade uniku atu hasae potensialidade dezenvolvimentu ba dekade hirak tuir mai.

Relatoriu Nasionál Dezenvolvimentu Umanu Timor-Leste 2018 ho titlu “Planeia Oportunidade ba Populasaun Joven ida” ne’ebé lansa ona husi Ministru do Konsellu de Ministry Adriano do Nascimento ohin, nia objetivu mak atu promove diskusaun publiku no formulasaun politika sira kona-ba investimentu iha joventude no sira nia moris-diak, nune’e bele benefisia husi potensialidade demografika dividendu. Relatoriu ida ne’e resultadu husi kolaborasaun durante tinan rua entre PNUD, Governo Timor-Leste no Universidade Flinders, Australia.

“Timor-Leste iha oportunidade uniku atu aselera ninia dezenvolvimentu umanu.” Hateten Sr. Roy Trivedy, Kordenador Rezidente Nasaun Unidas no Reprezentante Rezidente PNUD“Ida ne’e so bele aproveita liu husi jerasaun joven feto no mane sira ne’ebe iha kbiit, abilidade, edukasaun diak, no preparadu atu kontribui totalmente iha prosesu konstrusaun nasaun.”

Timor-Leste mak nasaun ida joven liu iha mundu ho prosentu 74 husi populasaun ne’ebe ho idade 35 anos ba kraik, sai hanesan nasaun foinsae daruak iha regiaun Asia-pasifiku depoisde Afghanistaun, no globalmente joven liu ba dala 15. Tanba ne’e, joven sira iha potensialidade boot atu halao sira nia  knaar importante hodi  realiza nasaun ne’e nia aspirasaun ba futuru dezenvolvimentu.

Relatoriu ne’e sukat joven ho idade entre 15-34 sira nia moris-diak iha aspetu 8 (walu) moris-diak nian bazeia ba survei iha  nasaun laran tomak. Survei ne’e hetan katak tres quartos husijuventude sira iha Timor-Leste laran tomak konsidera sira nia an iha kondisaun saude diak no moris satisfatoriu jeralmente, maibé, survei  ne’e mos hetan katak 80% liu joventude sira esperensia limitasaun oioin iha edukasaun no vitalidade komunitaria.    

“Lideransa politika sira, ofisial governu, negosiador, lideransa komunitariu no parseria dezenvolvimentu sira iha responsabilidade atu investe iha joventude sira moris diak. Ita presiza loke potensialidade ba jerasaun populasaun joven atu kontribui efetivamente ba dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste nian atu ajuda kria prosperiadade no sustentabilidade futuru ba hotu-hotu.”

Investementu la adekuadu  iha edukasaun no treinamentu ba grupu juventude sira ne’ebé dezempregu  ne’ebe sente la perparadu ba no falta abilidade nesesariu ba asesu serbisu  ne’ebe diak. Ida ne’e intensifikasaun ba joventude feto no feto foinsae ne’ebe dezvantajen liu atu partisipaiha edukasaun no ekonomiatanba  papel jeneru. Joven sira mos konsidera katak apoiu ne’ebe sira simu husi sira nia komunidade limitadu enkuantu liu pursentu 75 iha preokupasaun nivel ass relasiona  ho protesaun no seguransa.

Hare katak  taixa moris nian tuun iha tinan hirak liu ba no jenela oportunidade demografika ne’ebé mai dadauk, relatoriu  ne’e propoin katak dezenvolvimentu umanu bo’ot liu no GDP per kapita bele sae husi $2,619 iha tinan 2015 ba $15,375 iha 2030 bele atinji se  intervensaun iha edukasaun no ekonomiaakompania hoho hasae asesu ba servisu saude reproduktiva.

Relatoriu ne’e rekomenda alokasaun pursentu 25 husi orsamentu estadu ba edukasaun no treinamentu no  reforma oioin atu alkansa edukasaun ne’ebe iha kualidade diak no transformasaun ba joventude ne’ebe lativu ekonomikamente sai emprendedor  iha agrikultura, turismu no setór ekonomiku seluk nian iha ne’ebe hatudu potensialidade ba krezimentu.

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Project Manager and Principal Author: Dr. Merve / +670 73496408


UNDP Timor-Leste, Felisberta Moniz da Silva: +670 780 23310 (Tetun and English)

UNDP Timor-Leste, Jennifer Harrison: / +670 77087058 (English)


Relatoriu Nasional Dezenvolvimentu Umanu Timor-Leste dala 4 ne’e colaborasaun ho Governo Timor-Leste, PNUD no Universidade Flinders, Australia. Ida ne’e ho objetivu atu promove diskursaun publiku no formulasaun politika haleu realizasaun ba estrutura idade joventude, investe iha joven no sira nia moris-diak ba benefisiu husi potensialidade demografika divindo. Relatoriu ne’e hanesan xave ba foti dezisaun bazeia ba evidensia atu hadia dezenvolvimentu umanu no moris-diak iha Timor-Leste, partikularmente entre joventude buka iha relatoriu:

PNUD halo parseria ho ema hotu iha nivel sosiadades atu ajuda dezenvolve nasaun ne’ebe tahan krezimentu,  haburas no hametin krezimentu ho kualidade moris ba ema hotu. Iha rai ne’e besik 170 nasaun no territoria, ami oeferse perpektiva global no vizaun lokais atu haforsa moris no haburas reziliente nasaun.