Impact of Youth Empowerment Programmes in Low-Income Settings: A Systematic Review of the Qualitative Evidence




systematic review, thematic synthesis, qualitative research, youth empowerment, social development


The impact and sustainability of youth empowerment programmes is highly contentious in a context marked by significant levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Youth empowerment programmes play a role in supporting low-income youth. This article presents a systematic review of six studies that were conducted between 2008 and 2013 in poor, urban, semi-rural and rural communities in South Africa. The main goal of the article is to describe how young people have been impacted by participating in youth empowerment programmes in their communities. Themes on key development indicators, results-based transformation, and sustainable youth empowerment programmes, summarise the main factors that influence how youth empowerment programmes are perceived. The systematic review of the literature results provides a basis for further research into youth empowerment programmes.


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How to Cite

Sitshange, Madoda. “Impact of Youth Empowerment Programmes in Low-Income Settings: A Systematic Review of the Qualitative Evidence”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, 20 pages.



Received 2022-08-21
Accepted 2023-11-30
Published 2024-02-27