Assessment of community based youth organisations’ involvement in rural development activities in Osun State, Nigeria
The study assessed the involvement of Community Based Youth Organisations (CBYOs) in rural development activities in Osun State by identifying and categorising the formation, characteristics and functions of the organizations, types of project executed and determining their level of involvement and the factors influencing their activities. This was with a view to providing information on CBYOs in rural areas and the extent to which they are involved in rural development activities in the State. A multistage sampling procedure was used to select respondents from the three agricultural zones (Osogbo zone; Ife-Ijesha zone; and Iwo zone) in Osun State. At the first stage, 40 percent of the total number of Local Government Areas (LGAs) from each of the three zones was randomly selected, five from Osogbo, four from Ife-Ijesa and three from Iwo. In stage two, the first three rural communities having more numbers of CBYO were purposively selected from each of the LGAs, making thirty-six (36) rural communities while in the third stage, 40 percent of the CBYOs in each of the selected communities were randomly selected. At the final stage, systematic random sampling technique was used to select the respondents using group registers as sampling frame with a random start at an interval of 3. In all, 431 respondents were interviewed using pretested and validated structured interview schedule. Also, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informants interview were employed to elicit qualitative data such as information on communities that have larger percentage of CBYOs, actual and locations of the projects executed by CBYOs. Appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The results showed that the majority (91.9%) of CBYOs was non-religious, 50.9 percent focused social development and 25.7 percent on educational development. Sixty percent were established between 2001 and 2010 with the mean membership size/strength of 23. Above average (52.6%) of the CBYOs executed up to two social projects in the last five years, among such projects were sign-posts, deep-well and distribution of writing materials in schools. The mean age of CBYOs members was 24.32 years. The majority (81.4%) of the respondents were male with average household size of 6 people. Reports of FGDs and key informants interviewed revealed that CBYOs executed most of the projects they claimed. Furthermore, membership size/strength (β = 0.070; p ≤ 0.05), criteria used for membership admission (β = 0.164; p ≤ 0.05), years of existence (β = 0.030; p ≤ 0.01) and organisation sources of income (β =0.241; p ≤ 0.05), among others, would increase the level of involvement by their corresponding values when their values are varied by one unit. The T-values show that only two of these explanatory variables contribute significantly to the level of involvement of CBYOs in rural development activities. These significant variables are: years of existence (β = 0.030; P≤ 0.05), and membership size/strength (β = 0.070; p ≤ 0.01). More so, household size (β = 0.284; p ≤ 0.01) and project cost (b = 0.863; p ≤ 0.01) were found to have significantly contributed to the level of involvement of CBYOs in rural development activities. Among the factors contributive to effective involvement of CBYOs in rural development were personal development (25.1%) and social contact influence (19.74%). It was concluded that the CBYOs were involved in community development activities in rural areas of the State to about 65 percent.