The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in a Comparative Perspective: the Case of Pakistan (Distinguished Lecture)

The paper compares and contrasts the situation of young people in Pakistan with broader global trends drawing on data from both the recent US National Research Council report, Growing up Global: the Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries, and from the national survey of adolescents and youth in Pakistan (AYP) 18 months earlier [Sathar, et al. (2003)]. The paper begins with some demographic background, and a discussion of how recent trends in schooling in Pakistan compare with broader trends in all developing countries as a group as well as in South Asia. It then follows the broad outlines of the National Research Council’s report in exploring transitions to adult work and family roles in a comparative perspective. The concluding section of the paper draws on the NRC panel’s programme and policy recommendations which were developed after a careful review of lessons learned from recent policy research and programme intervention research from around the world, all of which are relevant in some form in the Pakistani context.