Building the foundations for sustainable development: a case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents

Peter Sheehan, Kim Sweeny, Bruce Rasmussen et al.
The Lancet – Published Online April 19, 2017

15 pp. 572 kB

Investment in the capabilities of the world’s 1·2 billion adolescents is vital to the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda. The authors examined investments in countries of low income, lower-middle income, and upper-middle income covering the majority of these adolescents globally to derive estimates of investment returns given existing knowledge. The costs and effects of the interventions were estimated by adapting existing models and by extending methods to create new modelling tools. Benefits were valued in terms of increased gross domestic product and averted social costs. The initial analysis showed high returns for the modelled interventions, with substantial variation between countries and with returns generally higher in low-income countries than in countries of lower-middle and upper-middle income.

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