Youth Participation&Employment in the MENA region

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Launched in 2017, the Youth Participation and Employment (YPE) programme is a five-year initiative, implemented by Oxfam IBIS (Denmark), and funded by the Danish Arab Partnership program. YPE aims to improve economic opportunities for young women and men in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. By building diverse and effective partnerships, it seeks to achieve three outcomes: (i) strengthened technical and life skills that enable young people to actively engage in society; (ii) increased organisational capacity of institutions, the private sector, entrepreneurs and communities to support young people; (iii) enhanced advocacy and dialogue between youth, public and private institutions, and business.

Entity

OXFAM IBIS Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Policy, advocacy and convening power; Financial and/or in-kind contribution

Partners

  • King Hussein Foundation

    Foundation or philanthropic organization

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

  • Leaders of Tomorrow

    Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

  • Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development

    Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

Sustainable Development Goals & targets

  • 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

Achievement At Glance

Over 2,318 jobs were created in 2020, bringing the total number of jobs created through the Youth Participation and Employment (YPE) Programme to 6,238. The Programme increased youth employability through creating decent jobs and opportunities for enterprises, and enhanced capacity of local partners in understanding labour markets, barriers for entrepreneurs and enhanced their management capacity. 

About 3,934 young people were supported in start-ups and innovation, of which 2176 are women; 21,337 youth gained soft skills in e.g., communication, civic and empowerment, of which 10,822 are women; 715 Young women gained new skills and mentoring to join the labour market. 

At the regional level, case-studies were documented highlighting lessons in creating decent work through start-ups and SMEs, leveraging innovative financing for creating employment, and using technology to improve youth employment and supporting women entrepreneurs in the pandemic.

Key Highlight On Guiding Principle

The YPE Programme focuses on creating decent jobs. The Innovation Fund will support existing structures to finance SMEs and support green jobs and jobs in the digital economy. All four countries have suggested a few options for partnerships.

A mapping carried out to identify current activities and ideas for fostering gender equality showed that all YPE country programmes include capacity-development and research activities to strengthen knowledge and the use of gender transformative approaches, gender-sensitive MEAL and gender mainstreaming for Oxfam and partners.

The Programme collaborated with other similar initiatives in the region. It remained committed to finding innovative approaches. In 2020, it became a partner of the Decent Jobs for Youth Initiative. This has given Oxfam IBIS and YPE partners access to a vast network of youth employment programmes and will be used to strengthen innovation and decent jobs. As part of the overall decent work agenda, a special YPE initiative to increase safety for women at work started involving training and advocacy at national level and a regional campaign.

description

The program will support partners in capacity-building and developing strategies. Stakeholders will be supported to promote inclusive youth participation through networking with private companies, facilitating contact between employers and job seekers, promoting decent work through internship and matchmaking and identifying employers. Partners will be supported in influencing policies and practices related to youth employment through awareness-raising campaign, research on entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering decent job opportunities for young people and enhancing women’s safety at work.

Influencing work ought to tackle the three priorities to induce sustainable and long-lasting impact for young people in the labour market: (i) tackling the tax infrastructure to make it more conducive and supportive for young entrepreneurs aiming to grow and secure dignified work for employees they hire; (ii) actively engaging with the issue of unpaid care work and influencing governments and private sector actors to assume responsibility in recognizing, redistribution, and reducing unpaid care work for women; (iii) tackling inequalities in the labour market, especially for women and youth on the basis of decent and dignified work.

Country teams will implement the program in partnership with local organizations. A project management unit governs the overall operation and adds value through its regional component.

https://www.dapp.dk/en/
https://www.facebook.com/OxfamMENA
https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/2021/08/increasing-participation-creating-inclusive-employment-opportunities-for-youth/
https://bit.ly/OxfamI_blog
https://www.decentjobsforyouth.org/resource-details/Blogs/895
https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/decade-hope-not-austerity-middle-east-and-north-africa
https://oxfaminjordan.exposure.co/from-uncertainty-to-selfreliancenbsp

Deliverables and links to SDG targets

  • Progress: 28,081 young people trained in relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, ICT skills and soft skills

    8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

    Youth supported through (i) vocational training and development of professional skills; (ii)  training of trainers to become employment counsellors and deliver soft and technical skills; (iii) employment training programs for specialized employment topics and life skills; (iv) soft and job-oriented skills training, online self-development and employment skills courses.

    BY: Jun 2022
  • Progress: 1,531 youth-led enterprises created or improved

    8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

    Youth startups and innovation supported through (i) entrepreneurial coaching sessions and networking opportunities; (ii) SMEs and individual projects to start or improve their businesses; (iii) workshops with entrepreneurs and start-up acceleration; and (iv) enterprise management skills training, mentoring and market access events; (V) Seed funding for startups through acceleration programs.

    BY: Jun 2022
  • Progress: 3,927 out of 5000 young people supported through entrepreneurship training, advisory services, access to markets or access to finance

    8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

    Youth trained in communication, civic and empowerment skills to support youth-led initiatives. Decent work-related capacity-building for partners promoted, credit facilities set up, feasibility study and marketing campaigns conducted. Social enterprises supported through a grant scheme and technical advisory services. Innovative funds established to support youth's access to finance.

    BY: Jun 2022

Start

01-Jul-2017

End

30-Jun-2022

USD 18,500,000

Estimated total value of the commitment

9,600

young people to benefit directly from this commitment

Target: Only young people 25-29, 30-35

Primarily:
  • Young people in urban areas
  • Young people in rural areas
  • Young women
  • Young men
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Low-income individuals
  • Young people with low levels of education and/or drop-outs
  • Graduates of second-level education and students in third-level education or beyond

Challenges faced in implementation

The program faced delays lockdown and curfew due to the COVID19 pandemic. Some activities were cancelled, and some postponed such as MEAL training for YPE staff and the advocacy workshop for partners. Number of participants in training workshops reduced due to travel restrictions. Unemployment rose dramatically in 2020, as domestic demand declined in the MENA region following the outbreak of COVID-19. In 2020, the crisis reduced working hours in the region by an average of 9 per cent and 70-90 per cent of youth finding it more difficult to find a job now than prior to the pandemic. The damage to the socio-economic fabric of these countries demonstrate once again that the COVID-19 is drastically increasing already existing inequalities vis-à-vis employment.  Some partners dropped out and new partners were inducted reducing th epace of activity implementation. Though online activities were useful but it was not accessible for some people particularly in rural areas.YPE is mindful of the digital divide and considered additional steps to ensure that new solutions remain available for marginalized youth. Given the rapidly deteriorating context in the region, monitoring of activities on the ground was a challenge. 

Gallery

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