Youth employment in fragile countries – Volume 6, Issue 1 (February/March 2017)

The latest issue of our magazine GREAT insights brings together a range of perspectives on the pressing question of how better to promote youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

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    Dr. San Bilal, Head of Economic Transformation and Trade Programme, ECDPM
    Peaceful, stable, equitable, sustainable and prosperous development is a common ambition for all. But it seems even more pressing, and yet often more illusory in conflict-affected and fragile states. The complex environment in fragile countries means that there is no simple, let alone unique, solution towards sustainable peace and prosperity. Instead, it is more about intertwined processes and inter-connected factors.

    Fragile countries' insights

    Complex paths: Supporting mixed livelihoods in fragile states
    Chris Maclay and John Skelton, Mercy Corps
    As in most fragile states, traditional concepts of ‘employment’ as a singular state do not apply in Liberia. Instead, many young people navigate complex livelihoods, earning income from multiple sources. The implications of these ‘portfolios of work’ are outlined in the article. 

    Youth employment for resilience in fragile and conflict-affected states
    Audrey Aumua, Suva for the Pacific Community
    The Pacific region is attempting to use strategic partnerships to address the growing challenge of youth unemployment in an environment with limited opportunities for sustainable development.

    When money finishes, people remain: The challenges of youth unemployment in Nigeria
    Joe Abah, Bureau of Public Service Reforms in the Presidency, Nigeria
    The need to tackle rising youth unemployment is clear to all. Nigeria needs to develop a coordinated, overarching youth employment policy, approved at the highest level of government, to guide all the interventions.

    Employing ex-combatants in fragile and conflict-affected countries
    Tarila Marclint Ebiede, University of Leuven, Belgium
    While specific employment programmes have been developed to facilitate the reintegration of ex-combatants, policy makers in post-conflict societies need to give equal priority to employment programmes for both ex-combatants and ordinary civilians, bringing them together.



    Agricultural value chains and their potential for youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected contexts Sophie Desmidt, ECDPM
    As agriculture is one of the most promising sectors in most fragile and conflict-affected environments, this article explores some of the key challenges and obstacles agricultural value chain development poses for youth employment.

    Youth employment opportunities in African agrifood systems
    Andrea Allen, Julie Howard, M. Kondo, Amy Jamison, Thomas Jayne, J. Snyder, David Tschirley and Kwame Felix Yeboah, Michigan State University
    Rapidly transforming agrifood systems has the potential to drive the expansion of youth employment and broad-based economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania, this article highlights the most promising opportunities and needed policy and programme changes.



    Do jobs aid peace? The impact of employment interventions on peace, security and stability
    Tilman Brück, Neil T.N. Ferguson and Wolfgang Stojetz, International Security and Development Center; Valeria Izzi, University of Edinburgh
    The idea that jobs build peace is the backdrop to many employment interventions, yet despite promising theories of change, weak systematic knowledge leaves the concept reliant on hope and assumption.

    Youth employment in fragile states: Building the foundations first
    Michel Botzung, International Finance Corporation
    High and persistent youth unemployment only reinforces fragility. IFC’s approach to supporting youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected countries is to help tackle structural issues in those economies, through an innovative ‘fragility and conflict lens’.

    A New Deal is needed for youth
    Sarah Hearn, New York University
    The New Deal offers crucial principles for fragile states, but political commitment is lacking and youth populations could be left behind in development. Leaders must recommit to prevent future conflict.

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