PAPER: Self-employment Programmes for Young People: A Review of the Context, Policies and Evidence

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Across the globe, young women and men are making an important contribution as productive workers, entrepreneurs, consumers, citizens, members of society and agents of change. All too often, the full potential of young people is not realized because they do not have access to productive and decent jobs. Although they are an asset, many young people face high levels of economic and social uncertainty. A difficult transition into the world of work has long-lasting consequences not only on youth but also on their families and communities.

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PAPER: Organizing of Young Informal Workers: Does it Pay Off? May 2016

International Labour Organization (ILO) and The MasterCard Foundation

The ILO School-to-work transitions surveys (SWTS) are implemented as an outcome of the Work4Youth (W4Y) project, a partnership between the ILO and The MasterCard Foundation. The project has a budget of US$14.6 million and will run for five years to mid-2016. Its aim is to “promote decent work opportunities for young men and women through knowledge and action”. The immediate objective of the partnership is to produce more and better labour market information specific to youth in developing countries, focusing in particular on transition paths to the labour market.

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FORUM: Global Youth Forum 2016, June 13-15, 2016

The World Bank Group (WBG) and Global Partnership for Youth in Development
Jun 13, 2016 (All day) to Jun 15, 2016 (All day)

The Global Youth Forum 2016 will gather more than 150 partners and representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society, and young people themselves, to exchange new and innovative ideas, and to support the actions of the global community. The forum is designed around open discussions, based on evidence and experience, of the most effective ways to address both opportunities and  challenges facing young people and to engage young people in development.

BLOG: Youth’s Passion and Ingenuity Bring Inspiration and Hope for the Future, May 2016

The World Bank

The five winners of the 2016 Blog4Dev highlighted inequality as one of the key issues impacting young people in Africa. Young people who have access to opportunities can afford better education but interestingly face strong pressure on who they should become - a doctor, an engineer -- professions that make their parents happy.  The less fortunate have to move from rural areas and cities in search for stability. They sometimes face harsh conditions, often working on low quality jobs, saving to send money to their families back home.  

BLOG: Helping Youth in Bangladesh STEP up to Better Jobs, May 2016

The World Bank

Creating more and better jobs is crucial to Bangladesh’s economic development as 2.1 million youths enter the job market every year. Both the local and global economies are shifting toward industry and services and demand for skilled manpower is on the rise. Therefore, the government of Bangladesh has made workforce development a priority through technical and vocational education training. The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) help youths gain relevant skills to compete on the global job market. To that end, STEP supports public and private training institutions and provides modern equipment, teaching aids and learning materials to improve the quality of technical and vocation training in Bangladesh. 

BLOG: How do you Unlock the Immense Potential of Youth? April 2016

United Nation Development Program

Our latest Regional Human Development Report explores how countries can take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to build a better future for youth, boost economic success, and power human development. This region is home to about 670 million youth. But about 220 million of them -- of which disproportionately large shares are female -- are missing. They are neither studying nor working, and youth unemployment rates are on the rise. Nearly 300 million youth are underemployed in low-end or dead-end jobs. Trapped in low productivity and low paid jobs, they hover on the border of poverty.

BLOG: Underlying Determinants: The Starting Point on the Path to Youth Employment, May 2016

The World Bank

As a multi-stakeholder coalition, the Solution for Youth Employment (S4YE)’s mission is to mobilize efforts to significantly increase the number of these young people who will be engaged in productive work by 2030. As part of our strategy, we have developed a conceptual pathway to employment that shows how all stakeholders can work together to achieve youth employment at scale.  In our theory of change, there are a variety of actions that, when taken by both governments and the private sector collectively, can lead to a better chance of success for young people entering the job market. 

PAPER: Young Arab Voices: Moving Youth Policy from Debate into Action, May 2016

Chatham House-The Royal Institute of International Affairs

Many young people still lack access to a good, formal education, and do not have the ‘soft skills’ that will best equip them for labour markets in which youth unemployment remains high. Successful youth programmes such as Young Arab Voices (YAV) have a role to play in addressing the gaps in training in transferable skills, but the deployment of these skills also relies on national governments’ active engagement with young people. Formal youth policies across the MENA region vary from the detailed (in the case of Morocco) to those limited to youth employment measures; a new section on the role of youth is included in Algeria’s recently amended constitution. 

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PAPER: Leveraging Realtime M&E For Adaptive Youth Employment Programming, May 2016

Mercy Corps

While monitoring and evaluation (M&E), is used in youth employment programs to provide a range of information sources for a variety of stakeholders, these different tasks of M&E typically fall within one of two categories; ‘prove’ and ‘improve’. M&E is often used as a tool to ‘prove’ what was done, or what impact was achieved, particularly as accountability for donors. At the same time, M&E is also needed to help ‘improve’ programming: to generate quick feedback loops that enable programs to increase impact by revising plans or delivering services differently. 

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BLOG: Young and female: Double Jeopardy for Women in Uganda’s Job Market, April 2016


On 8th March 2016, Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate women’s day under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Although Uganda has made major strides towards gender equality, having achieved a Gender Parity Index (GPI)1 of 1 in primary school enrolment, the struggle for equality in the labour market is still an uphill task. Findings from the 2015 School to Work Transition Survey (SWTS) conducted by Uganda Bureau of Statistics and ILO reveal that young women (15-29 years) are faced with a number of disadvantageous gaps in the labour market: higher unemployment rates, wage gaps, higher shares in vulnerable employment and longer school-to-work transitions.