It's Not Enough: Why Youth Centered Economic Empowerment Doesn't Work for Refugees

Author(s): 
Ellen Giordano, David Barth
Organization/Affiliation(s): 
ANERA, Ford Foundation
Publication Date: 
Sep 28, 2017

Using the case of Lebanon, where one in three people is a refugee in the context of an ongoing, devastating civil war in neighboring Syria, the session will identify the limits of traditional youth economic empowerment approaches in conflict and crisis environments and discuss potential solutions. With traditional routes out of reach, policy-makers and implementers have struggled to develop effective short-term, non-formal skills and vocational programs to meet the overwhelming needs of out of school youth who number in the hundreds of thousands. Five to six small groups will be asked to tackle specific questions/challenges such as:

  • Overcoming structural barriers and credentialing

  • Short-term income generation versus long term employment potential

  • Reaching higher numbers of youth versus impact

  • Employment in the host country, home country, or the global marketplace?

  • Striking the balance between vocational skills, “soft skills”, and mentoring/psychosocial support.

Topic: 
Workforce Development
Regions: 
Middle East & North Africa
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