Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Meaningful Societies
Case | Employment | Maghreb
Situation

Entrepreneurship can make an important contribution to sustainable development as it is critical for job creation and can help expand opportunities for socially disadvantages groups – particularly women and youth. The Maghreb region has seen high youth unemployment for years, with unemployment rates of young people aged between 15 and 24 years ranging between 30.8% and 42% in 2019.

Hivos, an international organization that was founded in the Netherlands, has been working with co-working spaces in the Maghreb region (Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya) for several years.

In 2016, Hivos launched the “Co-Working for Sustainable Employment” program in collaboration with Mercy Corps Tunisia and other regional partners aimed to drive job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb, with an emphasis on youth empowerment and particularly female entrepreneurship. It has supported a total of 33 co-working spaces and forged partnerships with different local organizations.

Specifically, the initiative aimed to contribute to the creation of 4,000 job opportunities for youth between 15 and 35 years – in particular young women and in medium-sized towns. The program was supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is nested within their “Local Employment in Africa for Development“ (LEAD) program of preventing brain drain, irregular migration and radicalization by providing opportunities for young people.

 

 

Voluntas Impact

Voluntas Policy Advisory was asked by Hivos to conduct an evaluation of their “Co-Working for Sustainable Employment” program along the OECD-DAC criteria.

The evaluation aimed to assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact of the program, and to learn from the experience for future programming.

Furthermore, based on the results of the evaluation, Voluntas Policy Advisory advised Hivos on building a robust Monitoring and Evaluation framework for an extension of the program.

 

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Realizing women and girls’ human potential in Sudan

With Sudan still ranking as the 138th state out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, millions of women face economic and political exclusion. These challenges are especially exacerbated amongst refugee women. As such, changing perceptions and attitudes, and ensuring vulnerable women and girls have access to opportunities is a long-term effort, which can only be achieved by involving local stakeholders and civil society organizations currently playing an active role in the development of their communities and their country.

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Supporting Libya’s young leaders of tomorrow

Understanding the challenges in enabling effective and impactful implementation of youth focused programs in Libya – Highlighting “Skills for Tomorrow”: Equipping the youth to be future leaders of Libya.
Libya faces numerous barriers to sustainable livelihoods, exacerbated by the political unrest the country has been facing since 2011. Among these barriers is high unemployment, particularly among youth. Within this context, Amideast launched the “Skills for Tomorrow” (SFT) program aimed at increasing employability skills and equipping Libyan youth with the skills they need for success while encouraging them to be leaders in their communities. The program is designed to provide training for 105 Libyan students in disadvantaged neighborhoods in seven locations across the country.

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Meaningful Societies
Case | Tunisia
Situation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US Government agency that provides countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth.

Tunisia, like other countries in the North Africa region, suffers from high water scarcity and impact of climate change will further exacerbate the situation. Agriculture is using around 80% of available water resources, so increasing the efficiency of water usage and improving water governance in agriculture is important to ensure long-term water and food security, and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Therefore, MCC is currently developing a five-year compact in collaboration with the Tunisian Government, aimed at improving the general business climate and the management of water resources in agriculture in the country.

 

 

Voluntas Impact

MCC asked Voluntas Policy Advisory to conduct an in-depth institutional review and political economy analysis of the water sector in Tunisia with the aim of assessing the potential scope and viability of policy and institutional reforms.

In doing so, Voluntas Policy Advisory contributed to a better understanding of the context in which the proposed MCC-supported water program will operate and identified entry points for and possible coalitions to advance change and address key risks. Voluntas Policy Advisory was commissioned to:

  • provide an analysis of the political economy of decision-making in water-management
  • assess and provide recommendations about how MCC’s investments might support the nascent decentralization of water management
  • provide an assessment of the viability of a pricing reform of water for agriculture.

Voluntas Policy Advisory conducted an in-depth review of relevant literature, case studies, the legal and institutional framework and relevant sector strategies. The analysis was further informed through more than 20 Key Informant Interviews at national, regional and local level with representatives of the government, civil society, academia, water sector experts and relevant donors active in the sector.

Voluntas Policy Advisory will now provide additional support to MCC on specific insights identified during the initial analysis.

The foregoing information should not be construed as an express or implied endorsement of Voluntas by Millennium Challenge Corporation or the United States Government.

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Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Meaningful Societies
Case | Employment | Somalia
Situation

Since 2001, the Somali private sector has grown steadily thanks to improved security and increasing stability. As such, agricultural activities and trade have developed significantly, although businesses are often informal with structures based on family and clan (World Bank, Unemployment rate (%) Somalia, 2018).

However, despite this progress and according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM), tens of thousands of people leave Somalia/Somaliland every year, and 60% of young people consider migrating because of youth unemployment – estimated at 25% in 2019 (World Bank Data, Youth Unemployment Rate for Somalia, 2019) – and lack of job prospects (IOM, Somalia, 2017).

In this context, SPARK, a Dutch NGO focused on creating jobs for young people in fragile states, has implemented the Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) program seeking to improve employment opportunities for youth by supporting entrepreneurship and helping create sustainable jobs.

The LEAD program has been focused on activities in Libya, Somalia, and Tunisia aimed at underpinning the human potential of local youth to reduce migration and radicalization in the countries.

 

Voluntas Impact

To document results of the LEAD program in Somalia, Voluntas Policy Advisory helped SPARK estimate impact of activities in terms of job creation.

This was done by tracing the number of sustainable jobs created thanks to activities in Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Garowe and Borama. At Voluntas Policy Advisory, we also evaluated the feasible means for job verification taking into consideration the Somali context.

To do this, Voluntas Policy Advisory carried out phone surveys with beneficiaries of LEAD activities, and key informant interviews with partners. Through this data collection, it was possible to quantitatively estimate new jobs created by business owners, and new job opportunities identified for job seekers – both formal and informal.

As a result, SPARK is now able to build future job creation activities on fact-based recommendations for the most efficient and effective practices in the Somali context.

 

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Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Meaningful Societies
Article | Project
Mapping the meaningful impact of our work
The idiom ‘Don’t miss the forest for the trees’ serves as a reminder that while individual actions have their respective impact, meaningfulness is derived from the way actions work in tandem to contribute to a bigger picture.

At Voluntās Policy Advisory, we understand that larger goals, the forest, are actualized and composed by individual actions, the trees. We conceptualize our work not only in its respective impact, the trees, but we recognize how everything is connected and contextualize our work within the wider ecosystem of policymaking, the forest.

In pursuit of looking at the bigger picture, we are developing a methodology for parsing out and mapping the ways in which our work contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs). This challenges us to think critically about how resources are allocated, allowing us to recognize the direct impact and meaningfulness of our work on global goals.

For example, projects that aim to restore infrastructure directly contribute to SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. From there, we track expenditures that directly contribute to projects’ infrastructural activities, outlining the allocation of expenditures per SDG as shown in the figure below.

By mapping the connection between projects and SDGs we become privy to a more comprehensive perspective and understanding of how our actions and activities contribute to the overall meaningfulness of our work.

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Realizing women and girls’ human potential in Sudan

With Sudan still ranking as the 138th state out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, millions of women face economic and political exclusion. These challenges are especially exacerbated amongst refugee women. As such, changing perceptions and attitudes, and ensuring vulnerable women and girls have access to opportunities is a long-term effort, which can only be achieved by involving local stakeholders and civil society organizations currently playing an active role in the development of their communities and their country.

Sudan
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Supporting Libya’s young leaders of tomorrow

Understanding the challenges in enabling effective and impactful implementation of youth focused programs in Libya – Highlighting “Skills for Tomorrow”: Equipping the youth to be future leaders of Libya.
Libya faces numerous barriers to sustainable livelihoods, exacerbated by the political unrest the country has been facing since 2011. Among these barriers is high unemployment, particularly among youth. Within this context, Amideast launched the “Skills for Tomorrow” (SFT) program aimed at increasing employability skills and equipping Libyan youth with the skills they need for success while encouraging them to be leaders in their communities. The program is designed to provide training for 105 Libyan students in disadvantaged neighborhoods in seven locations across the country.

Meaningful work lowers the impact of work-related stress on employees’ well-being

Meaningful work lowers the impact of work-related stress on employees’ well-being

Meaningful work lowers the impact of work-related stress on employees’ well-being

Meaningful Organization
Article | Meaningfulness

Experiencing meaning in life is widely acknowledged to have a positive impact on well-being. Worryingly, work-related stress has been shown to lower the presence of meaning in life experienced by employees, which lowers their well-being. One study dove deeper into the relationship between work-related stress and employees’ sense of meaning in life and found that meaningful work moderates some of the harmful effects of work stress.

The study found that through meaning-making – allowing an individual to make sense of events – meaningful work significantly reduces the impact that work stress has on a person’s experience of meaning in life, and thus their well-being. That means that the well-being of individuals who experience a high meaningfulness at work is less affected by work-related stress, than that of their peers with a lower sense of meaningfulness.

All in all, this study is a promising sign that increasing meaningfulness at work helps employees to cope with stress. However, this does not take away the need for leaders to focus on lowering work stress, and further research is needed to confirm the findings of this study.

Read the research article on the subject here: 
‘Meaningful Work as a Moderator of the Relation Between Work Stress and Meaning in Life.’ 

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Supporting Libya’s young leaders of tomorrow

Understanding the challenges in enabling effective and impactful implementation of youth focused programs in Libya – Highlighting “Skills for Tomorrow”: Equipping the youth to be future leaders of Libya.
Libya faces numerous barriers to sustainable livelihoods, exacerbated by the political unrest the country has been facing since 2011. Among these barriers is high unemployment, particularly among youth. Within this context, Amideast launched the “Skills for Tomorrow” (SFT) program aimed at increasing employability skills and equipping Libyan youth with the skills they need for success while encouraging them to be leaders in their communities. The program is designed to provide training for 105 Libyan students in disadvantaged neighborhoods in seven locations across the country.