1. If you look at the 3 regions that we focus on (MENA, Horn of Africa, Sahel) – can you mention specific trends per region which are relevant for the strategy. Are there, for example, specific sectors where there is much to be gained? Or specific skills that young people lack in a certain region or sector?
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2. Do you have examples of successful "scaled up" initiatives / programs in the field of education and work to increase youth employment, and if so, which ones? Or do you know of certain successful initiatives that are worth scaling up in the 3 regions mentioned?
- The Luminus Education Group runs the Luminus Technical University College, a leading TVET provider in Jordan. It aims to adress the mismatch between the type of skills being taught in the classroom and those required by the private sector. See for more information this case study: http://www.luminuseducation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/IFC_Luminus_Case_Study.pdf. - SEKEM Initiative, founded in Egypt in 1977, aims to develop the individual, society and environment through a holistic approach which integrates ecology, economy, societal and cultural life. - We Love Tripoli is a Lebanese youth-led organisation promoting cultural, social and environmental activism in the city of Tripoli. It encourages young people to reclaim public space and raise their voice, in their own local environment. By now, similar organisations have been set up in other Lebanese cities and other countries in the region. - The HOPES programme (EU financed, administered by a consortium with DAAD, British Council, Edu France and NUFFIC) offers multiple opportunities to Syrian students and host country students. The package includes English language training, scholarships for study at local universities, projects to increase access to education and the job market, and education and work counseling, and offers a holistic approach to skills development of Syrian refugees and host country students.
3. Do you have specific ideas or additions about how we can make young people part of this policy? How do we ensure that they participate in the implementation of this strategy?
- Support is needed for (local) civil society organisations which promote civic engagement and where young people can directly influence their own lives and societies. - Support positive and diverse role models in the region. Young people, young women in particular, lack positive role models to motivate and inspire them, and to help earn the support from families and society for untraditional paths. Media outlets (mainly online) should be supported to give a platform to positive and diverse role models, and to raise awareness on issues like citizenship and participation.
4. Anything else you feel is worth mentioning?
- A long-term and holistic vision on the MENA region is needed. No important complex issue in this time and age can still be analysed or solved from a single discipline. Policies and programmes therefore should be developed in an integrated and holistic way, with human beings at its core and young people in particular being actively involved, and focused on the constructive powers in society which strive for sustainable development of their countries and societies. See for more information these recommendations for youth employment and participation by young people themselves: http://www.hetgrotemiddenoostenplatform.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Youth-Employment-Participation-in-the-Middle-East-1.pdf. - The MENA region is an immense and diverse region, including a huge variety in peoples, cultures, contexts and conditions. There are no single solutions which could be applied region-wide. Tailor-made policies and programmes are needed to effectively respond to people's needs. - In general, financial support to intermediary institutions and organisations should be limited, or based on localisation, where Dutch organisations closely work with local organisations which know very well the local context and needs.