Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Meaningful Policy
COVID-19 | The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

October 30, 2020

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) forms a cooperation between nine partner countries including Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway.  The NPA is a part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, also known as Interreg and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Despite geographical differences, the regional partners share common features such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change. This unique combination of features yields joint challenges and opportunities that can best be overcome and realized through transnational cooperation.[1]

As COVID-19 spread throughout Europe in spring 2020, the NPA monitoring committee agreed to support seven projects dedicated to what has become known as the “NPA COVID-19 Response Call”. Each of these projects address one of five themes aimed at understanding the impact of COVID-19 across the NPA region: (A) Clinical aspects, (B) Health and wellbeing, (C) Technology solution, (D) Citizen engagement/community response and (E) Economic impact and (F) Emerging themes.[2]

In collaboration with Baltic Sea Cluster Development Centre, Voluntās Policy Advisory (Voluntās) is currently involved in the “COVID19-Communities Response and Resilience” project targeting themes “Citizen engagement/community response” as well as “The Economic of Health Service Delivery”.

For the Communities Response and Resilience project, Voluntās are working closely with partners from the Regional Council of Kainuu, Finland; University of Oulu, Finland; Rural Area Partnership, Northern Ireland; NHS Western Isles, Scotland; Leitrim County Council, Ireland and British Red Cross, Shetland to examine the impact, resilience, and responses to COVID-19 on a community level in the NPA area.[3]  Collaborating with the Faroese Agricultural Agency has been focused on distributing three different questionnaires across the Faroe Islands. Having now completed the data collection phase, Voluntās will compile a regional report which will ultimately feed into the transnational report comparing findings across six regions.

The “COVID & Economics” project examines economic impacts and responses to COVID-19. It captures innovations and transformations that have taken place as a result of the pandemic, and sets out to create a roadmap for recommendations that will allow for more sustainable and resilient regional/local communities and economies across the NPA. In this project, Voluntās is working with partners from Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and northern Norway in order to gain insight into the effects on COVID-19 on these economies.

 

 

[1] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/about/programme-in-brief/

[2] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/for-applicants/covid-19-call/

[3] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/covid-19/npa-response-group-and-projects

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Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Meaningful Policy
Case | COVID-19 | Libya

To support effective COVID-19 crisis communication and community outreach by the Libyan Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control, Voluntās Policy Advisory supported UNICEF in the development and implementation of a nationwide survey-based behavioral assessment in Libya. The assessment aimed at capturing a broad and in-depth understanding of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya, including the impact of the pandemic on basic service delivery as well as health-seeking behaviors, mental health, dietary habits and social/economic situation of Libyans and migrants alike.

The assessment aimed at gaining an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices as to transmission, prevention and treatment of the virus as well as of risks, available services in targeted municipalities, and preferred sources of information on COVID-19. As such, the assessment will allow UNICEF, the Libyan National Centre Disease Control, and the Ministry of Health along with other UN agencies and partners to provide an informed response to COVID-19 as part of risk communication and community engagement efforts.

As part of the assessment, Voluntās supported UNICEF in the development and implementation of a nationwide telephone survey in Libya with regional representativity. The analysis highlighted differences between Libyan nationals and non-Libyans (migrant population) to identify unique challenges for vulnerable groups. In addition to the final report, an online dashboard was created with the possibility of disaggregating data by region, gender and status of respondents. The findings presented to UNICEF will feed into UNICEF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya. A final report as well as a dashboard were shared with UNICEF, the National Centre for Disease Control and the Libyan Ministry of health, to support effective COVID-19 response efforts.

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The Libyan labour market of the future

The Libyan labour market of the future

The Libyan labour market of the future

Meaningful Policy
Case | Libya

On December 9, Voluntās presented the outcomes of a recent feasibility study for the establishment of a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) in Libya to Libyan government and private sector stakeholders. The meeting was arranged by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), where the opening remarks were given by  the IOM Libya’s Chief of Mission,  Federico Soda. This event provided an opportunity for Voluntās to present and discuss work that had been carried out for most of 2020 on behalf of IOM and funded by the European Union.

Better matching of labour demand and supply is required to reduce unemployment rates in Libya. This will also have a direct impact on improving living standards reducing push-factors for irregular migration. The establishment of a LMIS in Libya presents an opportunity to enhance the efficiency of the labour market through improved skills development, employment generation, and evidence production for policymaking. IOM, with the support of the European Union, is currently supporting the Libyan Government in laying down the foundation for a future LMIS. As part of these efforts, Voluntās has now finalized a comprehensive feasibility study focusing on the institutional preconditions for such a system to be established. The study built on a robust analysis of the existing legislative framework, mandates, relevant stakeholders and networks, as well as availability and quality of existing labor market data and information. Voluntās conducted a gap assessment building on desk research, a review of global best practices, a survey, and a large number of interviews with international actors, government representatives, TVET institutions, employers, jobseekers, and research organizations. The study resulted in a blueprint for Libya, describing the current framework conditions for the establishment of a LMIS and outlining recommendations for the way forward.

The project was carried out on behalf of IOM in partnership with the Libyan Ministry of Labour and funded by the European Union. It adds to Voluntās’ portfolio of projects on migration and employment in North Africa, delivered for partners such as Hivos, IOM, MEDA, SPARK, and UNICEF.

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Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

In collaboration with Baltic Sea Cluster Development Centre, Voluntās Policy Advisory (Voluntās) is currently involved in the “COVID19-Communities Response and Resilience” project targeting themes “Citizen engagement/community response” as well as “The Economic of Health Service Delivery”.

Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

To support effective COVID-19 crisis communication and community outreach by the Libyan Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control, Voluntās Policy Advisory supported UNICEF in the development and implementation of a nationwide survey-based behavioral assessment in Libya.

The Libyan labour market of the future

On December 9, Voluntās presented the outcomes of a recent feasibility study for the establishment of a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) in Libya to Libyan government and private sector stakeholders.

Engaging Tunisian youth in politics

Engaging Tunisian youth in politics

Engaging Tunisian youth in politics

Meaningful Policy
Democracy | Tunisia | youth

Fostering youth engagement in the political sphere holds the potential to develop a lifelong engagement in the democratic process and sustain Tunisia’s democratic transition.

Search for Common Ground, an INGO focused on peacebuilding and conflict transformation, has leveraged the role of mass media by producing and broadcasting the reality television program “I am the President” to reach large youth and adult audiences across Tunisia. The program sought to increase young women and men’s interest in constructively participating in politics, peacefully engaging with their national and local governments, and improving mutual understanding and trust, ultimately contributing to higher youth turnout in the 2019 elections in Tunisia.

Voluntas Policy Advisory supported Search for Common Ground before the implementation of the program, conducting a baseline assessment analyzing Tunisian youth perceptions and engagement in politics and democratic processes and the role of media. Moreover, Voluntas evaluated the program and its impact, capturing lessons learned and recommendations for future programming.

Young participants from the television program “I am the President”.

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Local Conflict Sensitivity Analysis in Libya

Local Conflict Sensitivity Analysis in Libya

Local Conflict Sensitivity Analysis in Libya

Meaningful Policy
Analysis | Libya
Situation

Projects implemented in conflict-ridden and highly volatile areas have a high likelihood of both influencing and being shaped by conflict dynamics. Thus, conflict-sensitivity analyses have grown essential to minimize unintended negative effects (Do-No-Harm) and maximize positive impacts of interventions carried out by external actors.

Local conflict-sensitive approaches are of paramount importance in war-torn Libya, where the situation is continuously unfolding. With this in mind, the Dutch organization VNG International commissioned Voluntas to map existing local drivers of conflict and review potential ways in which assistance activities could interact in a context-specific way allowing for engagements to be tailored at local level. The analysis was carried out as part of the EU-funded Improved Service Delivery and Accountable at Local Level (ISAL) program in Libya.

Read more about the program

 

Voluntas Impact

To ensure the sustainability of the mapping and assessment, Voluntas developed a conflict sensitivity tracker to be used for continuous scrutiny and adaptation of VNGI program staff. Furthermore, while the tools, analytical framework, and output reporting was developed by Voluntas, actual data collection was carried out by VNGI staff on the ground.

The analysis materialized in a set of municipality profiles, which provide an understanding of on-the-ground dynamics. Furthermore, Voluntas developed a risk matrix allowing partners to capitalize on the risks, dilemmas, and opportunities identified.

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