Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Connecting Voluntās Policy Advisory Projects with SDGs

Article | Policy Advisory

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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Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Case | Policy Advisory

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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Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Case | Policy Advisory

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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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

Case | Policy Advisory

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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Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Case | Policy Advisory

Libya is currently witnessing an increased escalation in fighting as General Haftar commanded of the so-called Libyan National Army is trying to take control of Tripoli from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord. Our Principal Alexander Kjaerum weighted in on the developments for Danish Radio P1 Orientering discussing the prospects and role of foreign powers and UN.

Our Principal at Voluntās Policy Advisory, Alexander Kjærum, was invited to  ‘P1 Orientering’ on Danmarks Radio to speak about the recent escalation in fighting in Libya, the role of foreign powers in Libya, UN and General Haftar. You can listen to it by clicking the image.

One option in focus by the international community is further decentralization of power, enhancing power at the municipal level to generate trust in public governance institutions. In 2012, Law no. 59 ‘Concerning the Local Administration System’ laid the foundation for decentralization determining the relationship between local and national level institutions. The implementation of this law has however not been very successful so far as there is still a lack of clarify on roles and responsibilities of different government actors, gap between the law and the actual governance system, as well as external constraints such as insecurity and limited funding.

Voluntas has been hired to carry out a political economy analysis to assess the challenges, risks, limitations, and opportunities of decentralization programming. To this end, Voluntas designed an analytical framework to investigate the dynamics of power, economic and social forces influencing development, and how prospective interventions may interact with these dynamics.

Our Head of Tunis Office, traveled to Libya and conducted +15 interviews and 3 FGDs with mayors, political leaders, civil society, expert and representatives from international organization. Furthermore more than 30 reports and publications on decentralization, Libya, and local governance were reviewed to identify trends and knowledge gaps Based on the data collected and desk-review of other material, we provided the client with a report laying out pathways for reform and programming despite the contextual challenges.

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Arctic Business Analysis

Arctic Business Analysis

Arctic Business Analysis

Policy Advisory | Report

Situation

In recent years, there has been an increased attention to the Arctic region and its potential to become a region with rapid economic development.

However, at present there is not a single overview of the status quo in the region, let alone future opportunities for sustainable business development, economic growth and investment possibilities.

Solution

Voluntas maps the Nordic Arctic business environment in partnership with the Confederation of Danish Industry. We develop case studies and make actionable and practical recommendations for how to promote sustainable business development in the Arctic.

Outcome

The analysis will be central to the client’s funding activities and directly contribute to an informed and fact-based policy agenda.

 

To read the analyses, please click on the reports below

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

PPPs and Business Cooperation

Bioeconomy

 

Creative and Cultural Industries

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