Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region
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 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.
On September 15th, 2022, Voluntas and the Arab Master’s program in Democracy and Human Rights, “Global Campus – Arab World” signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), laying the foundation for a new era of cross-sector collaboration in the MENA region.
Esbjerg wants to create the world’s most human university with a central focus on education, human development and a high degree of belonging.
Voluntas and the star architect company Bjarke Ingels group are supporting the project.
Based on Morten Albæks philosophy of a meaningful life, the students must embark on an educational journey based on becoming self-realized people who master their encounters with life’s coincidences, opportunities, and challenges.
Voluntas launches “Nos Racines – Our Roots”: Preventing violent extremism in Tunisia, with a special focus on youth and women.
In recent years, Tunisia has undergone profound political and social changes and currently faces a severe economic crisis The unemployment rate reached 18.4% in 2021, with 40% of under 25s and 24.8% of women out of work. There are growing disparities in living standards between regions and political participation has declined.
Within this context, radicalisation, and exposure to violent extremism –in part linked to the phenomenon of the return of jihadist fighters (foreign fighters) – is a major challenge in Tunisia, particularly among marginalized youth. This risk is aggravated by the lack of detection mechanisms throughout the country and the absence of continuous dialogue between young people and public authorities, particularly the security sector.