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.
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.
Voluntas is expanding geographically. Earlier this year, we established a partnership with Sudan Polling and Statistics Center (SPSC). Dana Fuentes, a senior associate with Voluntas who until recently was based in Tunis, relocated to Sudan last month to support our expanding presence in the country. Dana will be supported by Nada Elamin. We will be opening an office in Khartoum in the coming months.