The challenge of youth employment: a follow up

The biggest challenge is to improve the quality of jobs. To do this, it’s necessary to define ‘a job’.

On July 18th, a small group of interested people brainstormed on the challenges within the theme of youth employment. In response to the Youth Employment Symposium, which took place last June at Oxfam Novib in The Hague, it occurred there was a need to continue the discussion.

Some wanted to share experiences and explore potential areas of collaboration. This follow-up meeting was facilitated by The Spindle at the Partos office in Amsterdam.

Improve the quality of jobs
Hivos, Plan Nederland, Oxfam Novib, The Broker, Butterfly Works and academics put their heads together to talk about projects on job-creation for youth in developing countries. The International Labour Organisation stated that in 2016 there were 7.9 million unemployed youth in developing countries. And the number is increasing. The biggest challenge is to improve the quality of jobs. To do this, it’s necessary to define ‘a job’. In terms of income, contract, fulltime/part-time, formal/informal etc., but also to analyse the broader impact of job creation (e.g. prevention of child marriage or human trafficking). Besides, there might be a difference in the outcome expectations between the government, and what can be done in the projects by NGOs.

Next steps
After these topics were closed, a follow-up meeting and next steps to be taken were discussed. It is important that this conversation continues and that the sharing of knowledge extends, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Broker proposed to facilitate the discussion on improving monitoring & evaluation frameworks online, as well as other urgent questions. These can soon be found on knowledge platform INCLUDE. In addition, the group will start working on mapping the tensions that organisations face on the topic of youth employment.

If you are interested to join the conversation, please send an e-mail to Annewies Kuipers, innovation facilitator at Partos / The Spindle, via

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