Project Factsheet
Tools for » Creating opportunities for Youth Employment in Sudan
Project ID 00067198 Description MDGF-1888-H-SDN Creating oppor
Fund
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
Theme
MDGF Youth Employ & Migrant
Project status Operationally Closed
Country Sudan Participating Organization   Multiple
About

South Sudan

(information on Sudan is below)

 

Overview:

The Joint Programme (JP) was initially developed as a combined programme for North and Southern Sudan. In July 2011 it was separated into two country programmes, following the independence of South Sudan. This is the summary for the YEM for South Sudan, with the participation of 9 UN agencies, including ILO as Lead agency. The budget was almost equally divided between North and South. The YEM was designed to provide support to the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) and aimed at providing skills development and livelihood opportunities for the youth (between 15 and 35 years of age) with particular attention to migrants, women returnees and demobilized soldiers. The Government of National Unity five-year strategic plan 2007-2011 “recognize that vocational training and education outputs to labor market needs will increase employment opportunities”. The objectives for South Sudan were reviewed to adapt to the changing needs and evolution of the situation.

Because there was no existing development plan for South Sudan, the JP made significant contributions in mainstreaming youth issues into the national development framework, policy and strategies. Of particular importance is the inclusion of cross-cutting youth empowerment issues under the four pillars of the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP). The JP also contributed to the development of the South Sudan Youth Policy. In collaboration with UNICEF, the JP facilitated the establishment of a task force for the preparation of the Youth policy. The JP was able to include the “Payam Youth Service” (national volunteer service) as one of the top 19 SSDP priorities. At the sector level the JP contributed significantly to the development of the country’s first National Cooperative Development Strategy, and ensured that youth issues were included in the UNDAF and the UN Peace Building Support Plan. In terms of beneficiaries, the JP shifted focus to encompass all vulnerable youth with demonstration projects and shifting from formal education to non-formal education and vocational training. This was a result of a joint mission by the UN and government that surveyed 344 youth in 5 states to obtain a clearer understanding of the prevailing needs and opportunities.

 

Outcome 1 and 2 (merged):

Employment creation is mainstreamed into national and state level development frameworks and labour markets.

Outcome achievements:

  • Employment creation for youth has been mainstreamed into the national development framework. The strategy was to intervene at policy level to facilitate the development of an enabling environment and institutional capacity for creating opportunities for youth employment.
  • A rapid assessment on livelihoods, skills and market opportunities was carried out in five locations using the Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) model developed by ILO in 2009 – including innovative approaches such as the use of smart mobile phone technology for the survey.
  • The JP supported the Government and State Directorate of Cooperatives to develop and produce a National Strategy for Cooperative Development, launched as part of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives.
  • A comparative analysis report of 24 market assessments was undertaken and will be housed on the website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for future reference and use.
  • The JP used a participatory approach from the start, with a survey to identify needs and opportunities that continued throughout the various components. The Technical Vocational Education for Teachers (TVET) strategy used a participatory approach with 84 TVET specialists (of which 21 women) and policy makers involved; the consultation process for preparing the National Cooperative Development Strategy counted with 134 cooperators and policy makers (of which 18 women), and for the development of the Youth Development Policy (98 participants of which 34 women).

 

Outcome 3:

Innovative interventions to create concrete employment and training opportunities for the youth developed and implemented in three states.

Outcome achievements:

  • Non-formal approaches to youth empowerment were widely used and new in the context of South Sudan, therefore having to be tested and adapted to fit the local context. Chiefs among these initiatives are the awareness-raising and piloting the transfer of knowledge and know-how on non-formal adult education approaches (including functional literacy, Y-PEER reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and youth-to-youth techniques, farmer field schools, and business awareness and start-up skills). To adapt the programme approach to the local needs a joint UN and government mission was undertaken to five states, consulting 344 participants. This resulted in a shift in three areas: shift in strategy from geographic targeting of states to demonstration activities in labor markets; a shift in focus from particular youth groups to inclusiveness of all marginalized young women and men; a shift of activities from formal education and vocational training to quick non-formal education with no education barriers.
  • As a result five youth and women’s training facilities were renovated and improved (two Ministry of Youth training centers, two youth association centers, one women’s center). The facilities were used to train vulnerable groups. The shift to non-formal adult education allowed for reaching 4,244 beneficiaries (versus a target of 2,500). Vocational and life training skills proved much more useful than the original design of Accelerated Learning Programmes (or ALP, a formal education approach that compacts primary schooling into 4 years).
  • On-the-job construction training was provided to 613 youth (86 women) yielding: 1) 7,877 of paid labor days as short-term employment, 2) skills development through on-the-job training. Various productive and employment related activities were undertaken: FAO trained 300 beneficiaries in farmer field schools, UNFPA reached 326 (149 women) using the Y-PEER youth-to-youth approach to reproductive health and youth empowerment. Literacy skills were provided to 511 ex-combatants (201 women) by IOM, and short term training (TVET) of various types was made available to 1,115 youth (355 women). Business training was provided to 600 youth and extension workers (229 women).

 

Best practices:

  • Support given to the national government by ILO, UNICEF and UNIDO towards the development of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy, curricula and standardization.
  • ILO technical support to the labor force survey
  • UNDP, FAO, ILO and UNIDO also contributed to the development of functional literacy training manuals through the pooling of resources, allocating the task to UNESCO who prepared a set of literacy training manuals.
  • The UN Resident Coordinator played a key role during the inception phase by supporting the re-prioritization of activities, including the revision of budgets to increase programme coherence.

 

Lessons learned:

  • The joint assessment mission between the UN and the government led to a review of the priorities, and increased the level of national ownership.
  • A large number of participating UN agencies doesn’t imply better collaboration or effectiveness. Joint planning and implementation of activities to allow for the joint attribution of results at output level enhances inter-agency collaboration.
  • A rigorous analysis of the sustainability of the project should be done at the time of project formulation.
  • Development processes and results that are not demand-driven and lack national ownership, including through budget and institutional support, cannot continue beyond the life of a project.
  • When development partners efforts and activities in support of national development priorities are not centrally coordinated, they can produce negative unintended consequences, such as promotion of a culture of dependence and inefficient utilization of resources through duplication and mismanagement.

 

Sudan

 

Overview:

The JP was initially developed as a combined programme for North and Southern Sudan. In July 2011 it was separated into two country programmes, following the independence of South Sudan. This is the summary for the YEM for Sudan, with the participation of 11 UN agencies, including UNIDO as Lead agency. In South Sudan a YEM was created under ILO as lead agency and will be reported separately. The budget was almost equally divided between North and South. The YEM was designed to provide support to the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) and aimed at providing skills development and livelihood opportunities for the youth (between 15 and 35 years of age) with particular attention to migrants, women returnees and demobilized soldiers. Three states were the targeted intervention area: South Kordofan, Blue Nile and North Kordofan. The socio-economic context is dire: Sudan ranks 153rd of 177 countries in the Human Development report, and the World Bank estimates that 60 to 75% of the population in the North is still living below the poverty line.

The JP articulated its approach through three outcomes and 19 outputs, with a focus towards youth employment creation at both policy levels and in the three target states. In terms of direct beneficiaries, the JP reports that approximately 1,445 men and 2,357 women were direct beneficiaries, as well as 8 institutions at national/regional level and 53 local institutions at the sites where activities took place. The JP attracted the attention of the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports (FMYS) to expand its services and policies to youth employment issues by initially drafting the Strategy of Training 5 Million Youth (2009), and the creation of the National Youth Employment Scheme (NYES) in 2011 to effectively coordinate work on youth employment nationwide. Results include the development of platforms for discussion on youth employment and collaboration among different ministries and stakeholders at the state and federal levels to work with the UN implementing agencies. Staff from the ministries were trained as trainers (TOTs) for entrepreneurship development. It established entrepreneurship and self-employment as a viable alternative to immediate income generation among youth, women and vulnerable groups trained on marketable technical skills and basic small business management. It has also shown easy access to micro financing to boost self-employment amongst the youth, including women. Accelerated learning programmes and functional literacy programmes were integrated and strengthened. A major constraint was the dire security situation that limited access to project target areas, particularly in South Kordofan, where civil strife hampered implementation.

 

Outcome 1:

Employment creation for migrant youth is mainstreamed into national development frameworks.

Outcome achievements:

  • Youth employment initiatives have been developed and increasingly coordinated with the government under the NYES. The State Ministry of Finance and Economy has included delivery of enterprise and business plan training and small business development advisory services in the 2013 workplan with budgetary support from the state. Linkages with the Federal and State Ministry of Industry (FmoI) for information exchange on market, technology and available support to micro and small enterprises has been established between the State Investments Units of the three target states and the FmoI and attached technology research institutes. FmoI intends to replicate and scale up this collaboration to other states.
  • Micro finance study has provided guidelines to effectively provide easy access to finance entrepreneurs, and has been endorsed at the state and federal levels and published. The Central Bank of Sudan adopted recommended micro finance policies for youth.

 

Outcome 2:

Policies and measures are in place to help young returnees enter and remain in the labour market.

Outcome achievements:

  • State steering committees were formed for round table discussions on state action plans for job creation. State action plans for functional literacy were development and completed for two states. A labor market study for the three states was completed and presenting labor force supply and demand and opportunities for youth self-employment. To enhance the capacity development in institutions, 45 staff members were trained on public employment services in the three states and in Khartoum.
  • 10 curricula on entrepreneurship and marketable livelihood skills training programmes were developed and 7 partner organizations were strengthened in delivering technical training and business development assistance to target beneficiaries in South Kordofan (TOTs).
  • HIV/AIDS prevention training was integrated into various activities and workshops.

 

Outcome 3:

Innovative interventions to create concrete employment and training opportunities for the youth developed and implemented in 3 states.

Outcome achievements:

  • An important result is the introduction of Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) and technical vocational training opportunities with a special focus on girls, young women, and ex-child soldiers. Based on training evaluations and feedback from the JP agencies the YEM has definitely contributed to improving the lives of socially excluded groups (unemployed migrants, uneducated youth, and women). The national sub-sector plan on youth education and the ALP developed by UNICEF, as well as the functional literacy action plans for UNESCO have provided ways to expand outreach of education to those who have dropped out from the formal education system. UNDP’s recommended micro finance policies concerning young entrepreneurs were adopted by the Central Bank of Sudan to promote small business development. Training on entrepreneurship by UNIDO and ILO and marketable skills training of UNIDO and FAO have provided immediate and continuing livelihoods to beneficiaries with self-employment options. Start-up capital has been provided by UNDP. A livelihood training center was built by IOM with equipment donated from a private Sudanese company working with UNIDO in conducting baking skills training. Despite the hostilities that took place the center remained untouched by the conflict.
  • At state level YEM units were established to work closely with implementing agencies, with staff from the state ministry of youth (3-4 staff members per state) trained and may continue to provide service delivery after the end of the JP. MoYS has provided further its services to the SKS refugees and migrants in the camps in Khartoum.

 

Best practices:

  • Setting up state program management committees and State YEM units with the Ministry of Youth mainstreamed the implementation of activities with state counterpart agencies. Involving the corresponding partner organizations in the implementation of activities increases the chances of sustainability beyond the JP once they realize the benefits of the intervention (example: micro grants from UNDP, JFFLS of FAO, Enterprise & Business plan training of UNIDO).
  • Working together on joint planning, missions and decision making opens new horizons, such as the establishment o the Livelihood Training Center in the South Kordofan State.
  • Partnerships with the private sector and local companies under the corporate social responsibility programmes allow leveraging additional resources and ensure commercialization of skills used and products, thus sustaining training with shared value created.

 

Lessons learned:

  • Synergies with the JP on Peace Building were limited to information exchange as the JP did not target the same communities and was started later. There could have been more linkages between the two had the design of both JPs been harmonized.
  • Contingency plans should have been incorporated in the design for post-conflict areas to ensure flexibility should violence re-emerge. The overt hostilities that took place after the state elections for independence impeded security, access and consequently negatively affected implementation.
  • The distinction of roles between UN technical agencies and the Peace Keeping mission has to be better explained to the government, as technical agencies are seen as part of the political UN mission and therefore seen to be opposed to the government – an initial clarification would have led to easier coordination and implementation with national counterparts.
  • The high number of implementing UN agencies (11) would have required limiting the scope of the JP to homogeneous objectives rather than attempting to cover so many aspects and outputs. Except for education interventions, most of the skills and employment related activities were focused at the target states that have different structures of governance than those at the federal level, that further experience high turn-over of staff. A more focused programme with 4-5 agencies would have been easier and likely more effective.
  • If the JP had been developed as two programmes for Sudan and South Sudan from the start the political differences and constraints and difficulties in obtaining the second transfer of funds could have been avoided.

More details can be found in the final project report: http://mptf.undp.org/document/download/11185

 

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Sudan or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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