Providing jobs may increase stability and avoid future violence, especially in low and middle-income countries. But do employment programmes really have this impact? We will study this question for a set of post-conflict countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
A new project co-run by UNU-MERIT will improve our understanding of the links between aid, development and stability in Afghanistan, Yemen and a range of African nations. The project will be led by the Hague Institute for Global Justice, along with partners at UNU-MERIT, INES-Ruhengeri, the International Security and Development Center, the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Dr. Eleonora Nillesen will coordinate the work of UNU-MERIT.
For this project, Does Opportunity Reduce Instability? A Meta-Analysis of Skills and Employment Interventions in Low and Middle-income Countries, we will assess the impacts of job creation on the one hand, and employment training on the other, in terms of stability and economic outcomes. We will first create a database of employment interventions, including their size, aims, location and success. We will then match this database to local economic and stability indicators, which we will statistically analyse to evaluate four main research questions:
1. Does aid affect economic opportunities or outcomes in the short, medium or long term?
2. Does aid impact the stability of individuals, households and communities in the short, medium or long term?
3. Are there different effects in terms of job interventions, target groups, institutional environments, etc.?
4. What are the underlying causal mechanisms leading from interventions to improvements in stability and/or economic outcomes?
Our programme will include a series of workshops in communities that have been recipients of employment interventions, a private-sector-supported ‘study tour’ with entrepreneurs and business leaders, and consultations with stakeholders. These participatory methods with relevant stakeholders will enable us to evaluate and disseminate our findings, correlate our results with real-life experiences, and tailor our research to capacity building and policy formulation.
This project falls under the Security & Rule of Law Strategic Research Fund, run by the Science for Global Development division (WOTRO) of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The NWO is one of the most important science-funding bodies in the Netherlands and ensures quality and innovation in science. Each year NWO invests more than 650 million euros in curiosity-driven research and research related to societal challenges.
World Bank / A.Hoel, Gates Foundation, UN Photo / E.Kanalstein, Flickr / R.Woddington