Youth unemployment is a risk factor for a country like Mali, a fragile state where the security situation is steadily worsening. The international community is aware of this challenge and is conducting targeted programming to provide a range of opportunities to young Malians and help promote youth employment. However, there seem to be barriers that hinder its engagement with local and national researchers to inform their programming, an interaction that has the potential to provide a much-needed local level perspective.
On 16 March 2015, Spring Factor and Integrity Research and Consultancy held a workshop in Bamako, Mali to address the issue of how local research can inform youth employment programming. A diverse group of participants attended, including international donors (Netherlands, World Bank, International Labour Organisation), NGOs (Spark, Oxfam, SNV), consultancy firms (Fair&Sustainable), Malian researchers (Universities of Bamako and Ségou), youth groups (Jeune Chambre Internationale Mali and Collective Plus Jamais Ca), government and other Malian stakeholders. The workshop is supported by the Netherlands-based Knowledge Platform on Security & Rule of Law as part of a larger series on exploring local research capacity.
The workshop identified important barriers to the collaboration between local researchers and international interlocutors working on youth employment in Mali. Whereas lack of capacity, resources and language skills are challenges when working with local and national researchers, participants also stressed the challenges in working with international actors, who are not always aware of political-cultural sensitivities, have predetermined priorities and face rushed timelines. The group also formulated a number of recommendations, which will be presented at a meeting in The Hague at the end of May for the wider network of the Knowledge Platform on Security & Rule of Law. This will discuss the findings of the other workshops in this series on South Sudan and the Middle East as well. If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.