The RAND Corporation has joined the World Bank and other corporate and civil society leaders to establish Solutions for Youth Employment, a global coalition that acts to address the pervasive challenges of youth employment. RAND's participation is made possible by support from the Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and from the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy.
This coalition will for the first time link the relevant actors from different spheres—governments, corporate actors, international organizations, and civil society—to learn, share knowledge, and implement programs based on evidence about what works in addressing youth unemployment, and to leverage this shared understanding through increased investments in more effective and sustainable solutions.
RAND will focus on the learning aspect. Harnessing the research and analysis capacities of RAND researchers, Pardee RAND graduate students and RAND's Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth, RAND will lead the coalition's work to bring together, interpret, and disseminate evidence on what works—and should be scaled up—for youth employment across the world, including programs to build capabilities of young people, encourage youth entrepreneurship, and improve information flows in the labor market.
RAND's efforts will be led by Peter Glick, senior economist, and Krishna Kumar, director of RAND Labor and Population, with research assistance from Pardee RAND doctoral candidates Nelly Mejia and Crystal Huang. They were among representatives of major global institutions from civil society and the private sector who came together at the World Bank Group annual meetings on Oct. 8 to affirm their commitment to the cause. With some 75 million young people in the developing world unemployed and hundreds of millions more underemployed, coalition members agreed that youth employment is one of this century's most pressing problems.
Every year, 20 million young people are entering the labor force in Africa and Asia alone. In the Middle East and North Africa, 80 percent of young workers work in the informal sector. One in four young people cannot find work for more than US$1.25 a day. Yet global growth and poverty reduction over the next 15 years will be driven by today's youth.
A unique combination of public, private, and civil society founding partners (the World Bank, Accenture, International Youth Foundation, Plan International, RAND, and Youth Business International) developed the coalition over the past 18 months. Solutions for Youth Employment aims to meet the 21st century global challenge of youth employment through ambitious but concrete and measurable actions and with a commitment to improve youth employment outcomes by 2030.