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New Evidence to Enhance Employment and Education for Vulnerable Youth: El Salvador and Paraguay (TTI)

A decade of continuous growth, coupled with enhanced social investment, has reduced poverty and increased labour market opportunities in Latin America. However, some groups - in particular women and youth - are yet to see the benefits of this growth. Despite higher educational levels, the employment outlook for young people is not promising. Of every three young workers, two are employed in precarious jobs. More than 20 million youth, or one in every five, are "Not in Education, Employment, or Training," also known as NEET. Poor groups and women are particularly affected. In Paraguay and El Salvador about 30% of the youth do not study or work and of this group, more than 80% are women. Moreover, since 2011, growth rates in the region have declined, which may jeopardize the social gains of the past decade and make the challenges that young people face in the labour market more acute. New policies have responded to these challenges. However, in most cases, these have not been effective in addressing the situation of marginalized youth, and public and private actors are looking for new approaches to tackle the region's youth employment challenges. This has led to a demand for evidence on what solutions work and are best suited for specific contexts. The project will advance innovative data collection, diagnosis, and analysis of policy effectiveness to guide the development of innovative public and private sector interventions that address NEET youth motivations and aspirations, and hence generate gainful opportunities for them. The coordinating institution for this project is the Centro de Análisis y Difusión de la Economía Paraguaya (CADEP) (Centre for Analysis and Communication on the Economy of Paraguay), which will collaborate with institutions in El Salvador and Chile. This project will also foster collaboration with other researchers from the region, including researchers from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Uruguay. It is funded through IDRC's Think Tank Initiative, which is a multi-funder program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions, or think tanks, in developing countries. The program aims to enhance their ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy. This second TTI phase will fund 43 institutions, helping them consolidate their role as credible development actors in their countries, and in some cases, regionally and internationally.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
20 months
IDRC Officer
Carolina Robino
Total Funding
CA$ 236,182.00
El Salvador
South America
Think Tank Initiative
Think Tank Initiative
Institution Country
Project Leader
Dionisio Borda
Centro de Análisis y Difusión de la Economía Paraguaya