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Economic opportunities, violence, and vulnerable youth in Latin America

The intersection of youth, violence, and economic opportunities has been a policy priority for governments and development and international cooperation agencies in Latin America for over a decade. Policy options and public investments on the issue are frequently informed by a simplified and often unsubstantiated assumption: unemployment and lack of economic opportunities lead to violence among youth, while employment generation and economic opportunities are an effective way to pull them out of violence.

FLACSO Costa Rica will examine and assess the validity of this linkage, generating evidence and improving the ability of policies and interventions to be more effective in reducing violence and exclusion affecting youth, including women. It will provide technical and conceptual support to a community of learning, providing methodological and evidence assistance to grassroots initiatives to extract, systematize, and share lessons emerging from those experiences, as well as building their capacity for a more reflective practice. In doing so, FLACSO will be combining its own role as researcher and knowledge producer, and function as knowledge convener, agent of dissemination, policy influencer, and capacity builder.

The project will combine applied research based on field interventions and desktop research to refine frameworks, incorporate emerging evidence, and produce baselines pertinent to the issue. It will also stimulate multidisciplinary knowledge exchanges across a diverse network of stakeholders by compiling, synthesizing, and disseminating research. Finally, it will develop strategies to foster policy dialogue and uptake in the national and regional arena based on high quality evidence.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Emma Sanchez-Swaren
Total Funding
CA$ 500,000.00
South America
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Costa Rica
Project Leader
Dr. Juan Pablo Pérez Sáinz
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales/Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences



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