Cote d’Ivoire faced a decade of political unrest that alienated economic development, increased poverty and exacerbated unemployment, mainly for the youth. Even though there is an improvement of the economic conditions, with a growth rate of GDP averaging 8% yearly, unemployment still widespread among the youth. According to the national employment survey (AGEPE, 2013), the proportion of youth aged 14-24 who are of working age but who are neither in employment nor in the education system is 70.8%. Those aged 25-35 represent 35.6% of the country workforce. For the most part, these youths come from poor families and live in extremely precarious conditions. To face challenges associated to daily subsistence, these youths very often invest on the streets in order to survive; they are also associated with drug consumption, criminal activities and gang violence.
In the framework of the Debt Reduction and Development Contract (C2D) signed between the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the French Republic, the French Development Agency (AFD) has granted the Ivorian Government a subsidy of 15,550 .000 euros to finance the implementation of the C2D Youth Employment Project.
This project aims, on the one hand, to promote employment through the financing of integration schemes through social and economic activity, and on the other hand, to provide institutional support for the implementation of the national employment policy.
The project aims at improving social inclusion of at-risk youths aged between 16 to 35 years old. To reach that goal, the intervention has two schemes:
• The development of social skills through literacy and the appropriation of the rules of community life (civic and psychosocial education);
• The development of professional skills through the vocational training (employment scheme).
Until recently, such an integrated system for the care of marginalized youth was missing from the employment system in Côte d'Ivoire, justifying therefor the need to conduct an impact evaluation. Further, this mechanism is a key approach of the Ivoirian Government to address the problem of vulnerable youngsters in Côte d'Ivoire.
The implementation of the initiative follows the following steps (see description above) in each implementation site:
1. Identification of the target population
2. Profiling of candidates according to the conditions of eligibility
3. Physical and medical fitness test
4. Interview and listening sessions of the shortlisted
5. Definitive selection and information of beneficiaries
6. Social Inclusion training
7. General training
8. Vocational training
Steps 1 to 4 apply to all those who apply to participate in the initiative. From step 5 to 9, only the beneficiaries, identified on the basis of their level of vulnerability are concerned.
Also, regarding cross-training (step 7), illiterate people benefit from specific training in functional literacy. The process lasts approximately fourteen (14) months as follows:
Reception and registration (3 days);
Selection of potential candidates and listening and interview (30 days);
Medical examination of the preselected (5 days) and establishment of the provisional list at the end of the medical examination (1 day);
Deliberation of the technical selection committee (3 days);
Publication of the final list of successful candidates (1 day);
Civic education and psychosocial support (3 months);
General and vocational (6 months);
Internship in a company (3 months).
Participants are beneficiaries of the program for twelve (12) months distributed as follows:
Civic education and psychosocial support phase (3 months);
General and vocational (6 months);
Internship (3 months).
Civic education and psychosocial support and General and vocational are carried out in a youth center. During these 9 months, they are totally supported in the center with accommodation, food, medical care, equipment, ...During Internship phase youths return to their family.