Analysing the Role of Employment Programmes in Building Peace and Stability

When it comes to considering whether or not employment programmes can build stability, there are three things that it is important to bring to any debate. First, not only is any virtuous circle a nice idea in and of itself but there are really good reasons, theoretically, to believe that jobs interventions can build stability. Second, despite these great reasons, there is a surprising lack of evidence at the programmatic level that shows this to be the case (although, by the same token, almost as little to suggest that it doesn’t; and none to suggest that it makes things worse). Third, donors continue to fund programmes that aim to build stability via employment. Given the need for more learning at the programme level, it might be easy to be pessimistic about the potential of these programmes, but that is to miss two important points:

  1.  On-going programming provides the opportunity to close these learning gaps; and
  2. Some of the agencies and donors involved in supporting and running these programmes are not only critically aware of these gaps but are starting to support the work to close them.


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Neil Ferguson

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