GAGE releases report on youth on refugee, vulnerable communities

1. GAGE Report
A report released on July 26, 2022 captures the aspirations and experiences of the youth in building sustainable livelihoods. (Photo: Information and Research Center)
AMMAN — The Information and Research Center and the Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence (GAGE) released a report Tuesday on youth economic security, skills, and empowerment in Jordan.اضافة اعلان

Entitled “learning from positive outliers among youth affected by forced displacement”, the report focused on male and female youth aged 15 to 24 years old from Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities in Jordan, as well as vulnerable Jordanians in host communities.

At an event held to discuss the report, Information and Research Center General Manager Ayman Al-Halaseh ‪highlighted the importance of the sample group represented in the report.

“Most of the studies neglected the economic rights in the youth category,” Halaseh told Jordan News.

“This is why this study is highly needed to recognize the problem and work together, as the host community and the international community, along with the youth, to reach real solutions with tangible results,” he added.

Nicola Jones, the director of the UK-based Department for International Development (DFID) and a co-director of the GAGE program, said the next step would be to take the findings and discuss them “in more depth with each of the different ministries, but at the same time continuing to follow up to ensure appropriate living conditions for the adolescents.”

“We are doing a new round of research to find out how the situation was managed after the pandemic,” she added.

A 2015 census in Jordan found that one-third of those living in the country are non-Jordanians, with approximately half, or 1.3 million being Syrians, living in two refugee camps, and informal tented settlements scattered across the Kingdom.

Additionally, there are 2.4 million Palestinians in Jordan, with most holding Jordanian passports and enjoying full citizenship rights, except for 20 percent of them who have little legal rights.

The report captures the aspirations and experiences of the youth in building independent and sustainable livelihoods.

It also identifies and analyzes the factors that promote or hinder youth participation in the labor market, paying particular attention to gender norms and roles.

The research involved multiple qualitative in-depth interviews with 68 male and female youth living in host communities.

The young people were purposefully selected from four main categories: youth receiving university scholarships; youth attending technical and vocational educational training (TVET) programs; youth who have started a small business; and youth enrolled in economic empowerment programs.

GAGE baseline survey findings from 2019 showed that adolescent refugees’ occupational aspirations are high.

At least 73 percent of girls and boys in the sample — across age groups, nationalities, and locations — aspired to a professional career.

As for the findings on their educational opportunities, the survey found that refugee adolescents’ access to education in Jordan remains far from universal. the enrollment rates were higher for Palestinians than Syrians, and girls of both nationalities were more likely to be enrolled than boys.

Young people and their caregivers identified poverty as a key barrier to education. The survey also found that learning outcomes for refugee adolescents are extremely low. Fewer than half could read a short story written at the second-grade level.

The findings also showed that adolescents’ access to decent and age-appropriate employment is deeply gendered.

Of older adolescents, nearly two-thirds of boys, but only a tenth of girls, had worked for pay in the past year.

The qualitative work highlighted that this gender gap is a result of social norms that position boys as providers and girls in need of protection.

Only 5 percent of adolescents reported having any savings, and only married girls mentioned access to credit.

The report also referred to the factors that helped shape the positive outliers youth made around economic empowerment choices including the individual’s drive and commitment, strong family support, and in the case of youth with academic scholarships, and those pursuing TVET courses.

Read more Features
Jordan News