Employment for Stability in Rwanda

From 7th – 8th July 2015, The Hague Institute, together with its partner organizations – INES-Ruhengeri, PACCI, and UNU-MERIT- and a range of stakeholders and experts completed the first workshop for the project, Employment for Stability. Funded by the Netherlands Research Council (NWO), this two-year project will critically explore the relationship between employment, training and stability in low- and middle-income countries.

Workshop hosts, Rector Fr. Fabien Hagenimana and Mr. Gonzalves Nshimiyimana from INES-Ruhengeri, opened the event. The sessions, which were led by the project team, focused on the key conceptual, methodological and operational aspects of employment and training in unstable contexts, with Rwanda as one of the main country studies for discussion.

The consultative workshop aimed to present the key aspects of the research project to a selection of business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy experts, practitioners and academics from the region. Participants included the Rwandan Ministry of Youth, Information, Communication and Technology, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center Kigali, the University of Yaoundé II Cameroon, the Organisation for Social Sciences Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, SPARK Rwanda, and Women for Women International.

The research project overall will seek to improve our understanding of how economic variables and stability are interrelated and how aid interventions may improve both development and stability, which are key knowledge gaps at present. The team will assess the impacts of two types of employment intervention – those focusing on job creation and those boosting employment training – on stability and on economic outcomes and opportunities in ten country studies in Africa and the Middle East.

As part of the Conflict Prevention Program, the project involves Dr David Connolly, Mr Tom Buitelaar and Fabienne Smith. Prof. Tilman Brück (Project Coordinator) and Dr. Neil Ferguson (Senior Researcher) have both joined The Hague Institute for the purposes of this study. Brück is a world-renowned expert on the economics of household behavior and well-being in conflict-affected and fragile economies. Dr. Ferguson obtained his PhD in Economics in 2013 from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, focusing on theoretical and empirical analysis about the role of multiple aggressors in civil conflicts.

The Rwanda workshop was the first of several opportunities within the project for critical engagement and feedback. Over the next 18 months, the project team will organize a series of workshops in communities that have been recipients of employment interventions, a private-sector-supported ‘study tour’ with entrepreneurs and business leaders, among other consultations. Such participatory methods will enable the team to evaluate and disseminate findings, correlate results with real-life experiences, tailor research to the needs of practitioners and impact on processes of capacity building and policy formulation.

The project’s findings will also be published in working papers and academic journals. For further information please contact, (Ms. Fabienne Smith).

The Employment for Stability project is an important part of The Hague Institute’s broader strategic work in this field that includes policy-oriented research and expert events on Global Business, Labor, and Economic Governance and human trafficking by the Global Governance and Rule of Law Programs.

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