2.3.Other Significant Changes in Project Design 10
3.Youth Mainstreaming Methodology 11
3.1.What is Youth Mainstreaming? 11
3.2.Instruments for Youth Mainstreaming 11
3.3.Portfolio Review 13
4.1.Pillar 1: Youth Mainstreaming 13
4.2.Pillar 2: Youth M&E 16
4.3.Pillar 3: Outreach, Communication and Entrepreneurship 18
4.4.Key Factors Affecting Implementation and Outcomes 22
5.2.Lessons and Recommendations 24
5.3.Next steps 25
Annex: Activity Overview 26
More than half of Egypt’s 91 million citizen are considered youth under 30 years old, and they were decisive in bringing about the political changes since 2011.1Despite a number of serious efforts by the Government of Egypt (GoE) in recent years to develop more inclusive youth policies to address unemployment, social exclusion and governance, core grievances voiced during the 2011 protests remain unaddressed.2 Contrary to the expectations of young Egyptians, personal liberties such as freedom of expression and assembly have been further restricted since 2014, and many young people have been arrested. As a result, many young people feel that mistakes of the past are being repeated, since very few channels remain available for Egyptians to peacefully voice dissent or to initiate positive change in their communities, with an ever increasing risk of youth radicalization and violent response.3
Nevertheless, the resourcefulness and resilience of young people is immense, despite persisting barriers to economic, social and political inclusion. Throughout the post-2011 period, young people in Egypt have demonstrated their strife for creating a better future for their families and communities. Despite many disappointing experiences since the Arab Spring, many youth remain committed to working towards a modern and inclusive Egypt, governed by accountable politicians, without corruption and poverty, where all people can live a decent life.4 Young people are connected globally, and are striving to build an integrated economy that creates jobs and economic growth, while supporting the social fabric and protecting cultural roots. This openness allowed the Youth Engagement Initiative to connect and work with young people on a variety of topics and sectors, including World Bank financed projects and programs, youth-led entrepreneurship and social innovation programs, and strategic policy issues such as the youth unemployment challenge and education.
In this context, the Egypt Youth Engagement Project (P158641) has piloted new instruments and approaches to support inclusion and participation through mainstreaming youth in Bank financed operations.Mainstreaming across the Bank portfolio denotes the process of a meaningful engagement and broad integration of young people into structures and activities of Bank-financed projects. This process aims to strengthen the participation and inclusion of young people in development projects, and to enhance the benefits that youth can derive from such investments. Youth Mainstreaming aims at putting young people at the heart of policy making and development planning. Activities ranged from technical support during project preparation and appraisal, to developing a youth-led third party project monitoring and evaluation mechanism. Mainstreaming has been applied across sectors and across the project cycle, including Entrepreneurship, Social Development, Regional Development, Agriculture, Health, Energy, etc. The project work was complemented by a series of analytical pieces, covering unemployment and inactivity, a mapping of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt, and several guidance notes on (i) youth-inclusive education sector reform, (ii) Conducting effective consultations with youth, and (iii) Toolkit on Third Party Monitoring and Evaluation with youth.
In addition, the Project leveraged a variety of youth-led initiatives with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, thereby directly supporting youth and establishing the Bank as development partner committed to the next generation. These included the RiseUp Innovation Summit in Cairo (the largest start-up event in the Middle East); support to the Gesr Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Cairo (the leading social innovation and incubation event in Egypt); support to the YouThinkGreen incubator (a new hub for environmental and eco-friendly entrepreneurs); and the launch of the Arab Creativity Bank (the first crowdfunding platform in the Middle East for youth-led initiatives financing innovation, arts and culture, and social impact).
To support the overall program, the Project organized a direct outreach campaign to reach Egypt’s youth. Complementing the programmatic activities, the outreach activities consisted of a social media campaign for youth, implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation (MoIC). The online momentum was supported by offline events, and the TA made of a series of contributions at youth conferences across Egypt (e.g. Arab Youth Forum in March 2016; Social Enterprise Week in May 2017). The momentum of all activities of the platform cumulated in a series of Youth Essay Competitions focusing on Youth Employment Policies, and Youth Entrepreneurship, which enabled young Egyptians to develop new solutions and present their ideas to policy makers and development partners. The essay model was highly effective, and replicated by other development partners such as UNIDO.
Overall, the World Bank through its Egypt Youth Engagement Project (P158641) directly contributed to providing youth with voice and agency, and impact for young people. The Project helped to create partnerships and new opportunities, and helped to increase the impact and participation of Egypt’s youth in World Bank-financed projects and programs in Egypt. A strong business case for investing in such activities exists, since youth is the largest demographic group of Egypt’s population and represents the future of the country. The Project has also helped to better communicate the World Bank mission and its approach to inclusive development, while supporting the social contract. In addition, support to youth inclusion through mainstreaming can be pivotal in strengthening the impact of new and ongoing World Bank supported projects.
Looking forward, youth inclusion can only be reached slowly and has to be carefully built from a bottom up approach, given the challenging context in Egypt and many other MENA countries. In the current context, the World Bank should continue to build on the tested mainstreaming approaches and foster internal collaboration to ensure Youth Development can be further promoted in a cross-sectoral manner and build into a wide range of sectoral interventions. In addition, future engagement should build on the partnerships developed on the ground in particular with the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, which enables youth to engage in innovative ways and empowers them to find solutions for the most pressing development challenges in their community.