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Project

Middle East and North Africa hub - skills for a sustainable and inclusive future of work
 

Middle East
Project ID
110262
Total Funding
CAD 1,642,600.00
IDRC Officer
Ishita Sachdeva
Project Status
Active
Duration
60 months

Programs and partnerships

Lead institution(s)

Summary

In the Middle East and North Africa region, fossil fuels play a key role in job creation, social protection and remittances from the region’s labour exporters.Read more

In the Middle East and North Africa region, fossil fuels play a key role in job creation, social protection and remittances from the region’s labour exporters. The region is, however, home to one of the youngest populations worldwide, and is characterized by high educational levels yet low rates of labour market participation among women and high rates of unemployment among youth, especially in non-oil producing countries. Furthermore, there are many longstanding inequalities in intersectional identities, sexuality, age, class, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, religion, geographical location and income levels. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to create vast skill gaps as the region still trails behind in digital transformation and penetration and largely lacks the protective legislative and regulatory agility needed to keep up with technological advances.

This project will run annual open thematic calls for proposals from low- and middle-income countries in the region and focus on funding applied research on emerging labour demand dynamics associated with transitions to a low-carbon economy and the rise of AI. Selected projects will analyze the impact of the transitions on women, youth and marginalized groups, harnessing the expertise of academia, research, policy and partnership networks. Emerging evidence will contribute to addressing skill imbalances in labour markets in the region. Selected projects will train the next generation of researchers and engage with policymakers and other non-academic partners to ensure this knowledge influences decision-makers in the MENA region.

This project is funded through IDRC’s FutureWORKS program which, through five regional hubs, supports context-relevant, high-quality research that addresses key future-of-work challenges and opportunities. It will focus on innovative and gender-responsive approaches to promote adaptable skills and decent employment.