Arab Human Development Report 2016

Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality

image of Arab Human Development Report 2016

This report addresses the development challenges facing young people in the Arab region. The current young generation is the largest this region has had over the past 50 years, making up 30% of its population. In light of the youth-led movements during and after the 2011 uprisings, the report argues for a renewed policy focus on youth development in the region. It deals with the pillars of human development (income, education and health) with the attainment, achievement and equitable distribution of education, and with the challenges of finding stable and decent jobs. With protracted conflict in several Arab countries, young Arabs have become victims or perpetrators of violence, challenged by difficulties of mobility and migration. AHDR 2016 aims to engage youth in building a better future.

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Education and the transition to work

Arab societies perform below the world average on educational attainment, achievement and equitable access. Once young people in the Arab region try to get work, they find that the main, traditional avenue to secure employment, the government, has been closed. Finding stable and satisfying employment is one of the most prominent challenges facing youth. Arab economies are not providing enough private sector jobs owing to poor policy stability, which hampers private investment, alongside red tape, a failure to build a manufacturing base, little access to credit (outside a favoured circle), and, in the formal sector, tight labour regulations. Women are especially hard hit in multiple areas. The policy prescriptions are fairly standard, which makes it all the more difficult to understand why governments have shown little interest in solving the problem over the last couple of decades. They include investing more in infrastructure and improving the business environment. Labour market programmes and micro-finance are less practical approaches.

English Arabic

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