South Sudan : Creating opportunities for Youth Employment in South Sudan


Twenty-one years of civil war have left an entire generation of youth in South Sudan without access to education. The Joint Programme's goal was to provide skills development and livelihood opportunities to 2,500 young men and women aged 15 to 30 years, with a focus on developing labour markets and increasing vocational and life skills training.

Split since July 2011 from the Joint Programme covering Sudan, this initiative was revised to: shift the focus from specific States to labour markets, including urban markets, rural markets and agro-pastoralist livelihoods; shift the focus from target groups such as Internally Displaced Persons, returnees, ex-combatants and children associated with armed forces to an inclusive approach focusing on all youth; and shift from Accelerated Learning Programmes to vocational and life skills training.

Following the revision of the programme's strategy and approach, the programme focused on:

  1. Addressing challenges in the enabling environment and mainstreaming youth in national and state-level development policies and Action Plans; and
  2. Developing and implementing specific interventions to demonstrate what is possible and what can be done to empower youth at the local level (and in the context of their specific labour markets).

Main achievements included:

  • The programme’s most significant result was in raising awareness and focusing attention on the strategic importance of empowering youth to foster long-term stability and economic development. At the policy level, the programme contributed to development of: the draft Youth Policy, an Urban Labour Market Survey, the Technical Vocational Education and Training for Employment Policy and the National Cooperative Strategy.
  • The programme also supported the development of State-level Action Plans, as well as studies and consultations that provided insights into the main areas that needed to be addressed in the plans (e.g. agro-pastoralist livelihoods approach, rural markets approach, urban markets approach.)
  • The programme introduced innovative approaches that could be scaled up and replicated to accelerate the government's youth empowerment agenda. These include: linking vocational and enterprise training to targeted Skills and Market Opportunities assessments; the Youth Peer Education Network; mobile training; Farmer Field Schools; and functional literacy.
  • As part of its effort to build more transformational and scalable approaches, the programme established two joint strategic initiatives with the government: the development of a youth volunteer service (Payam Youth Service) linked to the national development plan, and the Cattle Camp Initiative to provide mobile training in excluded areas and to reach pastoralist youth.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in South Sudan.




Programme Dates 11 Jun 2009 - 31 Dec 2012
Net funded amount $4,517,291
National partners Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Ministry of Labour, Public Service and HR Development; Ministry of Rural Development and Cooperatives; Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries; Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs; Ministry of Health; Bank of South Sudan Microfinance Unit; South Sudan AIDS Commission; South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission
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