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IDRC - São Paulo Research Foundation partnership: Innovations for marginalized youth economic inclusion

The International Labour Organization reports that nearly one-fifth of Latin American and Caribbean youth were unemployed and two-thirds work in precarious jobs. Governments and international cooperation agencies have responded with efforts to promote opportunities for youth, but in most cases they have difficulty reaching marginalized youth. Lack of understanding of youth priorities, motivations, and aspirations undermines efforts targeted at improving their livelihoods. Youth are commonly perceived as a “problem” and not perceived as change agents that can bring about solutions.

There is a common perception that a lack of opportunity can lead to violence, including gang violence, petty crime, organized crime, and gender violence. Nonetheless, this perception is not supported by evidence and we know little about the connection between these economic and social-political challenges and the relationships between labour market participation, institutions, and violence. This project will contribute to filling this gap.

This project will support evidence and learning to inform policy debates on what works best to foster the economic inclusion of the most marginalized youth in Latin America. It will map and identify youth groups and institutions based in São Paulo and Buenos Aires that work with young people in order to strengthen their efforts, foster peer learning, and dispel unfounded myths and stigmas against young people. It will also foster collaboration between NGOs, public agencies, and locally based groups and organizations for a concerted effort at developing skills and creating jobs and income for youth.

The project is part of a collaborative effort between IDRC and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), which supports innovative solutions to foster economic inclusion of marginalized youth in Argentina and Brazil. These projects will identify promising youth-led innovations and support piloting, learning, and evaluation.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Carolina Robino
Total Funding
CA$ 183,500.00
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Costa Rica
Project Leader
Ana Miranda
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales/Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences