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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Youth Employment and Decent Work in South Asia
  • Overseas Development Institute
  • Southern Voice
Research Team is:
  • Anam Khan
  • Samavia Batool
  • Fazal Hussain
  • Vaqar Ahmed
About the project:
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) experience identifies inclusive employment as the critical link between
growth and poverty reduction. Gains towards poverty reduction were persistent in countries which put in place
institutions and reforms to ensure decent work for their labour force. While investment in human resource is
important, equally essential is the reform of goods and labour markets so that economic expansion is able to absorb
both existing unemployment and incremental increases in the labour force (Ahmed 2012).
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the importance of inclusive employment in the 8th goal which
aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work
for all�. There are 16 targets under this goal. These targets aim to achieve and sustain a respectable
per capita economic growth and productivity in developing economies. Such growth should be broad based and help
boost both wage- and self-employment. Governments are expected to carry out market and competition reforms so that
creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship can be embraced (Mehta 2015).
The targets under goal-8 also focus on reducing youth unemployment and providing decent work to women, minorities
and other marginalized communities. There is an emphasis on reforming the financial sector, so that the new entrants
in the market are able to access the funds necessary to operationalize the innovative ideas. This linkage is
important in South Asia as; a) one-fifth of the population in the region is between the ages of 15 and 24, b) the
largest number of young people ever to transition into adulthood across the world will be in this region, c) youth
unemployment is an acute problem and young adults continue to account for half of the unemployed population in the
region, and d) youth are six-times more likely to be jobless than older workers.
Recent literature cites two important reasons for the challenges faced in the context of youth unemployment in
South Asia. First is the slow growth in formal jobs vis-vis growth in the real sectors value added. Second, there is
a skills-mismatch in the labour market. The quality of workers demanded by employers and of those graduating from
the universities and training institutions is at variance (Khan and Ahmed 2014, Wahab et al. 2013).
Taking the lead from this literature, we argue that the ambitious agenda set out in the targets for goal-8 of SDGs
need a careful tailoring of policies and programmes across South Asian countries. The existing institutions
responsible for implementation of policies under goal-8 will need to revamp their business processes to meet the
expectations of a large youth population. Such a revamping may require legislative changes, e.g. ensuring some
degree of gender parity in educational institutions and workplaces. This could also involve capacity building of the
administration responsible for implementing the legislative changes, and new policies and programs towards active
and passive labour market reforms (Ahmed et al. 2014).
Taking lead from the above mentioned and ongoing discourse on possible institutional arrangements for SDGs, this
review paper discusses:
  • Constraints to youth employment in South Asia
  • Priority actions needed to accelerate progress on goal-8 and particularly youth employment
  • Means of implementation and policy interventions to materialize priority actions (for youth employment)
  • Possible sharing of experiences on mobilizing youth engagement with in South Asian Association for Regional
    Cooperation (SAARC) member countries.
To highlight youth employment issues in South Asia and priority
actions needed to accelerate progress on Goal 8 of the SDGs, i.e. promote sustained, inclusive and
sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Key informant interviews
  • Focus Group Discussion
Overlapping institutional roles and responsibilities; lack of results-based management and weak
monitoring; weak grievance-redressal systems; ineffective supply-side accountability initiatives ; current
programmes not reaching youths in informal sector; and low level of trade in services across South Asia are
major challenges facing South Asia in terms of youth unemployment. Both short and long-term policy actions
are required to address these issues at national as well as regional level.
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