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​ DREAM: Digital Race for Employment and Mobility ​ in Tunisia

This project seeks to connect young people from marginalized groups with potential employers in the digital design industry.​

Posted on 22 Aug 2023

The dual challenge - high unemployment rates among young people without eligible documentation

Refugees and asylum seekers often-times face difficulties to access eligible documentation. Without it affected people's position to access decent work is compromised. In Tunisia, people affected by displacement can be registered and issued with documentation provided by UNHCR, but across disciplines this documentation is not formally recognized by authorities. Without formal work or residency permits, refugees and asylum seekers are often left without opportunities or informal jobs in vulnerable situations. To this comes a high number of youth unemployment that severally hampers local economic development and leave youth in sometimes desperate situations.

Connecting young affected people with job opportunity in the digital creative space

The DREAM project was launched to connect young people from marginalized groups with concrete job opportunities by providing young people with the skills and training they need to succeed in the digital design industry.

Accordingly, DRC Tunisia launched the project to connect young Tunisians, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers trained and interested in Graphic Designing with an selected online digital platform of income generating opportunities. The platform is used by clients that post specific creative digital design needs. The aim was to enable a rapid connection between skilled people and concrete job opportunities.

DRC targeted 75 young people with graphic design skills and providing them with training and coaching on the selected online platform.

This was one of DRCs recent investments into exploring if and how displacement affected people might be connected with digital livelihoods and opportunity. Unfortunately, the project was ending before full implementation due to the partner withdrawing - caused by internal reasons of corporate strategy that was not fitted with the partnership.

Learning from a pilot endeavor in a digital age

DRC has as part of the DRC Strategy 2025 decided to adopt a Go digital principle, mirroring and inescapable trend about an unprecedented scale of digitalisation - with aims to enhance digital literacy and advance on humanitarian programming that benefit or directly employs digitalisation as vehicle for positive outcomes for people affected by displacement.

In Tunisia, the BREAM project contributed to informing how digitalization can be incorporated and lessons around new partners and new areas of work are valuable to this end. Part of the lesson ties with the nature and standards that in many regards differs among NGOs and private sector partners. Yet, the project also evidenced that market-based approaches are needed, and will be essential to grow more sustainable livelihoods opportunities. 

Smart targeting and matching demand and supply remains a core part of successful economic recovery programming and the project showed that this also was the case for digital employment. Capacity and skills have to match up or be build up to match the level of tasks of any income generating opportunity also online.

Especially, when working with innovation in our projects, we must accept that unexpected changes occur. Even more importantly, should we aim to ensure that we bring lessons also from projects that does not go according to plan. For DRC Tunisia, the DREAM project has allow DRC to position and create relationships with a wealth of relevant players in the opportunity field of digital livelihoods for youth populations and also engage with people that we work with in a new way. Moreover, a number of internal lessons such as emphasis on communication and lessons around how to enhance abilities to work with private sector partners and market-based approaches. 

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Partnership Specialist - Tunisia

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