August Development Review

3 Things to Note this July in Global Development News

Here are some of the stories on global development that caught our attention in July:

1. Immigration ministers recognize the importance of community-based refugee sponsorship programs.

Earlier this month, Ministers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Argentina, Spain, and New Zealand released a joint statement expressing their commitment to piloting or implementing community-based refugee sponsorship programs in their countries. They recognized the value such programs add to the integration of refugees and to the engagement of individuals, communities, and organizations on important global issues.

Canada has been a leader in community-based refugee sponsorship, since launching the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program in 1979. It is through this program that our Student Refugee Program is made possible and through which more than 1,700 refugee youth have been supported to resettle in Canada and continue their post-secondary education. This joint statement marks an important step toward the creation of more education pathways for refugee youth. Read the full statement.

2. Global actors release new report on the high cost of not educating girls.

Since 2008, WUSC has been working in Kenya to support the transition of refugee girls from upper-primary to secondary school. We know this is a critical point in the lives of young refugees, with many girls in particular under immense pressure to drop out of school. A new report by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Global Partnership for Education, the Malala Fund, and the World Bank Group highlights the cost of these missed education opportunities for girls.

The report says that limited educational opportunities for girls, from primary to secondary, costs countries between $15 trillion and $30 trillion dollars. It goes on to highlight six areas in which investments in girls’ education can produce important economic and social returns, including: earnings and standards of living; child marriage and early childbearing; fertility and population growth; health, nutrition and wellbeing; agency and decision-making; and social capital and institutions. Read the full report.

3. Making Cents International explores how a market systems approach can support youth inclusion in agriculture.

A new blog by Making Cents International illustrates how organizations can apply the market systems approach to youth inclusion. They begin by mapping the agriculture system through a youth-lens, using the MSD ‘donut’. They then ask three key questions to identify important opportunities and gaps that will help chart future areas of intervention.

In agriculture, they found that access to skills development opportunities – both technical and soft – were critically missing on the supporting functions-side of the donut. They also discovered that the attitudes and behaviours of family, peers, and communities acted as key binding constraints on the rules-side of the donut. Read the full analysis here.

Related: Read how WUSC is applying the market systems approach to greater youth and women inclusion in agriculture in the Caribbean.

More news from WUSC:

Student Refugee Program graduate returns to Somalia to serve as MP

Photo of the Siraji family

Mohamud Siraji, 30, with wife Sarah Hassan and their 11-month-old daughter, Fowzia, at home in Toronto. (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR)

In 2009, Mohamud Siraji came to Canada through WUSC’s Student Refugee Program. With the support of his Local Committee, he settled in Toronto where he could continue his education at York University. Almost a decade later, he has chosen to return to his country of origin to help in the rebuilding efforts as an MP for the district of Jubbaland. He says, “If none of us would go back to Somalia, the country would never have a chance to rebuild.” Read more in this article by journalist, Nicholas Keung, in the Toronto Star.




New report on Impact Investing in the Education Sector in East Africa

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carry a high price tag; it is estimated that an additional $2.5 trillion is required annually to turn this agenda into action. Impact investing presents a potential funding pathway to help fill this serious financing gap. WUSC recently funded an assessment of opportunities for impact investing in the education sector in East Africa. The assessment identified key gaps, as well as potential opportunities for donors to support impact investing in the growing business of education. Read more, and access the full report, here.


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