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Youth and Work in the Global South


Decent work and youth livelihoods

This project is concerned with the challenges in responding to the growing crisis of youth (un)employment, working poverty and livelihoods in lower income countries. The potential for a so-called ‘demographic dividend’ is contingent upon meeting the challenge of finding meaningful work that enables people to make a living. Yet at present the highest levels of working poverty are in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by South Asia. Globally, there is a clear recognition of the importance of how people make a living, with ‘full and productive employment and decent work for all’ being the cornerstone of Sustainable Development Goal 8. While this global priority is now enshrined in the SDG agenda, there are important questions about how this is translated and implemented at the national level, bearing in mind the role of the state, industry, and workers themselves. Developing locally and national appropriate employment strategies is a key public policy challenge across the Global South.

Cambridge Global Challenges: International Development Research @ Cambridge

Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC) is the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.

Adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a blueprint set by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030 – CGC supports the partnerships and the work of academic researchers (STEM and AH&SS) and implementers (eg: civil society, NGOs, policy-makers, industry, government) who, together, can successfully deliver research projects that respond to the challenges faced by communities in the Global South. CGC currently involves over 600 researchers from across the University of Cambridge and collaborators in low-income countries, who come from the physical and biological sciences, engineering and technology, business, law and medicine, and the arts, humanities and social sciences. The Strategic Research Initiative mobilizes existing expertise hubs across the University of Cambridge – namely its Strategic Research Networks, Strategic Research Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Research Centres – and convenes new key thematic areas to which the University can contribute.