The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, in collaboration with the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the Department of Economic and Social affairs (UNDESA) and the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), organized an Expert Group Meeting on ‘The Role of Families and Family Policy in Supporting Youth Transition’, held 11-12 December 2018 in Doha, Qatar.
The primary objective of the EGM was to bring together 26 international experts from all over the world to discuss the role of families in supporting youth transitions from school to work and, ultimately, youth employment outcomes in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda.
The EGM attempt to address the following questions:
- How do families influence youth career and employment decisions and outcomes? How do family structural variables (e.g., parental occupation, education, poverty) and family process variables (e.g., family involvement, parenting, support, and expectations) influence career development and outcomes for young people?
- How has family support affected job search dynamics among youth and under what conditions has this helped youth secure better jobs?
- What policies can help reinforce the family’s role in supporting their youth’s transition from school to work and help address youth employment challenges?
- What family policies might reinforce youth employment policies and help countries to improve youth outcomes, towards youth-related Sustainable Development Agenda targets 4.4, 8.5 and 8.6?
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
8.5 By 2030 achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
8.6 By 2020 substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
Experts included academics and practitioners in the fields of youth, family policy, social integration, economics, and social policy. They were asked to provide a paper, make a short presentation, participate in discussions and give their expert opinions and policy recommendations.
1. Nader Kabani, Director of Research, Brookings Doha Center, Qatar.
2. Rosario Eistenou, Senior Professor and Researcher, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Mexico.
3. Mihaela Robila, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Queens College, City University of New York, United States.
4. Pablo Suarez Robles, Economist at the Social Cohesion Development Centre, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United States.
5. Anis Ben Brik, Director of Family Policy Department, Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), Qatar.
6. Heidi Ullmann, Social Affairs Officer, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CELADE/ECLAC), Chile.
7. Alex Vazquez, Representative to the UN, International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), United States.
8. Ignacio Socias, Director of International Relations, International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), Spain.
9. Wei-Jun Jean Yeung, Professor, National University, Signapore.
10. Sagrario Segado Sánchez-Cabezudo, Professor of the Department of Social Work, National University of Distance Education (UNED), Madrid.
11. Carlos Antonio Costa Ribeiro, Institute of Social and Political Studies, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Brazil.
12. Ashan Perera, Founder and President, Road to Rights, Sri Lanka.
13. Marge Unt, Head of Institute of International Social Studies, Tallinn University, Estonia.
14. Hatim Aznague, President of the Sustainable Development’s Youth, Morocco.
15. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director, The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, Nigeria.
16. Juliana Zapata, Consultant, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, Italy.
17. Renata Kaczmarska, Focal Point on the Family, United Nations DISD/DESA, United States.
18. Liudmila Batura, Social Policy Officer, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Lebanon.
19. Luay Shabana, Regional Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - Arab States Regional Office, Egypt.
20. Alcinda Maria Honwana, Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development Policy, United Nations, DISD/DESA, United States.
21. Filip De Boeck, Professor of the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA), University of Leuven, Belgium.
22. Ingrid Schoon, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, University of London, United Kingdom.
23. Hernán Cuervo, Deputy Director - Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia.
24. Nathalie Milbach Bouche, Regional Cluster Team Leader at the Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and Development, UNDP Arab States Office, Jordan.
25. Yan Ruth Xia, Professor in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States.
26. Nicholas Zill, Research Psychologist, Washington D.C, United States.
At the opening of the meeting, Dr Anis Ben Brik, director of Family Policy Department at DIFI, underlined the ongoing of efforts of DIFI to make family issues a priority on the agenda of policymakers in Qatar and the world, as well as raising awareness on the challenges facing families everywhere,right since its inception in 2006. “We have chosen the theme of the EGM based on the institute’s ongoing concern to highlight family issues that reflect national, regional and international interests. The expert meeting provides a platform for policymakers, researchers and representatives of civil society to discuss the role of family and family policies in youth transition and to present the best experiences in this field from around the world,” he said.
Dr. Ignacio Socias, Director of Communications, IFFD, said:“Young people these days are extremely vulnerable. They face high levels of economic and social uncertainty and risk. And all too often their full potential is not developed because they have no access to productive and decent jobs. That is why the crucial influence of parents and families in their lives is now more important than ever before, and it requires assistance from the rest of social actors. The future of our societies depends on it,” Socias added.
Renata Kaczmarska, Focal Point on the Family, UN DESA, said: “The UN DESA is pleased to partner with DIFI in convening the Expert Group Meeting on the Role of Families and Family Policy in Supporting Youth Transitions. The expert meeting aims to explore how family policies can contribute to helping youth in their transitions from education to employment and family formation.”
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