Insights from Community Jameel: How can we leverage partnerships to tackle development challenges?

Recently, Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, wrote a guest article for the online blog of the MIT Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) looking at this issue. Opening doors is pleased to reproduce that article here to share these insights from the experiences of Community Jameel. 

Community Jameel was formally established in 2003 to continue the Jameel family’s tradition of supporting the community. Its long-standing relationship with MIT is grounded in a shared belief in the value of bringing the brightest minds to bear on persistent challenges facing communities around the world.

Our partnerships with MIT are working to address some of the major problems of the 21st Century:

As an organization based in the Middle East, Community Jameel has been pleased to work with J-PAL to apply and share its knowledge across the region, where it is now involved in projects and partnerships in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, among others.

Looking back on 2017, there is much to acknowledge:

In April, we collaborated to bring together regional government officials, NGOs, and the private sector at an event in Dubai, where J-PAL announced its intention to increase its work in the region, focusing on new studies to support youth employment and private sector growth in the Middle East.

In November, J-PAL hosted an event in the Abdul Latif Jameel Hall at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, to share approaches in tackling youth unemployment. Given large youth populations in the region, this is a critical issue, particularly in Egypt where one-sixth of the youth population is unemployed, and an additional third is not participating in academic, employment, or vocational training.

Employment and skills development has and will continue to be a major focus of Community Jameel’s work in MENA and beyond. Since 2003, our dedicated job creation program, Bab Rizq Jameel, has helped create more than 720,000 jobs across Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. We provide training, career counselling, and practical support to help people enter into the job market, as well as micro-finance and advice to encourage young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and launch their careers. Only last month, Bab Rizq Jameel Recruitment announced it helped more than 50,000 people find jobs in 2017.

Looking ahead into 2018, we are excited to support J-PAL as it grows its work. For example, this year J-PAL, with the backing of Community Jameel, aims to tackle social inclusion, breaking the cycle of disadvantage by focusing on the barriers to social inclusion, including education, youth unemployment, housing, and immigration.

Growing and expanding partnerships between academics and experts, governments, NGOs, and the private sector around the world, is key to sharing best practices and, ultimately, successes in development. Community Jameel’s relationship with J-PAL is just one of those partnerships, but we envision it will continue to make valuable contributions to addressing development challenges the world over, in 2018 and well beyond.

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