From a craftsman to a well-rounded strategic decision maker

Today, women and youth are ruling over the world and making their mark in various fields with their dedication and hard work to excel in their area of expertise, especially that the youth are the future, and one day will control the nation, but is this the case in Egypt? Well, a major area of concern in Egypt is the youth representing about 20% of Egypt’s total population, whereas rural youth account for 59% of Egypt’s total youth and representing 85% of Egypt’s poor youth (2009 Survey of Young People in Egypt – SYPE).  Further, female participation in the Egyptian labor market is among the lowest in the world since it is a highly gender-discriminated market, in which young women (aged 18 – 29) represent only 18.5% of the Egyptian workforce.

ENID is implementing a set of four highly integrated programs, each of which has the potential to impact on job creation and poverty reduction in both the medium and longer term. The first group of beneficiaries targeted by ENID programs is the youth and women segments of Upper Egypt society. We had the chance to interview Engineer Ayat Abdel Mooty, who is the Manager of Program A “Empowerment of Women and Youth”, during ENID’s first annual conference.

But what does “women empowerment” really stand for?

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How the World Bank Institute supports knowledge exchange on urbanization and cities

Christine Kessides, Urban Practice Manager at the World Bank Institute, participated in the closing round-table of the 2012 GDN Annual Conference.

The World Bank Institute works to foster the links that allow knowledge to get translated into action. At the GDN conference, Kessides was not only interested in getting to know the latest research on the topic but also to see how to link practitioners and the researchers. WBI focuses on capacity development as a way of enhancing the application of knowledge. For that, there’s a need to first understand what are the constraints to reform and innovation.

WBI strategy does not focusing anymore just on technical training but increasingly the attention is put on how individuals acquire knowledge and change the way they work with other stakeholders. In this sense, WBI works on codified knowledge (structured learning) but also on practitioner-to-practitioner knowledge exchange, with a specific attention to South-South knowledge exchange.

This strategy has proved to be very effective, and has been deployed in various forms, through study tours, video conferencing, community of practice (online and through local government associations), direct support to local knowledge institutions and by helping governments to develop their own capacity development programmes.

According to Kessides, there is a clear need for more research on cities; likewise, there is also a need for researchers to link to practitioners and for these to be part of research.