Economic inequality, conflicts, and mass displacement resulted in the unprecedented youth unemployment globally, with 60 million jobs to be created to stabilize the situation in the Middle East alone. Associated economic and social costs are immense for governments and host communities and go beyond lack of employment but brings unrest and social clashes between different communities. Much of the public sector and UN funding is directed towards ICT skills training for youth, yet conflict-affected economies cannot absorb and utilize the produced talent leaving thousands of tech-savvies, educated youths as subjects of exploitative informal economies, and loosing invested engagement due to old and unstructured ways of engagement not fit for generation Z.
Bringing the community of youth engaged over the time into a global platform is an opportunity we all aspire to, and we believe that owning just a smart phone brings an opportunity for deprived young man or woman to become digital nomad, join a learning community, and connect with each other for progress and human development. Mobile technology creates a viable infrastructure to connect youth, even in the post-conflict states, to the digital economy, and help overcome the challenges of transportation, the reliability of internet, and absence of payment systems. Because the digital economy has no borders, it should work for everyone and everywhere.
TaQadam mobile app will join the suite of open-source platform of applications that can help governments and the UN to deliver primary data collection in humanitarian settings and assess real-time indicators on human development as a part of SDGs, as well as connect youth community to human development, education and employment services.
TaQadam launched Android mobile app in March 2018 with more than 500+ tested users across Lebanon and Northern Iraq through a set of trainings, and workshops and partnerships on the ground (Acted, AUB’s “Tech for food” (Lebanon), WorkWell, Iraq). The iterations of the mobile app are the results of continuous feedback of more than 80 young men and women (aged 15 to in Lebanon, and Iraq) engaged in digital work projects.In one year and a half, our users throughout delivery of our clients’ projects on digital image tagging and geo tagging collection on maps earned 60$K. Through the established communication channels with users on the learning and project delivery, we collected behavioral aspects of their motivation, engagement, communication practices with users from different backgrounds and legal status.