Beyond writing a paper or taking a test, MIDP fellows put their learning into action through simulation exercises. Last week, Professor Rosemary Fernholz led her class through a project focused on innovative policy solutions addressing youth unemployment in Tunisia. The class was divided into four teams, each given the same background document outlining the deliverables from the fictional consulting firm, the Sanford Initiative. The firm was positioned as an implementing partner of the World Bank and organized the "Jobs4Youth" challenge that formed the basis of the competition. Each team wrote a document and created a presentation presenting their idea, which was judged on innovation, effectiveness, efficiency, social and political feasibility, equity, sustainability and scale, and the use of policy tools. The competition was judged by Professor Francis Lethem, MIDP alum Gonzalo Pertile, and DCID director Indermit Gill.
The winning team was "The International Youth Foundation," comprising Doulat Bibi Aliyar, Sophia Pogrzeba, and Kemal Kabeto. Doulat and Kemal are MIDP fellows, and Sophia is an exchange student from Germany here at Sanford for one semester.
Doulat says the proposal covers "two components addressing the biggest issues and opportunities of the supply side of the labor market." The first component "focuses on inducing entrepreneurship opportunities for youth who have been unemployed for more than a year in the Center-West region of Tunisia through creation of an Innovation Hub. The hub will serve as a platform of networking between unemployed youth, SMEs, young entrepreneurs and start-up owners. The second component linked to the innovation hub focuses on establishment of an e-learning platform to provide youth with the opportunity to learn the skills currently most demanded by the labor market. Through the e-learning platform youth will be trained in certain areas, namely electromechanical engineering, electromechanical technicians, computer science engineering, technical marketing and e-marketing."