Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) Programme
The “Jobs, skills and finance (JSF) for women and youth in The Gambia 2018 - 2022” programme serves as vehicle to implement the second phase of the National Indicative Programme in The Gambia, which is part of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
The Programme’s overall objective is to reduce poverty through improved inclusive and sustainable growth and employment. This programme will contribute to stabilizing the economic, social and security situation of the country during the democratic transition by facilitating social inclusion and employment of the youth and women, with a specific emphasis on promoting gender equality and addressing climate change. Through JSF, UNCDF aims at promoting access to finance, reinforcing decentralization processes, and strengthening national capacities to support local economic development, while improving climate change resilience of local communities.
The JSF Programme uses the Local Climate Adaptive Living facility (LoCAL), and its innovative system of Performance Based Climate Resilience Grants to create jobs, particularly in the green economy. LoCAL supports local governments and communities in identifying needs in priority sectors and planning investments accordingly.
With a budget of 16,000,000 EUR, the JSF programme aims to create 3,000 direct jobs for youth and women. Through a holistic approach and a combination of grants, technical assistance and convening power, the programme aims to:
- Increase employment of women and youth through green and resilient economies–by supporting local authorities and communities to develop climate resilient investments that in turn can create job opportunities for vulnerable groups through “cash for work” (C4W) and procurement to local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Improve opportunities in education and skills development for women, youth and MSMEs – by providing support to TVETs and other local training providers to improve the quality, and accessibility of vocational training schemes offered to youth and women which will be linked to the C4W opportunities and key sectors of economic opportunities at the local level.
- Increase access to inclusive finance – by using a market systems approach to support the development and scale up of targeted financial services and products, particularly for women and youth, and the development of financial inclusive markets.
UNCDF officially launched the Programme in October 2018 and is implemented in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and under the tutelage of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia.
UNCDF through JSF is supporting local governments and communities to identify needs and invest in projects that build communities climate resilience and use a “cash-for-work” model by which temporary wages are used as an entry point to financial inclusion while simultaneously building the long-term skills of beneficiaries.
UNCDF in partnership with International Trade Center (ITC) work on improving the employability of young people and help entrepreneurs seize opportunities. ITC offers technical and vocational skills programs to strengthen their offerings to better match the needs of businesses and to address the skills gap by promoting entrepreneurship among youth through business skills training and support programs.
JSF aims to address the policy-and market level barriers that hinder financial inclusion. JSF works to strengthen the capacity of Financial Services Providers (FSPs) and policy-makers to help design the relevant environment leading to affordable, appropriate and responsible financial services for underserved populations, with a focus on youth, women and rural areas. With JSF, UNCDF establishes partnerships to improve access to financial services which help turn temporary jobs created by climate-resilient investments into long-term opportunities for women and youth .