Stepping up and moving forward
Jobs have an immediate impact on the lives of individuals, as well as communities. Employment opportunities create hope where it is needed the most and can help to rebuild struggling economies.
It is SPARK’s mission to create impactful jobs for youth, including women and refugees, living in regions affected by fragility and conflict. We focus on key growth sectors so that jobseekers, interns, innovative entrepreneurs and businesses can grow.
Working together with local and international partners to boost entrepreneurial ecosystems and education, we make sure that our support is market-driven and contributes to the foundations of post-conflict economic recovery and stability.
We envision a world in which young people play an active role in the socio-economic development of their countries.
20,000 impactful jobs
Building on our 30 year history, we are determined to build on our heritage to scale up our job creation efforts to achieve 20,000 impactful jobs per year for young people in fragile and conflict-affected regions by 2030.
Responding to the UN SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, our goal is to achieve ‘gold’ jobs, which means employment in the formal sector for a duration of at least one year with a competitive wage. This will be achieved in countries with growing stability. In the most fragile and volatile regions, SPARK takes a realistic approach and focuses on ‘basic’ jobs to stimulate the local economy.
Youth, women, refugees
Young people living in fragile and conflict-affected regions have faced major, intersecting ‘permacrises’: the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recessions and lengthy, protracted conflicts have increased instability around the world. The number of refugees fleeing conflict or persecution is now at its highest since World War II.
Fragile and conflict-affected regions are also disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis and are the least resilient to climate shocks.
These interlinked crises place enormous strain on fragile and conflict-affected countries so we choose to focus our support on youth, including women and refugees, so they are equipped with the skills and tools to build brighter futures.
By 2030, 90% of our programmes will support growth-oriented MSMEs in three key sectors.
In 2030, agri-business will provide up to 75% of all jobs in FCAS, especially for vulnerable communities. It directly contributes to food security, the primary need of populations in post-conflict societies. Our focus in this sector will shift more towards supporting growing agri-business MSMEs, including those involved in post-harvest processing, distribution, trade and services.
By 2030, digital technology is projected to remain the fastest growing sector in most fragile states. It caters for the youth, women and refugees we focus on and we help to bridge the digital divide for them. It also has an excellent potential to scale, attract private sector investment and operate cross border. In this sector we focus on the digitisation of business processes, business support to growing MSMEs with a growth oriented digital/tech product, as well as digital jobs.
Greening the global economy will create 24 million additional jobs by 2030. In FCAS, green business, especially in the food sector, water and renewable energy has enormous potential to leapfrog. It is also one of the areas with the most projected external public and private investment. Focus in this sector will be on greening of business processes, business support to growing (M)SME with a growth oriented green product, as well as green jobs.
From now, we will co-create and facilitate tailored programmes with local partner organisations, experts and donors.
Our role is shifting
SPARK is moving from a programme design and implementing organisation to one that facilitates and co-creates tailored, larger programmes together with local organisations, while drawing in international expertise partners and donors.
Becoming a ‘facilitator’ fits our intention to localise, engage and increase local capacity within fragile and conflict-affected regions. This is critical if our interventions are to deliver sustainable and systemic impact. By 2030, co-creation with and capacity building of local partners will be central to each programme’s design.
Support where its needed most
SPARK has mapped refugee streams, conflict maps, human development index data and climate maps to foresee where development support will be most needed in the years towards 2030.
By 2030, SPARK will operate in four main regions: the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa (including the Sahel region and East Africa), Asia (specifically Afghanistan and Myanmar) and the Eastern flank of the EU (including Ukraine and neighbouring countries). By 2030, SPARK aims to have programmes in the 25 most feasible of these regions.
Knowledge management and expertise
By 2030, knowledge management and learning will be embedded in the structure of SPARK and its networks, including partners and donors.
We opt for an expert and ‘community of practice’-based knowledge management approach that fits the fragile and volatile markets in which we operate. These markets call for a high level of customisation and responsiveness.
Essential expertise will be available in a three-tier system of in-house experts, a dynamic expert pool and international expert partner’s organisations in our key sectors.