Enhancing opportunities for rural youth in post-conflict Colombia: diagnosis and policy proposals
After more than half a century of conflict, Colombia is entering a period of reparation, reconstruction, and prevention of new violence. The government recently reached a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and began talks with the National Liberation Army, Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group.
Colombia’s youth have suffered tremendously from conflict. More than half of the eight million registered victims of conflict are younger than 28 years of age. In addition, more than 30 % of young Colombians are neither working nor studying, and youth in post-conflict areas experience even greater vulnerability. Action is needed to ensure that this generation can find a future in Colombian society and can overcome the wounds and obstacles imposed by the conflict.
These actions and programs must be based on empirical evidence of young people’s current situation — their aspirations, opportunities, and the barriers that limit their attainment — that does not currently exist. This project will address this evidence gap.
Based on previous IDRC-supported research, the project, implemented by the Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) will develop an in-depth understanding of the priorities, interests, and aspirations of rural youth. The project team will collect data, diagnose problems, identify opportunities, and contribute to the design of innovative interventions. It will work closely with government institutions that lead the implementation of the post-conflict strategy, including the newly created Agency for the Renovation of the Territory. The overall aim is to support the peace process in Colombia by informing policies that foster the economic and social inclusion of rural youth in post-conflict zones.