Despite reforms, labour markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been unable to absorb the growing number of job seekers. Women and educated youth are particularly vulnerable to high unemployment. However, data on entrepreneurship and the private enterprise sector in the region have been virtually non-existent.
An IDRC-funded project in Asia found that distance education can be as effective as traditional face-to-face education in delivering quality teaching and a good learning experience. This finding is particularly significant for remote and resource-poor regions in countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia. The project underscored the importance of choosing appropriate technologies and mediums of distance education based on learner needs, capacities, and the socio-economic context.
Agricultural production is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. While this can lead to improved food security, nutrition, and income in the region, it also increases the risk of disease, exposure to chemicals, and the loss of biodiversity. The IDRC-supported Ecohealth Field Building Initiative (FBLI) supports research in the region that aims to improve understanding of the effects of agricultural change on ecosystems and human health, and provide sustainable solutions.