In June 2022, the EU launched a five-year project, 'Dialogue and Action for Resourceful Youth in Central Asia' (DARYA). First of its kind, the action aims to support the post-COVID recovery in Central Asia by 'fostering improved employability of young women and men in the region through inclusive and labour-market oriented skills'. In line with the 2019 EU-Central Asia Strategy, DARYA targets Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is implemented by the European Training Foundation (ETF).
At the end of September, PPMI was commissioned by ETF to provide evidence-based support for the inception phase of the DARYA project, i.e. map the state of play of developments in five countries, stakeholders involved in them, and, based on it, help detail the intervention logic and action plan for DARYA. To this end, PPMI will work closely with national experts and stock-take of policies and projects in areas such as skills assessment and monitoring, labour market integration, implementation of qualification systems, and approaches to teaching and learning. Based on extensive desk research and interviews, we will map, amongst other issues, the regulatory/institutional framework, national policy objectives, stakeholder involvement, and ongoing international/regional projects in the thematic areas listed. This will feed into the preparation of country reports and a regional synthesis and, finally, set the basis for further development of the DARYA logic and action plan. Our goal is to help ETF identify thematic priority areas and corresponding engagement modalities for each country, as well as arrive at potential domains for regional peer learning, networking, and collaboration. In particular, we will support ETF by detailing project activities, selecting performance indicators and deciding on the most efficient budget allocation.