PPMI successfully completes the mapping for the DARYA project
In June 2022, 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).
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 ETF detail the intervention logic and action plan for DARYA. Throughout the assignment our focus has been on three thematic areas of DARYA: 1) forward-looking skills development through better evidence analysis of education and training outcomes and skills needs, 2) stakeholder-driven flexible and permeable approaches to qualifications at national and regional levels to allow equal opportunities for all, and 3) flexible and inclusive teaching and learning approaches, based on learning outcomes and relevant to the labour market.
Focusing on these three areas, PPMI with partners and national experts conducted extensive desk research and a limited number of interviews, and this way mapped all relevant policies, (international) projects, stakeholders, data sources, and a selection of labour market statistics. This fed into the preparation of five country reports and a regional synthesis analysing differences and commonalities across countries. Following the mapping, we carried out two workshops and three thematic consultations with ETF staff to discuss how research findings may inform further development of the DARYA logic. This included discussing thematic priority areas of DARYA, including objectives of each and related activities, stakeholder preferences by country, potential domains for regional peer learning, collaboration, and networking, and expected results of DARYA as well as indicators that could be used to measure its performance.
Overall, our study fed into the finalisation of the DARYA logic and action plan for five years, helping to ensure that DARYA targets those areas where it has the highest potential for impact.