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Researching Arab Mediterranean Youth: Towards a New Social Contract (SAHWA)

Final Report Summary - SAHWA (Researching Arab Mediterranean Youth: Towards a New Social Contract (SAHWA))

Executive Summary:
The SAHWA Project brought together fifteen partners from Europe and Arab countries to research youth prospects and perspectives in a context of multiple social, economic and political transitions in five Arab Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia). The thematic axes around which the project revolved are education, employment and social inclusion, political mobilisation and participation, culture and values, international migration, gender, comparative experiences in other transitional contexts and public policies and international cooperation.

Building on the existing academic and policy-oriented research on Arab and global youth, the SAHWA Project had four broad objectives:

1. Conceptualising transition in Arab Mediterranean countries, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

2. Mapping political, socio-economic and cultural change in a context of multiple transitions.

3. Comparing similar transition processes in other historical contexts.

4. Informing policy-makers to achieve a better understanding of the role of youth and contribute to a better design of national public policies and EU cooperation to support change in the region.

The SAHWA methodological approach was articulated on:

• A Multi-country Youth Survey carried out amongst 10.000 young people in the five reference countries, which enabled the creation of a comparative dataset;
• A Fieldwork in Local Context with more than 230 young people. Based on ethnographic techniques, this fieldwork served as a basis for a dataset.

The analysis of this data had as a main result the publication of more than 100 of publications which objective was to contribute to the scientific community knowledge and policymakers decisions. Only in the framework of the project there has been delivered and published: 23 scientific papers, 20 policy papers, 10 policy reports, 8 background papers, two handbooks, two policy briefs, one concept paper and one edited book with 13 chapters compiling main results of the Project.

Several public events were held, such as public events in Cairo (May 2016 and December 2016), Madrid (September 2016), and Marseille (November 2016); policy workshops organised with DG Research in Brussels (June 2016); a seminar organised with European Parliament in Brussels (March 2017); or an International SAHWA Conference in Barcelona (March 2017). SAHWA partners were involved in more than 60 public events, conferences and seminars where they disseminated findings from SAHWA.

Besides, SAHWA produced a wide range of communication and dissemination materials: a project webpage displaying all the project activities and outputs ( as well as leaflets, a poster and flyers. A periodic newsletter summing up SAHWA progress was sent to more than 1,000 stakeholders on youth. Finally, SAHWA also managed a SAHWA Community (on LinkedIn), a Twitter account (@SAHWAProject) with more than 700 followers and a Facebook page (SAHWA Project) and reached over 5,000 people weekly.

Project Context and Objectives:

Between 2010 and 2011, many Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEM) countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Israel, etc.) became the place for popular revolts where young people played a prominent role. Their claims were ranging from the improvement of living standards to the removal of the highest political authorities. As the revolts went along with the strengthening of the myth about youth political participation, the SAHWA Project aimed at exploring the concept of "youth transitions". Young people in the SEM area are enduring a multiple transition. In addition to the political and socioeconomic transformations, another transition is taking place: transition to adulthood from the famous tripartite division of the life cycle in preparation for professional life, working life and retirement. With a view to structuring such research dimensions, the SAHWA project articulated the concept of triple transition, taking into account political transitions, socio-economic transitions, and “invisible” transitions such as cultural trends and emotions related to youth and the insecurity about the future (“resident generation”).

During 2014, as the so-called Arab Spring unfolded into its fourth year, research on the whys and wherefores of this process have mostly focused on dynamics of transition. Although Arab youth were at the forefront of the popular protests that initiated these processes of transition and have remained the most dynamic social actor, little attention has been paid to young people in the SEM countries, including their views and prospects. As a result, despite the growing interest for the region, a glaring lack of knowledge about Arab youth (ways of life, socio-economic conditions, values, perceptions, etc.), and as a consequence about Arab societies, has marked the views of external actors and policy-makers so far.

In this context, the SAHWA Project brought together fifteen partners from Europe and Arab countries to research youth prospects and perspectives in a context of multiple social, economic and political transitions in five Arab Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon). The thematic axes around which the project revolved are education, employment and social inclusion, political mobilisation and participation, culture and values, international migration and mobility, gender, comparative experiences in other transitional contexts and public policies and international cooperation.


Building on the existing academic and policy-oriented research on Arab and global youth, the SAHWA Project aimed at addressing a variety of issues related to youth in Arab Mediterranean countries with four broad objectives:

• Conceptualising transition in the SEM region: SAHWA aimed at contributing to a common understanding of terms such as youth, transition, social space, political participation, emancipation, agency, empowerment, and its applicability in the SEM context from an interdisciplinary perspective.

• Collecting perspectives: from different countries of the SEM region and from stakeholders of different nature (governments, business organisations, political and social movements, civil society, opinion makers, cultural activists, etc.). Through its interdisciplinary empiricism, SAHWA looked for the historical and social reasons for youth conditions in order to provide an understanding of young people not as a continuous and ahistorical social group, but as one that is dynamic and discontinuous, in which its members are a heterogeneous category. In other words, it mapped political, socio-economic and cultural change in the Arab Mediterranean world in a context of multiple transitions, focusing on:
- Perspectives from different countries and stakeholders.
- Prospects for youth and trends to anticipate future change.
- Identification of opportunities for youth, considered as a transformative agent.

• Projecting trends: SAHWA tackled the evolution of current and emerging trends, focusing on the key actors and factors shaping them, building scenarios, outlining a research and policy agenda for the future of the region. This allowed SAHWA to inform policy-makers with a range of tools and original frameworks of analysis to achieve a better understanding of the role of youth and contribute to a better design of national public policies and EU cooperation to support change in the region.

• Identifying opportunity: SAHWA dealt with the potential of youth as a transformative agent in the SEM region and a window of opportunity for the EU to support change in the Mediterranean.

Project Results:
The project was implemented following three stages: firstly, a conceptual work was carried out in order to define the main concepts used in the framework of SAHWA; secondly, the implementation of quantitative (SAHWA Youth Survey) and qualitative (SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork) data collection; and thirdly the data exploitation through the writing of academic and policy-oriented papers and reports.

Who are the youth and whom do they represent? Conceptualising Arab Mediterranean youth.

During the first project phase, conceptual work was collectively carried out in order to lay the theoretical foundations for the research. To do so, the chronological, geographical and human scope (age group, countries) of the project were defined, as well as the concepts of youth. Conceptual work also included the definition of SAHWA’s mixed methodology - blending quantitative (youth survey) with qualitative (ethnographic fieldwork); methods and techniques to be used to collect representative data; as well as a series of concepts that were of crucial importance throughout the project such as marginalisation, exclusion, gender or social inclusion.

In this perspective, SAHWA advanced the conception of youth as a primarily heterogeneous group and as a condition rather than merely a life stage. It therefore focused on three main dimensions throughout the project: differences and similarities of being youth in the SEM region; perspectives and experiences of the multiple transitions and the impact of the ongoing changes in the region on youth. Those main research questions fed a series of thematic research questions guiding the project.

As a result, SAHWA Concept paper “Contemporary Youth Research in Arab Mediterranean Countries: Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Research”, set out the conceptual and methodological framework while a series of SAHWA Background papers defined thematic research questions and a series of indicators in order to prepare the ground for the SAHWA youth survey and ethnographic fieldwork. For indication, SAHWA Background papers dealt with the following topics:

• Youth Opportunities: Employment, Education and Social Inclusion in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon.
• Youth Engagement: Youth Political Engagement in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Lebanon.
• Youth Cultures: Youth Cultures: Values, Representations and Social Conditions.
• Gender: Institutions, Laws and Practices Hampering Women Engagement
• Comparative Transition Experiences: Young People’s Roles and Experiences during Transitions and Transformations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: Implications for Researching and Interpreting the Arab Spring and its Aftermath.
• Public Policy and International Cooperation

Researching Arab Mediterranean youth: a unique comparative dataset for the region

Throughout the second project phase, the SAHWA Youth Survey and SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork were carried out amongst the five countries of study. As SAHWA is an empirical research project, this step was necessary in order to use the data to provide answers to all research questions.

On the one hand, the SAHWA Youth Survey 2016 was carried out amongst 10,000 young people from the five countries of study throughout a common questionnaire that covered all the aspects of the SAHWA Project: education, employment and inclusion, political participation and mobilisation, values and culture, gender issues, migration and international mobility. It therefore provided a significant amount of comparative data. Furthermore, through multiples variables (country, age group, gender, etc.), this dataset allowed researchers to test a wide range of hypothesis regarding today’s debate (both public and academic) about youth in the SEM region.

On the other hand, to complete the “regional picture” provided by the survey, SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork aimed at providing qualitative data in line with SAHWA Research questions to allow for the extensive analysis of the issues young people are faced with, their perception and self-perception as well as the views from stakeholders on youth.

In this view, the quantitative dataset allowed to figure out the main trends and patterns of Arab Mediterranean youth conditions, views and prospects in the Mediterranean while the qualitative dataset helped to exemplify those phenomena or, in some cases, demonstrate that they were specific to certain contexts. Although extremely challenging, SAHWA’s methodology therefore proved to be successful: a unique dataset for the five countries of study was created, therefore allowing the SAHWA team to focus on analysing this data in the light of SAHWA research themes.

Main research achievements

Throughout the last project phase, relying on the data produced, most of the efforts and resources focused on achieving a large series of papers reflecting the main results from the SAHWA project in “different languages” so that to reach out to different audiences: this includes the academia (SAHWA scientific papers), practitioners (SAHWA handbooks), policy makers (SAHWA policy papers, policy reports and policy briefs) and the general public (video recorded life stories, cartography of change and documentary). Indeed, different sets of scientific papers dealing with SAHWA main research themes (education, employment, gender, migration, social inclusion) were published while a large series of policy papers and policy reports helped to translate the main findings into policy-relevant recommendations for policy makers. Two policy briefs summarise the key findings and conclusions from the project.

Youth and Social Exclusion

One of SAHWA’s main research interests revolved around youth exclusion in the SEM countries. Research in the past evidenced the fact that large segments of these countries’ populations were excluded from the labour market and faced with exclusion in the economic sphere. However, little was known about the drivers and processes of exclusion. In this respect, research carried out under SAHWA’s main research themes (Education, Employment and Social Inclusion on the one hand; Political Engagement on the other hand) shed light on different patterns of that multirooted exclusion.

Firstly, the results from the SAHWA Youth Survey and Ethnographic Fieldwork highlighted a crucial pattern of exclusion in all countries of studies: economic exclusion plays a minor role while exclusion from both social and political spheres appear to be the strongest drivers. Indeed, this exclusion is distributed among young people in different ways and according to a wide range of factors including education and economic personal situation but also location, social and political background, and gender.

Economic and Social Exclusion

In economic terms, whether employed, unemployed or students, most young people stressed the very same problem: education does not necessarily lead to employment and a lack of decent jobs (fairly paid, non-temporary and matching the level of education). The patterns of youth unemployment analysed in the framework of SAHWA shows that it is even the opposite: the more educated, the more likely to remain unemployed. Beyond quantitative figures – especially in terms of government expenditures -, the quality of education is widely criticised by young people, which creates great potential for frustration amongst youth in the region.

Indeed, if economic issues appear to be central according to SAHWA, it is mostly because of their effects on youth: obtaining a job is key for young people as it paves their way to autonomy (economic independence) and to adulthood (marriage, leaving the family home). As a result, the state of unemployment in the region feeds uncertainty about the future, a feeling of lack of independence and delays marriage, which translates into a general feeling of frustration and social exclusion.

A series of SAHWA scientific papers on Youth Opportunities analysed the ways drivers and processes of exclusion are interconnected. Our approach to youth as a condition therefore proved to be relevant in order to figure out this feeling of frustration. In this regard, our most relevant findings for this section can be found in the following publications:

• SAHWA Scientific paper: "The frustrated generation: The exclusion of young people in Arab Mediterranean countries from decent employment and long-term life perspectives" (BREMEN)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: SAHWA Scientific paper: “Education, Gender and Income Inequalities Comparative study between Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia” (CREAD)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Youth and informal employment in Morocco” (HEM)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Redefining and tackling (youth) unemployment in the Arab Mediterranean context” (METU)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “To be or not to be married: Marriage as a turning point for adulthood in five Arab Mediterranean countries” (UdL)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Youth Employability and Skill Mismatch in Lebanon” (LAU)

In addition to that, a series of policy papers (either national or regional) on youth opportunities “translated” the aforementioned findings into policy recommendations to help both policy makers to open new spaces for youth inclusion in different fields.

Moreover, in line with SAHWA’s policy-oriented objectives, SAHWA non-research institutions working with professionals also wrote two handbooks for practitioners in the fields of education and employment. On the one hand, the handbook entitled “Raising the capacities of young entrepreneurs”, explores the various forms of support implemented in the Southern Mediterranean countries and beyond. On the other hand, the handbook entitled “Towards brighter futures: Empowering youth in the Arab Mediterranean countries through Education for Employment initiatives” aims to help address AMCs’ youth unemployment crisis by providing some guidelines for practitioners working -or wishing to work- on youth unemployment in the region. These handbooks were presented in the public event organised by SAHWA in Marseille (November 2016) during the Mediterranean Economic Week to a wide community of young entrepreneurs, start-up support organisations and accelerators, mentoring networks, education & entrepreneurship experts, business angels and investors operating in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

Political dimension of exclusion

Apart from the economic dimension of exclusion – widely researched -, SAHWA’s findings also shed light on exclusion from the political life, a dimension which was hitherto underestimated in this field of research. The SAHWA Youth Survey evidenced very low political participation rates (affiliation to a political party or movement, abstention rates) are combined with worryingly low levels of youth confidence in the main national institutions according to our survey. Qualitative analysis helped to understand the reasons for this fact: fieldwork brought to light an overwhelming feeling of discontent among the youth with their governments. Three factors explain this discontent: the feeling that governments do not deal with youth issues, the lack of channels allowing young people to voice their concerns and demands, and the lack of youth organisations in policymaking.

Beyond the quantitative figures SAHWA brought about, conclusions from fieldwork tend to be different from the common discourse about youth engagement in the region. Indeed, those findings do not mean that Arab Mediterranean youth are depoliticised. On the contrary, youth are engaged in other spheres where they can voice their demands and actively participate – mostly through informal networks - such as civil society organisations, media or the art.

In this respect, SAHWA published a set of scientific papers focusing on different aspects of youth engagement (civic, political, etc.) in the region:

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “Youth Political Engagement during the Arab Spring: Egypt and Tunisia Compared” (AUC)

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “Dynamics of engagement among the youth in Arab Mediterranean Countries” (FYRN)

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “The life span of alternative media in a hybrid configuration. The cases of Lakome and Mamfakinch in Morocco” (HEM)

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “Youth in Algeria: the protracted blockage of public engagement and political apathy” (METU)

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “Modernisation theory meets Tunisia’s youth during and since the revolution of 2001” (PLOVDIV)

• SAHWA Scientific Paper: “Young women and men of Arab Mediterranean background in Italy: Transnational involvement of second generation youth in the Arab uprisings” (UNIMIB)

In parallel, two policy reports analysing youth engagement in Arab Mediterranean countries and prospects for youth inclusion were published. Not only they provide the regional picture of youth engagement but also they offer relevant recommendations for policy makers in the region so as to promote more inclusive policies:
• SAHWA’s Policy report entitled “Towards more inclusive youth engagement in Arab-Mediterranean countries” provides recommendations to the Youth Partnership between the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe in the field of Youth Policy through listening and learning from the experiences of the youth in the five Arab-Mediterranean countries under analysis (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon).
• SAHWA’s Policy report entitled “Breaking the triple marginalisation of youth? Mapping the future prospects of youth inclusion in Arab Mediterranean countries” identifies the tendencies and processes affecting young lives with the aim of recognising possible future trends.

In general terms, SAHWA’s research evidenced that drivers and processes of exclusion are interconnected. As a result, the aforementioned series of policy papers and reports tend to suggest the need for multiple approaches to “youth” in order to better address the issues and challenges facing young people. Additionally, those findings suggest the need for further research on this diversified group of socially excluded young people to better address this major challenge. Other dimensions that are determinant in the processes of exclusion, but also in general in the understanding of youth in the region, were researched in the framework of SAHWA.

Migration: an indicator of youth exclusion

Indeed, youth mobility was a research theme of interest in the framework of SAHWA. In the light of the multiple processes of exclusion affecting youth in the region, and following Hirschman's theory, migration was also considered as an indicator of the level of social exclusion and/or uncertainty facing young people. While much of the attention at the EU level was paid to migration coming from some of the Arab Mediterranean countries, SAHWA found out that - except in Tunisia where the desire to migrate is very high (53%) - more than three-quarters of young people from our countries of study do not wish to migrate. Moreover, migration is more often considered by the well-off than the poorest and appears to be more attractive to those who are better educated and who have ties overseas. Finally, it confirmed previous research on that topic regarding the drivers (push and pull factors): they are mostly economic (decent job, better income and living conditions).

Different perspectives were reflected in a set of scientific papers where more detailed findings can be found. In this view, the objective was to apply our multiple approaches to youth exclusion (see previous section) to youth mobility in order to research the links between migration and the feeling of exclusion:

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Decision to emigrate amongst the youth in Lebanon. The role of socio-economic factors”. (LAU)
• SAHWA Scientific paper: “The effect of political grievances on young people’s decision to migrate: Evidence from five Arab Mediterranean countries” (BREMEN)
• SAHWA Scientific paper: “The impact of socioeconomic conditions on the perception of migration issues among young people” (CREAD)
• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Youth and migration in Tunisia” (CAWTAR)
• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Transnational relationship and youth political engagement in the region” (CIDOB)

Given the relevance of migration in the EU and regional agendas, two reports explored the issue of mobility from a prospective point of view:
• SAHWA Scenario report “Identifying migration scenarios (trends, continuities and brakes) and mobility issues in the Arab Mediterranean Countries” proposes policy design options for the countries of origin of the migrants.
• SAHWA’s Policy report “Do they really want to stay in the EU? Policies of flexibility towards Maghrebi youth migrants” seeks to learn youth motivations and recommends policies accordingly.

Youth through a gender sensitive perspective

One of the commitments of SAHWA was to constantly take into account the gender dimension of the many aspects of youth that were researched. Through a gender sensitive approach, SAHWA paid particular attention to the differences between young boys and young girls as well as their relationships in different fields. In this respect, this variable was widely explored both quantitatively and qualitatively. As a result, despite of much progress in different realms (women access to education, to employment, to public sphere and to political office), gender equality still has a long way to go. Indeed, women are especially faced with difficult school-to-work transition given existing discrimination in their access to employment. This situation feeds the gap between high expectations and low opportunities, existing amongst all youth but wider in the case of young women.

On the other hand, SAHWA evidenced that demands for change and resistance to it coexist among the youth in the region. Although young people widely support the idea of gender equality in education, they tend to reproduce more conservative models when it comes to the sexual division of labour as well as the related gender roles and models within the family.

Each of those aspects affecting young women is widely analysed in a set of scientific papers:

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Transformations of cultural norms and values among the youth in Arab Mediterranean countries from a gender perspective” (UNIMIB)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Women’s school-to-work transition in the region” (CAWTAR)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Educated young women’s employment decisions in Egypt: A qualitative account” (AUC)

• SAHWA Scientific paper: “Social inclusion of youth in the Arab Mediterranean countries from a gender perspective” (METU)

On the other hand, an extensive policy report entitled “Gendering Youth (girls and boys) Empowerment in Arab Mediterranean Countries (AMCs)” identified the inequalities of empowerment among young people of different genders; the efforts already made by governments and civil society in this field; and positive experiences that may be reproduced in other countries. A series of policy recommendations advise on how to bridge the gap in terms of inequalities.

The role of national and EU policy makers

Apart from advancing the epistemological debate over youth in the region, SAHWA put considerable efforts to analyse the role played by policy-makers, both in the region and at the EU level, so as to take stock of what has been done at the policy-making level but also to offer new recommendations arising from the research.

In this respect, our research showed that a minority (17%) of youth is aware of programmes and public policies targeting them. This percentage literally drops when it comes to EU cooperation programmes in the region (1.5%). Besides, the majority of the interviewed believes that these programmes are mostly beneficial to their government and to the elite.

With a view to questioning the State of the art of youth policies in the five countries and, on the other hand, to offering policy options and recommendations to policy makers in the region, SAHWA published a series of policy papers that take two perspectives: national and regional.

On the one hand, SAHWA’s research themes were analysed in today’s public policies in the region:

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Recommendations for lifting barriers to private investment in young firms” (ANIMA)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Arab Mediterranean youth migration: who wants to leave, and why?” (CIDOB)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Getting more bang for the EU’s buck in the Arab Mediterranean countries” (EuropEFE)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Perspectives from the field: European youth cooperation schemes through the lenses of young people in the Arab Mediterranean countries” (METU)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “European Public Policies for Gender Equality in the Arab Mediterranean Region” (UNIMIB)

On the other hand, country specific issues were analysed:

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Egyptian youth: National policies and international initiatives” (AUC)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Youth Politics in Lebanon. A Call for Citizen Empowerment” (LAU)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “National polices targeting the youth in Tunisia” (CAWTAR)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “Youth in Algeria: Actors, policies and impact of international cooperation” (CREAD)

o SAHWA Policy paper: “National youth policies. The case of Morocco” (HEM)

In addition to that, substantial research was carried out to analyse the main EU cooperation schemes targeting young people. It highlighted that the priorities and content set by those schemes is neither aligned with the needs of young people nor with national priorities (education system, labour market, engagement). Finally, SAHWA researchers pointed out the lack of inter-institutional and intra-institutional communication between different EU institutions working in the field of youth in this region. Those findings are reflected in the SAHWA Policy report entitled “European Youth Cooperation Schemes in the Southern Mediterranean Context: One for all, all for one?”.

Conclusions from the SAHWA Project

The main findings and conclusions – summarised in the previous section - were summed up in two policy briefs that were primarily directed to EU-based policy makers and stakeholders on youth, but which targets all policy makers in the region and beyond:

• The policy brief “Overcoming youth exclusion in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries” focuses on the interrelation between drivers and processes of exclusion. It calls for multiple approaches and policies to “youth” that consider youth as a heterogeneous group facing multifaceted and often cumulative processes of exclusion.
• The policy brief “Understanding and Overcoming Youth Marginalisation in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries” reflects findings from SAHWA and from its twin FP-7 POWER2YOUTH.

Besides, a final book to be published by Routledge will offer the multiple perspectives and frameworks of analysis of Arab Mediterranean youth used in the framework of SAHWA, focusing on education, labour market, political and civic engagement, youth cultures and values, migration and policy assessment.

Potential Impact:
The research carried out in the framework of SAHWA undoubtedly helped to fill the glaring lack of knowledge about Arab youth, especially through its pluridisciplinary approach and the amount of data upon which it delivered the outcomes.

Not only it made publicly available to stakeholders and a wider audience the significant amount of data produced, but it also strengthened SAHWA partners’ capacity to advise any relevant actor that could have an impact on youth issues at any level (local, national, European, international). In this view, a wide range of policy-makers from both shores of the Mediterranean has been provided with empirical evidence and scientific outputs allowing them to ground policies on evidence-based research.

The variety of outputs created throughout the project implementation has helped to disseminate the project outcomes amongst a large series of stakeholders on youth but also amongst youth themselves. Many scientific papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, which increased the project visibility, while all policy papers and policy reports have already proved to catch the attention of many EU and SEM policy makers. In this respect, the fact that SAHWA uses empirical data and can quantify a great number of phenomena, attitudes and perceptions is an undeniable added value.

In addition to that, other project outputs targeted a wider audiences: video recorded Life Stories and the Documentary Khamsa caught the attention of thousands of people (whether online or during public events), Shababpedia involves young people from the region, the SAHWA community helped building an e-community of stakeholders on youth and the Cartography of Change starts being used by different actors for different aims.

In terms of socio-economic impact and wider societal implications, the project provides new analysis and data to stakeholders and institutions across the Mediterranean. The objectives are to enhance the collaboration between actors, to bridge gaps with regards to the understanding of the very topical issues youth in the SEM region is faced with, and eventually inform EU policy-makers, as well as national and local stakeholders, about the management of political and economic transformations in the Arab Mediterranean countries. Likewise, the project contributes to strengthening epistemic communities across the stakeholders on youth and create new networks (SAHWA Community for instance).

So far, the project contributed to link institutions in key countries and key stakeholders (e.g. members of the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the project) across the Mediterranean. Similarly, the project connected with other initiatives such as the DAWRAK-Citizens for Dialogue Programme developed by the Anna Lindh Foundation and fosters a close cooperation with its twin FP7 Project POWER2YOUTH led by Institute of International Affairs (Roma, Italy). After the project ends, SAHWA partners are committed to actively look for partnerships to further use the data and foster new synergies with key actors working in the field of youth in the SEM region.

The main and crucial expected results of SAHWA were to provide an evidence-based and comparative understanding of Arab Mediterranean youth based on a unique qualitative (fieldwork) and quantitative (Survey carried out amongst 10,000 young people) dataset on youth from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. The results from research and analysis done by SAHWA researchers was conceivd in a way that would allow a wide range of stakeholders on youth to benefit from them: scientific papers, policy briefs, policy reports and policy papers, handbooks, a final book and other outputs were produced to maximise the project visibility. So far, those objectives were successfully achieved in the framework of SAHWA.

Finally, the dissemination and outreach activities of the project such as public events, seminars, meetings with stakeholders and activities directed to students or young leaders were a great contribution to raising awareness on the Arab youth-related issues and to strengthen the epistemic communities (see SAHWA Contribution to Other Events on

Dissemination and Outreach

SAHWA produced several materials that were aimed at the dissemination and outreach:

• SAHWA leaflets, posters, and flyers were distributed in events related to the project as well as to relevant stakeholders.

• The project website ( was the main tool for communication and outreach. Dynamic, user-friendly, and up to date information about the project progress and outputs are made available.

• Official Twitter Account: (@SAHWAProject). It currently has more than 700 followers. The project’s twitter account is a dynamic dissemination tool that allows the project to engage with relevant stakeholders, disseminate materials related to the project, either produced by the project such as published materials or external to the project but related to the research. It allows increasing the outreach of the project by reaching very wide audiences.

• Official Facebook account: Currently followed by more than 1,200 people, the Facebook page plays a key role in terms of communication and dissemination.

• SAHWA Newsletter: a monthly newsletter was published and sent to more than 1,000 subscribers.

• SAHWA Official video: the video introduces the project. It is available on SAHWA’s website and on SAHWA’s Youtube channel (SAHWA Project).

A wide range of activities were performed during the project as part of the dissemination and outreach plan of the SAHWA Project.

In this regard, apart from project seminars, many public events were held by different partners in the region and beyond. The first plenary meeting took place in Barcelona (Spain) in February 2014 and included a public event about changes and continuities in Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab spring. The same public event was hold at Casa Árabe in Madrid. The second plenary meeting held in Rabat (Morocco) in June 2014 also culminated with a public event about “Lessons from Youth Surveys in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco”. Other events were organised by SAHWA partners: CIDOB hosted an official presentation of SAHWA to Catalan Stakeholders in Barcelona (Spain) in March 2014 so as to foster collaboration and synergies with stakeholders on youth, while the American University in Cairo Forum organised a cycle of three conferences about Arab youth entitled “Youth Panel Series” and held in Cairo between November 2014 and March 2015.

During the second project period, once the SAHWA researchers started the data analysis, several public events were held in the framework of SAHWA. Among them, the main events were the following:

• Two public events were held in Cairo in May 2016, hosted by AUC and jointly organised by AUC and CIDOB, to give a great visibility to the first project results based on the SAHWA Youth Survey and Ethnographic Fieldwork
o One for the academia: it was the opportunity for SAHWA Project partners to introduce their first findings from the data collected.
o Another one brought together policy makers and stakeholders on youth from the region.

• A policy workshop organised by DG Research in Brussels held in June 2016 brought together SAHWA, POWER2YOUTH and ARABTRANS Projects to share the findings to an audience essentially made of EU-based policy makers (DG Research, DG DEVCO, DG NEAR, EU-CoE Youth Partnership, EU Parliament, etc.).

• A public event in Madrid (September 2016) dealing with Youth unemployment in the region brought together many experts from the region to deal with this issue and allowed some SAHWA partners to disseminate their findings.

• SAHWA held a public event on "Employability and opportunities for youth" in the framework of the Mediterranean Economic Week. It gathered SAHWA scientific and research partners as well as young entrepreneurs, start-up support organisations and accelerators, mentoring networks, education & entrepreneurship experts, business angels and investors operating in Europe and the Mediterranean region. The SAHWA Business Brief aimed to present SAHWA's key findings and publications on youth issues and aspirations, exchange with researchers and practitioners on youth challenges and opportunities and showcase best practices on youth empowerment

• A public event in Brussels was held on March 21st, 2017: SAHWA and POWER2YOUTH, held a joint meeting at the European Parliament with a view to introduce their major findings from both projects through a joint policy brief.

• Finally, a Final SAHWA Conference brought together all SAHWA partners was organised by CIDOB and held in Barcelona on the 23rd of March 2017. This meeting gathered all SAHWA Partners and the members of the Steering Committee, under the title “Youth in Arab Mediterranean Countries: realities, agencies and perceptions”.

Apart from the aforementioned events, SAHWA partners were involved in more than 60 public events, conferences and seminars where they disseminated findings from SAHWA. The most important events and SAHWA contributions to events can be found online. Among those, we can mention the following:

• Scientific seminar “Uno sguardo di genere sui Paesi Arabo-Mediterranei” (28 March 2017, Milano, Italy).

• “Las aspiraciones de las jóvenes árabes en un Mediterrráneo en transición”, organised by the Commission Women and Science of the Faculty of Juridical and Social Sciences of Toledo (8 March 2017, Toledo, Spain).

• “La jeunesse comme ressource: éducation, formation, emploi”, organised by EUneighbours (30 January 2017, Algerie, Algeria)

• Expert meeting “Building Knowledge Networks for Evidence Based Youth Policy and Practice”, organised by the EU-CoE youth partnership (12-13 December 2016, Brussels, Belgium).

• “Egypt’s Youth Post-Sharm: What Impact?”, organised by the American University in Cairo (23 November 2016, Cairo, Egypt).

• “The situation of youth unemployment in the Mediterranean region”, organised by Casa Árabe (18 November 2016, Madrid, Spain).

• Annual Conference of Youth Studies 2016 “Global Responsibility in Youth Research”, organised by the Finnish Youth Research Network (7-8 November 2016, Helsinki, Finland).

• Third evidence session on the Inquiry into “Building Resilience to Radicalisation in MENA”, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group to the British Council (25 October 2016, London, United Kingdom).

• Sub-Regional Peer-to-Peer Meeting for North Africa “Strengthening Migration Governance: The role of Inter-institutional Coordination and evidence-based policy making”, organised by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (27-28 October 2016, Tunis, Tunisia).

• European Anthropological Association Conference (20-23 July 2016, Milan, Italy).

• 3rd ISA Forum of Sociology (10-14 July 2016, Vienna, Austria).

• 2016 World Leisure Congress (29 June 2016, Durban, South African).

• Symposium ‘(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the youth sector’ organized by the EU/CoE youth partnership (30 May – 2 June 2016, Budapest, Hungary).

• Seminar on “International Aspects in Studying and Developing Youth Work and Youth Policy”, organised by FYRN (20 April 2016, Helsinki, Finland)

• Round table “Joves del nord d'Àfrica: ni apocalíptics ni integrats Presentació i projecció del projecte” (Nord-African youngsters: neither apocalyptic nor integrated), organised by the Catalan Institute of Antropology in the framework of the Antropology Week (12 April 2016, Barcelona, Spain).

• XIII Conference of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies – SeSaMO (17-18 March 2016, Catania, Italy)

• Conference “Ethnographic Fieldwork and Youth Survey Seminar: Analysis of the Preliminary Results”, organised by LAU (25-26 January 2016, Beirut, Lebanon).

• Dialogue Workshop “Migrants and Refugees: Impact and Future Policies. Case studies of Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Greece”, organised by the Center of Strategic Studies (17 December 2015, Amman, Jordan).

• “L’emploi des jeunes: entre politiques d’inclusion économique et d’insertion sociale”, organised by the Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée pour le Développement (3 June 2015, Tlemcen, Algeria).

• “Transnational ethnography on youth political engagement in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Algeria – and beyond”, presented at the Helsinki Annual Sociology conference organised by the Finnish Youth Research Network (5 March 2015, Helsinki, Finland).

• "Social movements in the global age" organized by the Collège d’Etudes Mondiales at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (13 February 2015, Paris, France)

• Workshops on the “Guide to Local Participation in Local Dialogue” at the final conference of the DAWRAK-Citizens for Dialogue Programme, organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation. (1-2 December 2014, Alexandria, Egypt).

• ‘Negotiation, navigation, resistance - young people’s agency in post-crisis reality in Europe” organised by the Youth & Generation European Sociological Association Research Network (10-13 September 2014, Kluszkowce, Poland).

• Session on “A Research Agenda for Arab Youth Three Years On” at the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies, organised by the Turkish Social Sciences Association and the Middle East Technical University (18-22 August 2014, Ankara, Turkey).

• XVIII International Sociological Association World Congress “Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology” (13-19 July 2014, Yokohama, Japan).

• Presentation of the SAHWA project at the Algerian edition of The World Population Day 2014 (10 July 2014, Alger, Algeria)

• “Research meets diplomacy: Europe as a Global Actor. Insights from the Socio-economic sciences and humanities for EU external action”, organized by the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and the FLASH-IT FP7 project (5 June 2014, Brussels, Belgium).

• Regional training on the participation of young people in local public life, organized by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the dialogue between cultures (17-21 February 2014, Beirut, Lebanon).

List of Websites:
Public website address:
SAHWA Twitter account: @SAHWAProject
SAHWA Facebook page: SAHWA Project
SAHWA YouTube Channel: SAHWA Project
SAHWA LinkedIn account: SAHWA Project
SAHWA Community on LinkedIn: SAHWA Community

Relevant contact details:

Centre for International Information and Documentation in Barcelona (CIDOB):

Elena Sanchez-Montijano (Project Scientific Coordinator / Researcher)
Moussa Bourekba (Researcher/Project Manager)
Clara Creixams (Projects Office Manager)