Teaching Soft Skills to Vulnerable Youth can Accelerate Social Inclusion in Côte d’Ivoire

While the Côte d’Ivoire is recovering from the post-electoral crisis of 2010-11 in terms of economic growth, the already high rate of unemployment has increased and poverty rates remain high. Young people (ages 14-35) have the highest unemployment rates, and in 2015, over 70% of the poor were 25 years of age or younger. Poverty and unemployment are linked to social exclusion, which has become a particular problem since the crisis, threatening social cohesion and security in the country. Developing people’s non-cognitive skills, or “soft skills” is particularly important in fragile contexts because these have been shown to improve labour market performance. In 2014, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire implemented the Civic Action Service for Employment and Development (SCAED). The aim of the service is to foster the social and economic inclusion of vulnerable young people aged 16 to 35. There is a high demand for this service in the post-conflict circumstances and it is costly. However, there has been little evidence produced as to the effectiveness of the program for increasing the social inclusion of at-risk youth.