Jordan, with a population of 7.6 million and GDP US$37.5 billion, has an unemployment rate of 13.2%. One substantial obstacle for finding a good job is the mismatch between requirements of the job and qualifications of applicants. Youth constitute 14% of the total population and 21.5% of the working-age population. The gender wage gap is up to 20% in the public sector where 82% of women are working. Jordan has the second highest average of educational attainment (10 school years) compared to other Arab countries. Participation of youth in civil society seems to be low as less than 9% of Jordanian youth had volunteered in an organization in 2014.
El Hassan Award targets young people aged 14-24 years and has four categories: physical recreation (handball, ping pong, and badminton), services (environment, tourism, and civil defence), skills (chess, computer, and citizenship), and adventurous journeys. The award has two main principles: encouraging youth development and a sense of national belonging. The philosophy of the award is non-competitive, available for all, inspiring, and fun.
Implementation of programme/ initiative:
El Hassan Award for Enhancing Youth Participation and Empowerment is founded by the Prince El Hassan Bin Talal in partnership with the Ministry of Education. El Hassan Award aims at promoting good citizenship and youth participation It aims at providing opportunities for unlimited access to activities, promoting the participation of youth with disabilities, and developing youth skills, abilities and capabilities to fulfil personal and national aspirations.
There is a desire to extend the outreach of the programme beyond cities in Jordan. Challenges include the inability to engage youth living in rural areas.
The award has been running for 30 years from 1984. The award addressed the issue of extremism by enforcing leisure time, life skills, technological skills, and good citizenship, and promoted youth empowerment through:
- Boosting independence and personal discipline
- Encouraging personal fitness depending on individual abilities
- Taking decisions based on belief in values
- Promoting collective responsibility and commitment
Partnership has been established with national, regional, Arab, European and international institutions, and the principles of the award have been integrated within the curriculum of the Ministry of Education. In addition, a website and a Facebook page have been developed to increase the outreach of the award.
El Hassan Award is a replication of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
OECD Youth in the MENA region, 2016
World Bank, 2016
International Labor Organization, 2016
Report of the national workshop on enhancing youth participation in public issues and decision making in Jordan
Date: October 10, 2017