Decent Work and Youth Livelihoods
Decent work and youth livelihoods: policy challenges for employment creation in sub-Saharan Africa
The aim of this research is to assess the policy challenges that arise in response to the growing crisis of youth (un)employment, working poverty and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan African countries. The region is of particular interest due to the persistent rise in youth populations, which is expected to continue until at least 2100. The potential of this demographic dividend is contingent upon meeting the challenge of finding meaningful work that enables people to make a living. While this global priority is now enshrined in the SDG agenda, developing locally and national appropriate employment strategies is a key public policy challenge.
- Cieslik, K., Barford, A. and Vira, B. (2021). Young people not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sustainable Development Target 8.6 missed and reset. Journal of Youth Studies, p.1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2021.1939287
- Barford, A. and Cieslik, K., (2019). Making a life: a youth employment agenda. Murray-Edwards College, University of Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.41570
Podcast – Geographies of Work in the Pandemics and Beyond
Virtual Seminar Series (Dr Katarzyna Cieslik and Dr Shreya Sinha): Click Here
Technology, work and livelihoods
Technology, work and livelihoods: can digital platforms support decent work and sustainable livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Platform economy encompasses economic and social activities facilitated by digital platforms. Driven by technological innovations and increased online connectivity, platforms have proliferated across Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing about transformations of labour relationships and dissolution of work boundaries. While some scholars argue that platforms can improve productivity, reduce inefficiencies create work opportunities in less developed countries, others point to technological unemployment and growing precarity of labour, worsening tax revenue and data privacy abuses. This research seeks to deepen our understanding of platform economy by looking at both: the experience of the different level stakeholders and the institutional ecosystem at both global and local scales. Gig platforms: disruptive innovators or value appropriators?
- Cieslik, K., Margocsy, D. (2022). Rule by Data: Datafication, Power and Control in the Development Project. Progress in Development Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/14649934221076580
- Cieslik, K., Banya, R. and Vira, B. (2022). Offline contexts of online jobs: Platform drivers, decent work and informality in Lagos, Nigeria. Development Policy Review, https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12595
- Banya, R., Cieslik, K., David-West, I. (2022). Driving for Platforms in Lagos and Abuja: Can E-hailing Create Decent Jobs? University of Cambridge Report. https://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/files/research/projects/decentwork/publications/drivingforplatforms.pdf
- Cieslik, K, Cecci, F., Assefa, E., Tafesse Gobena, S., Lemaga, B., Leeuwis, C. Struik, P. (2021). The role of ICT platforms in collective management of public bads in Ethiopia. World Development 140, 105366, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105366
- Cieslik, K., Bose, D. (2022). The Global Meritocracy Mirage: Exploring the Inequality Regimes of Technology-mediated Labor. Manuscript in preparation.
- Cieslik, K., McCampbel (2022). Platformization of Agriculture in Africa: Dependency, Dispossession and Data in the ‘Sharing Economy’. Manuscript in preparation.
- Cieslik, K. (2022). Clifford Geertz Takes an Uber: Information Asymmetry at the Lagos Mobility Bazaar. Manuscript in preparation.
This research was done in collaboration with the National Union of App-based Transport Workers and Professor Olayinka David-West, Lagos Business School
Cieslik, K, Cecci, F., Assefa, E., Tafesse Gobena, S., Lemaga, B., Leeuwis, C. Struik, P. (2022). The role of ICT in collective management of public bads in Ethiopia. World Development 140, 105366, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.
Cieslik, K., Banya, R. and Vira, B. (2022). Offline contexts of online jobs: Platform drivers, decent work and informality in Lagos, Nigeria. Development Policy Review, https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12595
Cieslik, K., Margocsy, D. (2022). Rule by Data: Datafication, Power and Control in the Development Project. Progress in Development Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/14649934221076580
Cieslik, K., Dewulf, A. Foggin, M. (2022). Technology as a Development Object in Environmental Monitoring Project in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan: Oxford Development Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2022.2039607
Twomlow, A. E., Grainger, S., Cieslik, K., Paul, J. D., Buytaert, W. (2022). Visualization and communication of hydrological data to support risk reduction and resilience building against flooding and landslides. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103067
Cieslik, K., Barford, A. and Vira, B. (2021). Young people not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sustainable Development Target 8.6 missed and reset. Journal of Youth Studies, p.1-22. doi:10.1080/13676261.2021.1939287
Cieslik, K., Dewulf, A., Buytaert, W. (2020). Project Narratives. Investigating Participatory Conservation in the Peruvian Andes. Development and Change 51 (4), 1067-1097. https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12592
Paul, J. D., Cieslik, K., Sah, N., Shakya, P., Parajuli, B., Paudel, S., Dewulf, A., Buytaert, W. (2020). Applying citizen science for sustainable development: Rainfall monitoring in western Nepal. Frontiers in Water, v. 2, p.581375-. doi:10.3389/frwa.2020.581375
Damtew, E., Leeuwis, C., Struik, P. C., Cecchi, F. Van Mierlo, B., Lie, R., Lemaga, B., Cieslik, K. (2020). Communicative interventions for collective action: Evidence from a framed experiment in Ethiopia. Food Security, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-020-01120-0
Karpouzoglou, T., Dewulf, A., Van Hecken, G., Bastiaensen, J., Zulkafli, Z., Clark, J. Perez, K., Isaeva, A. Foggin, M., Gurung, P. Regmi, S., Chapagain, P., Chanie, T. Buytaert, W., Hannah, D., Cieslik, K. (2020). From present to future development pathways in fragile mountain landscapes. Environmental Science & Policy. 114, 606-613. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.016
Cieslik, K., Shakya, P., Uprety, M., Dewulf, A., Russell, C., Clark, J., Dhital, M.R. and Dhakal, A., (2019). Building Resilience to Chronic Landslide Hazard through Citizen Science. Frontiers in Earth Science 7, 278- https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2019.00278
Cieslik, K., Hudon, M, Verwimp, P. (2019). Unruly Entrepreneurs – Investigating Value Creation by Microfinance Clients in Rural Burundi. Oxford Development Studies 47 (4), 373-390. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2019.1597034
Cieslik, K. (2018). The Quandaries of Social Entrepreneurship – A Discursive Analysis of the Discipline. Review of Social Economy 76 (3), https://doi.org/10.1080/00346764.2018.1463446
Struik, P., Cieslik, K., Leeuwis, C., Dewulf, A. (2018). Diagnostics of case studies on environmental virtual observatories for connective action: a preface. Journal of the Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences (NJAS). 86-87, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2018.07.003
Cieslik, K., Leeuwis, C., Dewulf, A., Feindt, P., Lie, R., Werners, S. van Wessel, M. and Struik, P. (2018). Addressing Socio-Ecological Development Challenges in the Digital Age: Environmental Virtual Observatories For Connective Action. Journal of the Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences (NJAS) 86–87, 2-11 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2018.07.006
Leeuwis, C., Cieslik, K., Struik, P. Dewulf, A. (2018). Reflections on the potential of virtual citizen science platforms to address collective action challenges: Lessons and implications for future action research. Journal of the Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences (NJAS). 86-87, 146-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2018.07.008.
Paul, J., Buytaert, W., Allen, S., Ballesteros-Cánovas, J.A., Bhusal, J., Cieslik, K., Clark, J., Dewulf, A., Dhital, M.R., Hannah, D.M., Liu, W., Nayaval, J.L., Schiller, A., Smith, P.J., Stoffel, M., Supper, R. (2018) Citizen science to support community-based flood early warning and resilience building. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1262
Cieslik, K. and D’Aoust, O. (2017). Risky Business? Rural Entrepreneurship in Subsistence Markets. European Journal of Development Research30, 693–717.https://doi.org/10.1057/s41287-017-0100-9.
Cieslik, K. (2016). Moral Economy Meets Social Enterprise: A Community-Based Green Energy Project in Rural Burundi. World Development 83. 12-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.03.009
Bokus, B. and Cieslik, K. (2006). How Should the Hero of Aesop’s Fable Act? A Contribution to the Narrative Psychology of Moral Development. Psychological Colloquia 15, 173-188.
Book chapters and policy reports
Banya, R., Cieslik, K., David-West, I. (2022). Driving for Platforms in Lagos and Abuja: Can E-hailing Create Decent Jobs? University of Cambridge Report. https://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/files/research/projects/decentwork/publications/drivingforplatforms.pdf
Cieslik, K., Leeuwis, C. (2021). Theorizing Theories of Change in International Development. Book chapter. In: Ludwig, D., Boogaard, B., Macnaghten, P. and Leeuwis, C. (eds.) Making Knowledge Work. Practices and Politics of Inclusive Development and Innovation. art. 10, p.165-180 Routledge. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003112525
Barford, A. and Cieslik, K., (2019). Making a life: a youth employment agenda. Murray-Edwards College, University of Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.41570
Cieslik, K. Giani, M., Muñoz Mora, J., Ngenzebuke, R.L. and Verwimp, P. (2015). Green Energy Project ‘Lumiére’: Report of the Baseline Survey. UNICEF Burundi Working Paper.
Cieslik, K., Giani, M., Muñoz Mora, J., Ngenzebuke, R.L. and Verwimp, P. (2014). Inequality in Education, School-dropout and Adolescent Lives in Burundi. UNICEF Burundi Working Paper. http://africainequalities.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/clean_report_educ_final3-1.pdf
Latest: working papers/manuscripts in preparation
Cieslik, K., Bose, D. (2022). The Global Meritocracy Mirage: Exploring the Inequality Regimes of Technology-mediated Labor. Manuscript in preparation.
Cieslik, K., McCampbel (2022). Platformization of Agriculture in Africa: Dependency, Dispossession and Data in the ‘Sharing Economy’. Manuscript in preparation.
Cieslik, K. (2022). Clifford Geertz Takes an Uber: Informality and Information Asymmetry at the Lagos Mobility Bazaar. Manuscript in preparation.
Galarza-Villamar, J., Agyekumhene, C., Asingizwe, D., Assefa, E., Cecchi, F., Chepkwony, R., Cieslik, K., McCampbell, M., Munthali, N., Murindahabi, M., Mutavi, F., Nyadzi, E., Nyamekye, A., Tafesse, S., Struik, P.C., Leeuwis, C. (2022). The role of connective interventions in addressing public-bad problems through collective action: evidence from a socio-ecological system perspective. Wageningen University Working Paper.
Geographies of Work in the Pandemics and Beyond – Virtual Seminar Series
Organizers: Katarzyna Cieslik and Shreya Sinha
A four-part international seminar series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work, September 7th – September 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious disruptions across the world in various dimensions of life. The realm of work is among them and has emerged as a particularly contentious area of discussion. Consider, for example, discussions on what counts as essential work, or how just-in-time supply chains that rely on minimising labour use, or new ‘online’ ways of doing hitherto offline work, or the anticipated growth in unemployment as a result of this crisis. We take this as an opportunity to ask: How has the pandemic reinforced or challenged our understanding of work, working lives and livelihoods? We take the environment, technology, global markets and civic potency as the anchoring themes to engage with this question as they open up the space to explore where, how, by whom and to what end work is being done, what the nature of the disruption is and what the future of work looks like. In this seminar series, we bring together academics, practitioners and activists to share their experience and expertise on these issues and build new conversations on the geographies of work.
Partnership, participation and power: Decolonizing academic partnerships.
European Association for Development Research Roundtable Discussion, EADI, June 2021 “Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice”, den Hague
Organizers: Katarzyna Cieslik, Shreya Sinha
Panellists: Cees Leeuwis, Tania Eulalia Martínez-Cruz, Nivedita Narain and Bhaskar Vira
While partnerships between researchers and practitioners from the Global North and Global South can be and often are intellectually and socially impactful, they remain highly unequal. Coloniality pervades these partnerships, influencing who leads research projects implemented in the Global South and whose interests are represented. Here, the conveners and panellists of a roundtable discussion on partnerships in academia that formed part of the recent EADI ISS Conference 2021 propose some steps for decolonising international research partnerships.
ReWorking Work: Labour and Livelihoods in the Global South. Philomathia Social Sciences Research Symposium
Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK;
29 June – 1st July 2022
Organizer: Katarzyna Cieslik
Co-organizers: Anna Barford, Grace Mueller, and Kate Brockie
The contemporary trends in global labour demonstrate that today’s world of work is fraught with fragility and vulnerability. The gradually shrinking proportion of waged employees remains concentrated in the so-called Global North while workers in the Global South suffer from precarious employment, informal employment and underemployment. The recent Covid-19 pandemic made these differences even more pronounced: the nature of global capital accumulation and labour absorption regimes, combined with the highly sectoral nature of socio-economic impacts of the recession, meant that some workers have shouldered the bulk of the burden more than others.
As policy makers around the globe deliberate the socio economic-recovery plans, we take the crisis as an opportunity to pause and reflect: what processes have been driving these long-standing inequalities? How have they been experienced by the workers? How have they manifested at individual, institutional and global levels? Can the crisis become an opportunity for systemic transformation?
We look at ‘Environment’, ‘Technology‘, ‘Gender‘ and ‘Education‘ as strategic areas of both concern and opportunity. We seek contributions that describe, analyse and question the ways in which work and labour have been conceptualised to date. The objective is to re-evaluate the current theorizations and approaches and to design new analytical frameworks that can support, fuel and advance the global transformation of work. We invite both conceptual and empirical papers that consider a critical perspective within these following broad thematic areas, focusing specifically on people, processes and spaces in the Global South.