© Qudra Programme

10 months of design thinking bears fruit in Amman

The second regional Madad Skills Innovation Lab was organised by the Qudra Programme on 27-28 November in Amman, Jordan.

After the first regional Madad Skills Innovation Lab in Beirut, focusing on the guiding question ‘How can we improve the skills development measures for youth amongst Syrian refugees, host communities and IDPs?, a total of 30 participants attended the second meeting in Amman and pitched the prototypes they had developed over ten months. The solutions they developed tried to address the question:

How can we improve skills development measures for youth amongst Syrian refugees, IDPs and host communities?

© Qudra Programme

Innovation is working together to find different solutions that affect change

Ms. Giorgia Garofalo Cornaro, the Attaché of Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the 'Madad Fund', Delegation of the European Union to Jordan.

The Qudra Programme, which aims to strengthen the resilience of Syrian refugees, IDPs and host communities in response to the Syrian and Iraqi crises, hosted professionals from every partner country, including Jordan, Lebanon, North Iraq and Turkey, all coming from diverse backgrounds and institutions working in the field of skills development.

The successful event featured keynote speakers, country presentations, team exercises, plenary discussions and sessions for providing feedback to the solutions developed by the participants. Participants expressed their enthusiasm for now being able to start the process of implementing their ideas.

Prototyping procedures and funding opportunities observed in the field

The first day of the workshop was allocated to a field trip in which the participants visited the King Hussein Business Park. The Business Park was established in order to support start-up initiatives and creative energies of the Jordanian youth aiming to aid the transformation of these start-ups and the created prototypes into successful businesses. The participants had the chance to observe implementation and the sustainability examples of the prototypes. The field trip has provided an interactive ground for participants to gain an in depth understanding of the procedures required for prototyping.

© Qudra Programme

The sites visited included leading seed investment companies and business accelerators such as Oasis500, Zinc and Ipark, enabling entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into business the innovation campuses. Successful start-up companies such as Madfooatkom, Tamatem were also visited during the field trip, giving the participants an opportunity to observe businesses that had flourished through innovation, prototyping, seed funding and were sustainable.

First steps for implementation

The second day of the Madad Skills Innovation Lab has started with inspiring opening speeches where Dr. Michaela Baur – GIZ Country Director, Jordan and Lebanon, emphasised that, there was no blueprint for solutions and that the topic of skills development is of high importance to the region.

The participants grouped according to their respective country teams in which they pitched the prototypes they had developed over ten months. The multifaceted solutions developed by the participants identified various entry points for action related predominantly to the job market and pitched their ideas. Consequently, a modest seed funding from the Madad Innovation Fund (IF) was allocated to support the realization of the demand-driven initiatives, and enable participants to move their projects beyond the concept phase to prototypes and implementation.

In her keynote remarks, Mr. Hamdan Yacoub – Head of Syrian Refugees Department, Ministry of Labour, Jordan pointed out, the high importance of the cooperation between the Jordanian government, the EU and German government.

After the two days, the Madad Skills Innovation Lab had achieved its key objectives of fostering mutual learning and collaboration amongst partners and stakeholders of the programme and creating a learning and innovation network that promotes innovative and effective evidence-based solutions in the region.

The Qudra Programme is a regional action financed by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad’ Fund and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) seeking to strengthen resilience for Syrian refugees, IDPs and host communities in response to the Syrian and Iraqi crises. GIZ is a leading implementing agency of the action in cooperation with Expertise France (EF) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).