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Project information

Lifting Youth in Ethiopia Out of Poverty

Support iDE to improve livelihoods and increase incomes in Ethiopia. 70% of Ethiopians are youth eager to work who don’t know where or what type of jobs exist locally. iDE’s projects create jobs, and our team will collect and share the stories of newly employed youth in order to inspire others.

January 2019 - January 2020

Charity information: iDE Global

iDE Global logo
  • Need


    Youth unemployment is a growing problem in Ethiopia. Recent information from ILO statistics indicates that while unemployment in Ethiopia generally was at 5.4%, youth unemployment is at 7.6%. Crop and livestock production are the main forms of economic activity; however, productivity is limited due to farmland degradation, low soil fertility and lack of access to essential inputs and technologies. iDE works to overcome these factors by creating income generating activities that improve lives.


    Our approach creates job opportunities for rural youth, whose knowledge and energy are untapped and who can serve as change agents if given the right opportunity. With funding from The Big Give, we will promote stories of youth becoming successful small business owners themselves through iDE’s work, ensuring this work is effective and sustainable, and the products and services they provide can be expanded. The aim of this effort is to draw more youth into becoming agricultural entrepreneurs.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Change lives through the power of earning an income


    » We have seen a proven increase in income based on opportunities created through our REAL project and we want to communicate the impact to others.

    What success will look like

    Scale: the number of people reached by iDE's projects
    Impact: annual income increase as a result
    Cost Effectiveness: income increase relative to amount of money spent

    Aim 2

    Collect and disseminate quality stories about young people that have found meaningful employment


    » Local field staff will interview young people working as a result of iDE projects and share these stories via means determined to be most effective.

    What success will look like

    For this specific project, we will measure the number of stories collected and the number of people that the stories have been marketed to gain an understanding of our reach.

    Aim 3

    Support local communications staff in best practices


    » Iain Hunter, Chief Exectutive, iDE UK has a long international career in marketing, branding and advertising, and will mentor the local comms staff.

    What success will look like

    Increased capacity of local communications staff

  • Impact


    The long-term impact of the project is to increase the entrepreneurial capacity of local youth and enable them to sustainably increase their income. The hope is to transform the local population from subsistence farmers to small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs in the community, and to inform other young people about success stories of their peers.


    iDE has substantial experience implementing projects in Ethiopia, and we have done extensive work on existing projects to understand the underlying issues and barriers to youth unemployment. However, recent security concerns in the country have at times limited the ability of iDE staff to travel to the field. While the situation has been more stable recently, if these issues arise again it could cause a delay in activities but would likely not jeopardize the ultimate success of the project.


    We will report to donors through our annual report, our website and monthly e-newsletter. We will publish results on our social media accounts as well as make regular updates with case studies detailing young people we have worked with and the experiences of young entrepreneurs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Field staff story collection Two local staff to collect stories, field travel
      £15,000 Comms Strategy and Support Support from UK office, including time and travel for UK Chief Executive Iain Hunter.
      £10,000 Admininstration and Management Operations and finance support to the project. Monitoring & evaluation and donor reporting support.
      £5,000 Other Direct Costs Cameras and recording equipment, printing, media

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    European Commission £200,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Agriculture in Ethiopia accounts for 80% of the labor force and over 40% of GDP. Over the past half-century, frequent drought has disrupted Ethiopia’s agriculture sector and triggered a series of humanitarian crises. It is also home to the second-largest population in Africa. Ethiopia’s agricultural productivity is extremely low, due to an under-utilisation of water resources, with only 6% of its groundwater used for irrigation.


    Local youth that currently face an inability to pursue education due to lack of financial support, lack of job opportunities, and lack of land to engage in farming, will benefit from increased employment opportunities, an increased ability to earn income, and increased independence from parental support. In addition, as youth are able to receive a stable income, they will no longer need to migrate to an urban area in search of a job - an issue that many youth face in the project area.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    iDE has been working in Ethiopia since 2007, demonstrating how business can address the most challenging conditions in poverty and sanitation. We have 87 full-time, local staff, and in 2012 iDE Ethiopia received the “National Best Practice Award” for its innovative, affordable, scalable and sustainable technologies and market-based approach. iDE Ethiopia has reached over 88,000 smallholder households through agricultural development, value chain, WASH and food security projects.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Iain Hunter, Chief Executive, IDE UK

    Iain will provide project oversight, and strategic communications support to local staff. He will be responsible for reporting impact to donors.

    Meron Endale

    Meron will take photos and collect stories of employed youth. Meron will also generate ideas for disseminating stories in the local community.

    Ephrem Abebe

    Ephrem will be one of two people qualified to take photos and collect stories of employed youth. Ephrem also has strong video skills.