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Justin Flynn - Research Officer

Rural Futures


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Justin Flynn is a research officer interested in youth employment, with a particular focus on young people living in rural areas. He also has interests in food security, food systems, and agricultural policy. Justin has ongoing and previous experience conducting research on policy responses to youth unemployment, including entrepreneurship.

He has also conducted a mixed methods study on youth savings groups in four African countries (Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), in the context of the Banking on Change project. Justin also has previous experience working with an NGO which looked to promote the use of entrepreneurship and microfinance as a strategy to foster employment among young people in western Kenya.

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies.

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IDS publications on international development research

Youth Savings Groups in Africa: They’re a Family Affair

Enterprise Development and Microfinance (2017)

Based on field work in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana, in the paper we provide new evidence that young people’s engagement with savings groups in Africa is deeply embedded in networks of family and social relations. Savings group members rely on money that is given to them by husbands, boyfriends and parents in order to save, and give some of their shareouts and loans to family and friends. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Young People’s Perspectives on Farming in Ghana: A Q Study

Food Security (2017)

An emerging orthodoxy suggests that agriculture is the key to addressing the youth employment challenge in Africa. The analysis that informs this orthodoxy identifies a number of persistent barriers to increased productivity; and the programmes that work to get young people engaged with agriculture make assumptions about the young people’s interests and behaviours. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Ghana’s Evolving Protein Economy

Food Security (2016)

This paper provides an initial analysis of Ghana’s protein economy in the light of current debates about nutritional transition and livestock revolution. Ghana’s strong economic growth and reducing levels of poverty make it a particularly interesting case. Protein-rich foods, including fish and livestock products, supply 20–40 % of protein consumed. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Perspectives on Desirable Work: Findings from a Q Study with Students and Parents in Rural Ghana

The European Journal of Development Research (2016)

The perspectives of young people and parents are important to policy that seeks to address youth unemployment in Africa. A systematic understanding of these should help to avoid implementation failure caused by incompatible assumptions or world views, and increase the likelihood that policies promoted by officials will be effective. More details


Failing Young People? Addressing the Supply-side Bias and Individualisation in Youth Employment Programming

IDS Evidence Report 216 (2017)

International development actors increasingly focus on youth employment as a key development challenge. More details

Decent work for all? We need to talk about rural informal employment!

28 Sep 2017
By Jim Sumberg, Philip Mader, Justin Flynn

Youth savings – it’s a family affair

22 Jun 2016
By Justin Flynn, Jim Sumberg

Africa’s structural challenges can’t be solved by “youth innovation”

17 Jun 2016
By Jim Sumberg, Philip Mader, Justin Flynn

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