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A JustJobs Network and Centre for Policy Research initiative

Small city
dreaming

A story of hope, risk and youth
in small cities in India and Indonesia
About the project

Examining employment outcomes of migrant youth in India and Indonesia

Even though policymakers and researchers often train their focus on megacities, small cities host large shares of the urban population in emerging economies and play a major role in supporting the development process. Today throughout the Global South, many small cities are growing faster—economically and demographically—than bigger metropolitan areas. This research project examines the way small cities shape the employment outcomes of migrant youth in India and Indonesia—the two largest democracies in the developing world.

As both countries hope to leverage their demographic dividends by employing young people in productive jobs, their small cities lie on the front lines of development challenges surrounding urbanization, migration and work. Using a case city approach with both surveys and qualitative research, the project looks at economic opportunity and job pathways in small cities, and especially the ways in which gender and migration shape the nature of these opportunities.

Further, the project considers whether current governance and policy frameworks support the ability of small cities to enable social and economic mobility—offering concrete recommendations for policy reforms toward that aim. This initiative is made possible through generous funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Think Tank Initiative (TTI).

Lead Institutions

JustJobs Network is a private, nonpartisan organization finding evidence-based solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of our time: How to create more and better jobs worldwide. We produce empirical research on good job creation, focusing our work on the critical knowledge gaps in the global employment landscape.

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The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) has been one of India’s leading public policy think tanks since 1973. The Centre is a nonprofit, independent institution dedicated to conducting research that contributes to a more robust public discourse about the structures and processes that shape life in India.

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Our Partners

Pusat Pelayanan Perencanaan Pembangunan Partisipatif (Center for Participatory Development and Planning) is a research center located in Diponegoro University (UNDIP), in the department of regional planning.

PIKUL is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1998 to strengthen local capacity and institutions in Eastern Indonesia. At present, PIKUL serves its mandate by facilitating “champions” and communities to create and achieve their resilient vision.

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Citizen's Forum for Mangalore Development

Citizen’s Forum for Mangalore Development is a civil society group that works on public awareness and accountability on a range of issues including environment, basic services and infrastructure, as well as social harmony in the city of Mangalore.

 

Manthan Sanstha Kotri is an NGO that works on empowering marginalized rural communities in Ajmer and Nagaur districts in Rajasthan, India. It started as a social work and research center for Barefoot College, based in Tilonia, and became an independent organisation in 1998.

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People

Mukta Naik

Project Lead

Mukta Naik, a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, is an architect and urban planner. Her research interests include housing and urban poverty, urban informality, and internal migration, as well as urban transformations in small cities.
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Gregory Randolph

Project Lead

Gregory Randolph is Executive Vice President and Founding Partner at the JustJobs Network, where he is responsible for guiding the organization’s research, outreach and communications strategies.

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Partha Mukhopadhyay

Project Advisor

Partha Mukhopadhyay is a Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research. He was previously part of the founding team at the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), focusing on private participation in infrastructure.

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Sabina Dewan

Project Advisor

Sabina Dewan is President and Executive Director of the JustJobs Network, which she co-founded with John Podesta in 2013. Sabina has built JustJobs Network as an innovative, international think tank focused on finding strategies to create more and better employment worldwide.

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Project Team

Prachi Agarwal

Project Manager, JJN

Deepaboli Chatterjee

Research Associate, CPR

Zaeem Hossain

Research Associate, JJN

Dhruv Jain

Research Associate, JJN

Sama Khan

Research Associate, CPR

Eesha Kunduri

Research Associate, CPR

Pranav Kuttaiah

Research Associate, CPR

Babu Lal

Research Associate, CPR

Kanhu Charan Pradhan

Senior Researcher, CPR

Divya Prakash

Research Associate, JJN

Shamindra Nath Roy

Senior Researcher, CPR

Rimjhim Saxena

Research Associate, CPR

Abhishek Sekharan

Research Associate, JJN

Irfan Sofi

Economist, JJN

Publications

Thematic report

The role of small cities in shaping youth employment outcomes in India and Indonesia

by Mukta Naik and Gregory Randolph

Even though policymakers and researchers often train their focus on megacities, small cities host large shares of the urban population in emerging economies and play a major role in supporting the development process. Today throughout the Global South, many small cities are growing faster—economically and demographically—than bigger metropolitan areas.

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All Publications

executive summary

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City Profile
Semarang

Small cities, urbanizing regencies

The Front Lines of Indonesia’s Employment, Migration and Urban Challenges
City Profile
Kupang

Small cities, urbanizing regencies

The Front Lines of Indonesia’s Employment, Migration and Urban Challenges
City Profile
Mangalore

Small cities, urbanizing regencies

The Front Lines of Indonesia’s Employment, Migration and Urban Challenges
City Profile
Kishangarh

Small cities, urbanizing regencies

The Front Lines of Indonesia’s Employment, Migration and Urban Challenges
research report

Migration Junctions in India and Indonesia

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article

An analysis of 'Migrant-Intensity' in India and Indonesia

Seeing Internal Migration Patterns through a Place-based Lens
Book Review

Subaltern Urbanisation in India

An Introduction to the Dynamics of Ordinary Towns

Media

Documentary film

Short Clips

Media Clip 01

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Media Clip 02

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Media Clip 03

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Podcast

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