Positive Youth Development (PYD) is recognized as a paradigm shift for international programs. This approach pivots youth programs fixated on “No”—don’t leave school, don’t have risky sex, don’t join a criminal gang—toward activities that strengthen youth competencies and assets and support positive life choices. Important components of these affirming youth programs are a strong sense of belonging for youth and supportive relationships with peers and adults in their communities.
In partnership with icipe we are embarking on an innovative project called “Young Entrepreneurs in Silk and Honey.” The project will create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for 12,500 young people in beekeeping and silk farming in Ethiopia, all of whom are between the ages of 18-24, unemployed, out of school and earning an income of less than $2 a day. Ethiopia is the leading honey and beeswax producer in Africa. However, honey production is largely traditional, amounting to about 10 percent of production potential.
Youth today are highly mobile. According to the FAO, they represent the main share of migrants worldwide. Many are moving from rural to urban areas and leaving behind the traditional agriculture practiced by their families. Today’s youth make up the largest generation in human history, representing a quarter of the world’s population under age 24. In understanding the ramifications of youth migration from agriculture, it’s important to consider the full nexus of youth, urbanization, and food security.
What’s more, these strategies are proving to be good for business. Many bosses are reporting that “blind hiring reveals true talents and results in more diverse hires,” whereas traditional hiring practices allow managers to pick hires based on whom they’ve connected with personally, or who has the shiniest resume and pedigree—factors that fail to accurately predict job performance. As most companies know, the better the hire, the more likely the person is to stay at the company and perform at a high level, reducing costly turnover and repeat training.
Did you know that whilst almost half of young people in sub-Saharan Africa say they save, 80% do not have a bank account? Young people aren’t a target of traditional savings groups either; a survey in 2013 found that of 103 organizations that promote savings groups in 43 countries, only 22% include youth or child-focused groups.
Meeting the needs of the global youth population requires evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable initiatives. In response, Making Cents International offers a demand-driven Knowledge Management (KM) platform that builds the capacity of youth development stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate high-impact youth economic opportunity programs, policies, and partnerships. The platform components are:
The economic and social prospects are daunting for the 89 million out-of-school youth who comprise nearly half of all youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within the next decade when this cohort becomes the core of the labor market, an estimated 40 million more youth will drop out, and will face an uncertain future without work and life skills. Their lack of work and life skills will impair these youth’s ability to get good jobs in desirable occupations, resulting in low and unstable incomes while exposing them to potentially long periods of unemployment.
The Prospects program’s Employment and Entrepreneurship program seeks to improve employment outcomes for ‘work-ready’ youth in Liberia – young people of legal working age with at least some education who are seeking employment or self-employment. This paper explains how traditional concepts of ‘employment’ as a singular state do not apply in Liberia – rather, almost all young Liberians earn income from multiple sources, with a mixed livelihood or portfolio of work.
Akazi Kanoze is a flagship USAID-funded youth livelihoods project in Rwanda, implemented by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). The approach is representative of a body of youth WFD programming that seeks to reach a target population, such as marginalized youth, and link them to improved employment opportunities.
Throughout history, cities have accelerated economic development and wealth creation around the world. In fact, the road to prosperity, it has been argued, inevitably runs through cities.Though there is much heterogeneity among cities of various sizes and locales, the concentration of people, business, and services in urban areas generally allows for increased commerce, ideas and innovation.