Workforce Development Programming: Economic Strengthening and Adolescent Girls

SEEP Network

Welcome to a new series of webinars focusing on economic strengthening programming designed to reach and engage adolescent youth in economic and financial activity, with a special focus on girls. This 3-part series, organized by SEEP's  Children, Youth and Economic Strengthening (CYES) Working Group, will start with a discussion of some of the broader strategies currently being used related to workforce development programming, taking a closer look at lessons learned.  

This first webinar, titled "Workforce Development Programming: Economic Strengthening and Adolescent Girls", will focus on understanding what type of programming works in reaching and engaging adolescents in economic and financial activity, with a special interest in those programs that focus on girls and young women. The webinar will explore experiences from the World Bank's Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI), a public-private partnership that was launched in 2008 and now spans eight countries, as well as the CYFI School Bank program. Drawing on these experiences, the webinar will look at the role of social capital and social networks, along with apprenticeship and mentorship, in promoting workforce development programs. Specifically, it will examine those programs that can effectively create positive impacts for adolescent girls and young women.

This webinar is organized by SEEP's Children, Youth and Economic Strengthening (CYES) Working Group.

The Children, Youth and Economic Strengthening (CYES) network comprises of a global group of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children through effective economic strengthening programming. CYES provides a space to showcase innovations in practice and learning, fosters partnerships across participating organizations, and enables access to the latest research and findings in this area all with a goal of enhancing the impact investment in children and economic inclusion.


Sarah Haddock

Sarah Haddock is an Operations Officer in the Gender Group of the World Bank, where she has worked for five years. Her work focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating programs in low-income countries, including fragile and conflict-affected settings. She specializes in youth employment and adolescent girls’ and women’s economic empowerment. Prior to joining the Bank, Sarah worked in the research department of Population Action International, where she focused on youth health and rights. She holds an MA in development economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Eve Lotter Abou Chacra

Eve Lotter Abou Chacra is the Senior Technical Advisor for Liberia's Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (EPAG) project. She ran the EPAG pilot from 2009 to 2012. Eve has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since 2007, specializing in women's empowerment programming. She holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Irene Diaz Soto

Irene Diaz Soto is the Civil Society Coordinator and Gender Specialist at Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI).  CYFI is a multi-stakeholder network organization based in Amsterdam dedicated to enhancing the financial capabilities of children and youth all over the world.  Irene has worked with nonprofits for over ten years dealing with education, law, and advocacy, especially on gender and immigrant issues in different countries. She also has first-hand experience in post-conflict areas in the Middle East and ex-Yugoslavian countries assisting local NGOs and gender focus programs regarding entrepreneurship and education. Originally from Spain, she studied in Paris and Madrid where she worked on youth empowerment programs with immigrants at risk and moved to the United States where she pursued an Executive Master's degree in Non-profit Leadership from Seattle University. While in Seattle, she worked for the American Red Cross and was awarded their National Heroes Award for her assistance to refugees and projects related International Services. Irene was also recently appointed as the Research lead for the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. 


Claire Simon

Claire Simon is the facilitator for the CYES Working Group. She specializes in economic development and social protection with a focus on program design, policy, and operational issues as they relate to targeting vulnerable populations (OVC, elderly, people living with a disability, etc.). Other areas of subject matter expertise include food security, value chain analysis, and poverty measurement.  Currently Claire works for MarketShare Associates (MSA) as a consultant. Before turning to the field of development assistance, Claire spent eight years working in software development, building client relationship management (CRM) systems for large financial institutions and online retail organizations. Claire holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado, a Master’s degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.