USAID, Youth Development Measurement Tools

Clare Ignatowski
Workforce Connections, USAID
Resource Type: 
Publication Date: 
May 28, 2014

As part of Workforce Connections' first event: The Challenge of "Soft Skills" Measurement: Toward a Common Approach, Clare Ignatowski from the USAID Office of Education shared results from a report prepared by JBS International that outlined a variety of Youth Development measurement tools.

Event information: 

On May 28, 2014, Workforce Connections ​held its Community of Practice ​launch event! The goal of Workforce Connections is to promote dialogue and knowledge exchange among international youth workforce development professionals. 

There is widespread agreement among employers, international donors and youth development practitioners that “soft skills” (e.g. communications, teamwork, and problem-solving), are important for successful transition into adulthood and for success in the workplace. Research carried out in the US has highlighted the importance of noncognitive skills or character traits such as conscientiousness, self-regulation and perseverance on long-term success in education and in wages. 

However, agreement is lacking around the definitions of and terminology for these skills, and more importantly, which skills are the most important for work readiness, particularly in developing country contexts. This lack of consensus and lack of assessment frameworks and tools to measure the development of those skills across different international contexts are obstacles to the field of youth workforce development.

Join the discussion! This event will provide an in-depth review of recent and current efforts toward standardizing measurement approaches to soft and noncognitive skills in international workforce development programs, while drawing on lessons learned from past efforts that resulted in a common measurement approach to USAID early grade reading programs. 


  • Luis Crouch, RTI International: Lessons learned from the development of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) measurement tool
  • Clare Ignatowski, USAID Office of Education: Results of “Scan and Review of Life Skills Measurement Tools,” a report completed by JBS International for USAID in 2013
  • Laura Lippman and Kristin Anderson MooreChild Trends: Preview of a Workforce Connections initiative to develop a common conceptual framework for soft and noncognitive skills measurement in international workforce development, based on a review of empirical evidence and other relevant literature, and in consultation with key stakeholders

Moderated by: Lara Goldmark, Director of Workforce Connections, FHI 360 and Eric Johnson, Supervisory Education Development Specialist, USAID

Workforce Connections is funded by the USAID Office of Education and managed by FHI 360. Partners include Making Cents InternationalChild Trends, and RTI International.

Workforce Development
Monitoring & Evaluation