FULL LIST OF MONITORING & EVALUATION

This cross-cutting theme focuses on improving the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of programs by sharing data on what works and what doesn’t, and methodologies for monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment.   Improved practices in this area promise to provide stakeholders with enhanced understanding of which interventions have meaningful impact, what the likely return on investment will be, and how to design and implement improved monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

Where are we now?

As the YEO field matures, pilot programs and anecdotal data have given way to increasingly sophisticated approaches to program measurement and learning. These advances are critical to scale, replication, policy and government partnership initiatives. However, more work remains. Confusion about the purpose and practice of monitoring, evaluation and assessment, and the way it can contribute to learning with an organization or program still exists.  A common language for this area along with standardized measures of cost and benefit are also necessary to ensure discussions are productive and evaluations reflect a common framework of practice.

Trends and emerging practices

  • Donors are advocating for more rigorous evaluation to ensure greater accountability and learning.
  • Although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard, they can be expensive and time consuming, leading some donors to find quasi-experimental and impact evaluations very appealing, while others invest more significantly in M&E activities.
  • For corporations and foundations, evaluations are important to measure the social value proposition and social impact of their investments to consumers, customers, and employees.
  • More implementers are recognizing the importance of investing in good M&E, so they can demonstrate to donors their organization's social value proposition, particularly to impact investors.
  • More organizations are successfully using mixed methods approaches (both quantitative and qualitative data) to M&E.
  • Survey and focus group tools should be tested and finalized with young people for tools to achieve greater reliability and validity.
  • Data from young people should be triangulated with data from significant adults in their lives (such as parents, guardians, and teachers) to contextualize its meaning and importance.
  • More organizations are recognizing that existing M&E staff may not have the skills set required to engage young people, so training on how to conduct youth-inclusive M&E is important. 
  • Young people are not homogeneous, so questions need to be framed differently for young men and young women, youth from urban and rural communities, and/or youth from different socio-economic groups.

 

Five Steps to More Meaningful Youth Engagement

JBS International, Inc.

My name is Matthew French and I work for JBS International, Inc. This blog draws upon research conducted under contract with USAID’s office of Education (read the full youth engagement report here), as well as my own experiences working with young people.

Re-examining the Youth Program Quality Survey as a Tool to Assess Quality within Youth Programming

Cogent Psychology

The Youth Program Quality Survey is a 24-item measure of program quality designed to evaluate participant perceptions of experiences in short- and longterm youth programs. The Youth Program Quality Survey was developed based on the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine’s eight program setting features that can contribute to the positive development of youth. This measurement tool is quite new within the field and as such little research has been conducted to determine its validity and reliability.

Resource Type: 
Paper

Sawa World Day Video Submissions Open October 17, 2018

Sawa World

The Sawa World Day celebrates local solutions that can transform the lives of vulnerable youth everywhere. 

Strengthening Youth Resilience in Conflict-Affected Areas Through Collective Impact

Education Development Center, FHI 360, Creative Associates International

In areas where conflict and violence are present, youth are prone to be victims and/or perpetrators of violence. In these contexts, youth economic opportunity programs are compelled to create responses that not only do no harm, but also strengthen youth resilience in a way that minimizes the impact of violence. This session covers collective impact (CI) approaches for implementing and sustaining youth workforce and livelihoods projects within fragile environments, with the end goal of strengthening youth resilience.

What Big Data and Longitudinal Research Tell Us About Effective Youth Investments

USAID, Popultation Council GIRL Center, Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies, Young Lives, University of Oxford, LinkedIn

Context matters when making policy/programming decisions on youth investments. However, we have limited data on the linkages between various aspects of adolescent/youth development and outcomes for young people to inform our decisions either at national or global levels. Three leading researchers who have their pulse on some of the largest longitudinal data sets related to youth, as well as analysis of youth investments, discussed what the evidence is telling us and how we can apply it to our work and investments at the sub-national, national and global levels.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Supporting Job Placement and Self-Employment for Refugee Youth: Lessons and Insights from Jordan

International Rescue Committee (IRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Making Cents International

Six years into the Syrian war, Jordan hosts over 650,000 Syrian refugees, and nearly 15% are youth between the ages of 18 and 25. Syrian refugee youth, especially those living outside of refugee camps, face many challenges in Jordan, including limited educational and economic opportunities, discrimination, and lack of access to basic services.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Countering Conflict with Opportunity: Examining the Role of Entrepreneurship to Drive Positive Social Impact and Youth Economic Opportunity in Conflict Affected Settings

Affinis Labs, Seeds of Peace

This presentation is situated at the intersection of conflict transformation and social innovation and explores the role of youth-led entrepreneurship to drive positive social impact in conflict affected settings. We hear insights from two different initiatives that are working in this space: the Seeds of Peace GATHER Fellowship, and Affinis Labs.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Can Cricket Reduce Caste-Based Discrimination? This and Other Findings On Reducing Discrimination for the Next Generation of Workers

The Briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

There is strong evidence of hiring discrimination against marginalized groups in many countries. Policymakers and researchers alike are developing and testing methods to reduce discrimination in the hiring process, and reduce discriminatory thinking among youth. This presentation explores the cutting-edge research that has exposed the extent of discrimination in job markets and innovations to help the next generation of workers face a fairer hiring market.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Does Your Soft Skills Curriculum Measure Up? Research-based Tools for Evaluating Your Soft Skills Curriculum or Creating a New One

World Learning

Soft skills refer to the personal habits that lead to success in both the workforce and in interpersonal relationships. This training workshop demonstrated how to teach soft skills, provide detailed information on which specific soft skills lead to employment, and encourage collaborative learning with other practictioners. Readers are encouraged to develop their own soft skill teaching plan based on the pedagogical principles presented.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

PYD for CVE: How Youth Workforce Development Can More Actively Build Resiliency to Extremism

RTI International, Human Rights Agenda (HURIA)

Countering violent extremism (CVE) through youth workforce development programming leads youth to become positive change-makers in their communities. The Human Rights Agenda presents a case study from CVE efforts in violent extremism-prone areas in Kenya. Key finding include how unemployment contributes to violent extremism recidivism and the need for non-specific approaches to CVE.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

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