The International Youth Foundation (IYF) has been part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) since its first meeting in 2005. Through its participation at CGI during the last two years, IYF was able to engage new corporate partners in its commitment to youth development in the Balkans region and added a new venue to engage new partners in its multi-sector, multi-year, and multi-country initiatives.
The Youth Employability Initiative builds upon IYF's employability programs such as the successful entra 21 program in Latin America and the Caribbean which trained almost 20,000 young people (91.5% of whom were in urban areas) in life skills and IT skills, placed 51% in jobs, and successfully returned an additional 22% to school. The Youth Employability Initiative also builds on the successes of IYF's Education and Employment Alliance (EEA) program in six countries in Asia and the Near East, which developed a variety of innovative pilot programs focusing on the transition between school and work. IYF in the past has developed and tested an array of other successful employability programs, including the Alliance for African Youth Employability (AAYE) in three countries in Africa that most recently is targeting vulnerable, hard to reach populations. Finally, an initiative in Tsunami affected countries enhances youth chances for employment or self-employment. IYF has fostered an array of successful interventions that address issues of workforce development, youth entrepreneurship and the transition to employment. We will use this experience to extend our efforts in these three regions.
Through the Youth Employability Initiative, IYF commits to:
1) To engage multiple stakeholders, such as local governments and ministries, multinational corporations, local NGOs, and other institutions to identify best practices in youth employability programs, scale them up and influence youth employment policies.
2) To ensure that disadvantaged young people have improved livelihood opportunities through its objectives that include:
(i) Improve the employability of young people through training in life skills and information technology and appropriate technical training.
(ii) Increase the number of young people finding salaried employment.
(iii) Increase the number of young people who engage in viable and sustainable business start-ups.
(iv) Increase young people's re-enrollment in educational programs.
(v) Improve the policies and practices of government, schools and universities, and the private sector in youth employability programs.
(vi) Meet the needs of employers for well-trained, entry-level employees.
The key elements of the IYF employability programs include:
Comprehensive Job Training and Placement Model: IYF has developed, tested, and validated a highly effective model for youth employment training and job placement that is adapted to each local context. A critical factor in the quality of the training and the job placement services is the involvement of employers, especially the private sector.
(i) Technical skills curricula driven by market needs.
(ii) Integrated life and IT skills training.
(iii) Internships as an integral part of training.
(iv) Private sector involvement.
(v) Job placement and business start-up services for youth.
(vi) Metrics that measure outcomes in terms of job placement and/or businesses established.
Policy Dialogue: Policy dialogue and change is linked to scaling up as well as IYF's learning and evaluation plans. Results of successful programs are disseminated specifically to policy makers and practitioners and a dialogue is initiated. Ultimately, the goal is for governments and businesses to adopt the best practices that are demonstrated through IYF's employability projects.
Capacity Building: Capacity building is an underlying element of all IYF's work, including its work in employability. IYF believes that capacity building is also a fundamental element of creating sustainable programs. Capacity building can be provided at multiple levels, and IYF frequently designs capacity building into its work with its implementing partners. IYF will also provide capacity building to its scale-up partners, such as municipal governments, to help them design appropriate youth employability programs.
Learning: IYF plans a significant learning agenda, including testing and documenting the most effective means of scaling up, promising practices in youth entrepreneurship training, and small business start-up and a host of other issues. Where appropriate at individual country and project level, IYF proposes to use control group experimental designs for its evaluations, in order to demonstrate project impact. Results of regular monitoring, impact studies, and other in-depth qualitative and quantitative studies will be used to develop lessons learned documents, and will be disseminated regularly, including at annual workshops. These documents can also provide an important policy dialogue tool, allowing policy makers to understand the benefits of what is being proposed. This component is particularly important given the scarcity of good quality impact evaluations of youth employability programs world wide.
Anticipated Launch: July 1, 2007
1. Agreements signed with international agencies and corporate partners
2. Submission of proposals to major donor agencies
3. Foster partnerships with corporations, corporate and private foundations to support country programs, as well as global and regional support
4. Assess employability and entrepreneurship programs in the three regions to identify best practices
5. Recruit local partners in the three regions
January 2007 to date
(i) The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) at the Interamerican Development Bank - $10 million grant to start the second phase of entra 21 in Latin America and the Caribbean with a commitment of $5 million more in two years;
(ii) Caterpillar Inc. - $840,000 grant for a youth employability project in Peru as a match for the entra 21 phase II program;
(iii) Microsoft - $1 million grant for a youth employability and entrepreneurship initiative in four African countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania).
(i) IYF is currently working on the submission of proposals for collaboration with the following agencies and international organizations: USAID, US State Department, the World Bank, AECI, and IFC.
(i) IYF is currently negotiating with major 500 Fortune companies and corporate and private foundations (see list of prospect partnership in annex 1) to sponsor projects in all three regions.
Activities 4 and 5:
IYF staff is currently visiting key countries and doing research to identify best practices and partners to implement projects in the three regions.
Participants in this Activity: IYF, MIF, Caterpillar Inc., Microsoft.