Community of Practice (COP)
Cross-Sectoral Skills for Youth

We aim to foster an improved understanding and integration of cross-sectoral skills in Positive Youth Development (PYD) programing. These skills (commonly referred to as “soft skills”) have the potential to foster positive outcomes for youth regardless of their individual trajectory or objectives. 


Our membership includes youth development practitioners involved in cross-sectoral skills programing globally. We welcome any members interested in identifying, defining, and measuring such skills across geographies and programing sectors. 

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  • Facilitate CoP members’ exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas to build a better understanding of cross-sectoral skills, their current role and potential for impact on Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs.
  • Contribute to our field by working towards a better understanding of the value and impact of cross-sectoral skills, including how they should be defined, measured, as well as their importance for PYD.
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What have we done?

  • Formalized a shared vision and medium for collaboration among members, establishing both digital and in-person forums for communication and interaction
  • Held an in-person meeting to collaborate on scoping cross-sectoral skills measurement tools currently in use, with an eye to the strengths and limitations of these tools.
  • Developed a concept for a cross-sectoral skills grant under contract whereby the chosen grantee will propose, develop, and deliver a research activity to capture a representative snapshot of the cross-sectoral skills youth value most.
  • Gathered and synthesized learnings from implementers’ experiences adapting soft skills measurement tools in diverse geographic and cultural contexts into a technical brief, “Measuring Youth Competencies Across Contexts: Lessons From Implementers on How to Adapt Soft Skills Measurement Tools.”
  • Held an in-person meeting to review accomplishments in 2017, identify activities for 2018, and explore future priorities and opportunities.
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Hillary Proctor, Director, Technical Services, Making Cents International

Hillary is Director of Technical Services at Making Cents International. Hillary is experienced in developing rural livelihoods and building the capacity of project partners. At Making Cents, Hillary provides assistance to agriculture, youth, and microfinance projects through assessments, curriculum development, and trainings, and leads YouthPower Learning's youth in agriculture activities.

Daniel Plaut, Program Officer, R4D

Daniel Plaut is a Program Officer at R4D working on the Global Education team. Daniel leads R4D’s contribution to YouthPower Learning, and has previously contributed to R4D’s work researching skills training programs for ICT-enabled employment opportunities. 

Former Co-Champions

Shubha Jayaram, Program Director, R4D

Shubha Jayaram is Program Director at the Results for Development Institute (R4D), leading R4D’s work in skills for employability. She has experience in youth employability, small and medium enterprise consulting, and collaborative learning. 

Caitlin Moss, Program Officer, R4D

Caitlin Moss is a Program Officer on the Global Education team at R4D. She currently supports R4D’s contribution to YouthPower Learning and helps lead other youth employability-related initiatives. ​

Former Expert Advisor

Nick Burnett, Senior Fellow, R4D

Nick Burnett is a Senior Fellow at R4D. He now focuses on pragmatic and innovative approaches to important but neglected topics in education, including out-of-school children, adult illiteracy, innovative finance, ECD finance, non-state education, and the provision of global public goods. As Managing Director for Global Education he founded and ran R4D's education program (2010-17).