What is Positive Youth Development?
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is both a philosophy and an approach to adolescent development. While there are several definitions of PYD, YouthPower Learning has defined it as follows:
Positive youth development engages youth along with their families, communities and/or governments so that youth are empowered to reach their full potential. PYD approaches build skills, assets and competencies; foster healthy relationships; strengthen the environment; and transform systems.
Learn more about PYD
The Positive Youth Development Measurement Toolkit provides guidance and resources for implementers of youth programming in LMICs to integrate PYD principles in their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and effectively measure PYD outputs and outcomes within their programs.
View the presentation from this USAID-led ‘mini-training’ that strengthens the basic understanding of Positive Youth Development approaches and explains how to incorporate these into workforce development project design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
Watch this one-hour webinar with PYD experts Dr. George Patton (Professor of Adolescent Health Research University of Melbourne) and Kristin Brady (Director of FHI 360 Youth Department and USAID YouthPower Action) explaining how to integrate PYD strategies into youth programming to improve outcomes in multiple sectors.
In this toolkit, implementers of youth programming are provided a variety of references, resources, and tools on how to use a positive youth development (PYD) approach for evaluating youth-focused programming. A PYD approach to evaluation will measure whether youth are positively engaged in and benefiting from investments that ultimately empower them to develop in healthy and positive ways so that they can contribute to the development of their communities.
The main section of the toolkit discusses PYD constructs and illustrative indicators for implementers. We take readers step by step through a series of phases that utilize the PYD Framework (including the illustrative indicators) to demonstrate how youth programs can be optimally designed using a PYD approach, and how program staff can measure PYD-related outcomes in their program to to assess impact on youth.
Finally, this toolkit offers a series of considerations for adapting the indicators and measures to local contexts. Given that the PYD field has mostly been developed and evaluated in highincome countries, it is essential that these measures be appropriately and thoughtfully adapted to low- and middle-income country contexts to effectively evaluate youth programming in various sectors from a PYD perspective.
This USAID-led ‘mini-training’ was presented as a pre-summit session at the Global Youth Economic Opportunity Summit in 2016. It is geared to strengthen basic understanding of Positive Youth Development approaches and how to incorporate these into workforce development project design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Participants also learned about opportunities to take a cross-sectoral approach when designing workforce programs.
Michael McCabe, Agency Youth Coordinator, USAID (USA)
Nancy Taggart, Senior Youth and Workforce Advisor, USAID (USA)
Amy Ucello, Technical Advisor, USAID (USA)
Taly Lind, Senior Advisor, Civil Society and Media, USAID/DRG (USA)
Kristin O'Planick, Market Systems & Enterprise Development Specialist, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, USAID (USA)
Rachel Goldberg, Youth and Culture Advisor, Middle East Bureau, USAID (USA)
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a guiding principle of USAID’s Youth in Development Policy. Both a philosophy and an approach, it is a paradigm shift in how we understand young people and how we provide youth services. But what exactly is PYD? How does it differ from traditional approaches to youth development? In what ways can you integrate PYD strategies into your own youth programming to improve outcomes in academic achievement, workforce readiness, positive health behaviors, increased civic engagement, and violence prevention? PYD experts Dr. George Patton (Professor of Adolescent Health Research University of Melbourne and Chair of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing) and Kristin Brady (Director of FHI 360 Youth Department and USAID YouthPower Action) answer these questions and more during this one-hour webinar hosted by USAID YouthPower Learning, a project implemented by Making Cents International.
Learn more about the impact of PYD in low- and middle-income countries
A PYD approach to programming has been shown to have a positive impact across an array of outcomes and sectors in the United States and other high-income countries, including the areas of sexual and reproductive health, mental health, education, crime, and violence. Donors, governments, practitioners and policymakers are increasingly looking to this approach to provide more holistic support for youth in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). YouthPower Learning is leading the effort to apply and understand the impact of PYD in LMICs.
Early findings from the YouthPower Learning's PYD meta-review of peer-reviewed and grey literature to learn what PYD programming has been conducted in low- and middle-income countries, and to assess the evidence that PYD strategies work in this context can be found in a technical brief here.