The International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc. (IBTCI) ‑led YouthPower Evidence & Evaluation (YPEE) consortium is a unique combination of proven expertise and dynamic approaches that works with USAID, Implementing Partners (IPs) and national governments to: (1) grow the international evidence base for positive youth development (PYD) programs and approaches; and (2) improve the ability of youth‑led and youth‑serving institutions to design, implement and evaluate programs and policies.
IBTCI has been designing and implementing monitoring, evaluation, and research projects for over 25 years and has earned a solid reputation for providing and managing responsive technical services and support to USAID through large IQCs and Mission‑wide M&E programs in complex environments. IBTCI and our consortium members have evaluated and participated in programs that have had the ultimate objective of fostering youth development. As the awardee of 16 IQCs, IBTCI has demonstrated management and technical leadership across practice areas: Health/WASH, Education, Economic Growth and Environment, and Democracy, Governance and Conflict.
From 2005 to 2009, IBTCI provided monitoring and evaluation, capacity development, and data quality services to USAID with regular, high quality, useful feedback on cross-sectoral program performance for the Iraq Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Program. IBTCI carried out evaluations in education and health, civil society, capacity and community building, as well as conducting data quality, legislative and agricultural assessments. The education and health programming and evaluations especially focused on vulnerable and at-risk populations like youth and women. In addition, IBTCI closely worked with the Mission and implementing partners to review and provide recommendations to improve the performance monitoring plans for each program, bringing these PMPs in line with the Mission PMP.
Starting in 2010, IBTCI provided the full range of monitoring and evaluation services to the USAID/Yemen portfolio of programs as well as knowledge management, capacity building and communication services, under a 5-year Task Order under the USAID Evaluation Services IQC. The goal of the USAID strategy in Yemen was to increase stability through targeted interventions in highly vulnerable areas. The Yemen Monitoring and Evaluation Project (YMEP) team conducted 10 assessments and evaluations including: a rapid Assessment OTI on the Yemen stabilization initiative; youth and gender programming; and a mid-term evaluation of the Promoting Youth for Civic Engagement Project (PYCE) to name a few. Specifically, the mid-term evaluation of the PYCE assessed the project implementation, effectiveness and suitability of approaches to achieving the objectives. The design and programmatic approach involved strengthening community actors to positively influence Yemeni youth, and to support establishment and expansion of youth sport and recreational opportunities.
IBTCI and its partner evaluated four regionally-implemented youth initiatives under the USAID Office of Middle East Programs (OMEP) in 2010. These included: The Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI), the Middle East Youth Initiative (MEYMI), the Siraj youth workshops, and the Peace Scholarships. IBTCI identified the lessons learned and challenges faced by the different initiatives that help inform future youth programming in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestinian territories. Later in 2011, IBTCI conducted a final evaluation of the Somali Youth Livelihoods Program (SYLP) which provided information and lessons learned to USAID on program performance. The program aimed to respond to key challenges by supporting peace-building and national reconciliation initiatives through building the capacity of governance institutions and civil society groups. Additionally, IBTCI conducted a performance evaluation of the COMET project in 2012 to learn lessons for potential follow-on activities, which had a special focus on the effects of the program on youth and youth perceptions. COMET was designed to implement USAID/Jamaica’s strategy to address good governance issues to reduce crime and violence and strengthen economic competitiveness in Jamaica’s inner cities through a wide variety of initiatives, including community policing, civil society development, countering corruption, and economic development.
Most recently, IBTCI was contracted to undertake a mid-term performance evaluation of the Improving Access to Employment Program in El Salvador. The performance evaluation informed USAID/ES how effective the public-private partnership model was in increasing employment including among at-risk youth and people with disabilities. It assessed the program’s ability to promote occupational skills standards and competency certification, including trainings, especially for at-risk youth; expanding consumer based reports and providing career counseling and placement; improving the labor market information system; and creating alliances with the private sector.
Working closely with the YouthPower Implementation (YPI) IDIQ partners, YPEE supports the achievement of USAID’s explicit goal of youth both contributing to and benefitting from more stable, democratic and prosperous communities and nations. IBTCI together with its two major subcontractors - the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago and Development Info Structure (Devis) - and geographically diverse specialist partners form the YPEE team.
The subcontractors and partners on the YPEE team include:
- NORC, which provides leadership in evaluation meta-analysis by drawing on their experience with the analysis of large‑scale youth programs, including USAID/Kenya’s Yes Youth Can, USAID/Georgia’s Advancing National Integration (ANI) Activity, and the groundbreaking National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLYS) for the US Department of Labor.
- Our primary IT developer and system architect for the YouthPower Learning Hub and PYD database, Devis, is a leading provider of IT consulting services and solutions to Federal, State, and Local Governments, as well as the international development community.
- Perhaps best known for its “Internet in a box,” WiderNet@UNC has pioneered the development of appropriate ways to deliver information to those left most negatively impacted by the “digital divide.” WiderNet incorporates the Learning Hub into the eGranary Library and will provide high‑speed, off‑line training and productivity tools for youth.
- American Institute for Research (AIR) is one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations with a mission to conduct and apply the research and evaluation towards improving peoples’ lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.
- Sonjara Inc., offers technology strategy, content sourcing and management, custom website and mobile app design, development, and implementation, eLearning and professional development tools, and knowledge management services using appropriate and effective social networking and data capture technology.
Other organizations/ subcontractors who themselves are or have networks established at the regional and local levels to promote research, evaluation, and knowledge management activities in relation to PYD are:
- Center for Peacebuilding International (CPBI) enhances local capacities for peace in divided societies by understanding the role of young people in fragile environments; promoting youth engagement in peace processes and development; and by strengthening connections between youth around the world.
- Enactus is an international non‑profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders to use the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for youth in 36 countries around the world.
- Ipsos, the third largest social market research company in the world, is an innovative, entrepreneurial, client-focused organization, providing research services to clients on a global basis.
- Iridium Interactive Limited (Iridium), with footprints in Asia and Africa, brings expertise in building Web & Mobile based apps which serve as a Learning Platform for various target segments, especially Youth and Women.
- All across Africa, Mindset Network sources education and health programming and produces high quality and curriculum aligned video content, for youth, which is distributed via television, the internet and DVDs, and is supported by print and multimedia materials.
- Research Solutions Africa (RSA) is a leading pan-African full service research agency that employs both qualitative (focus groups and in depth interviews) and quantitative (face-to-face and telephone interviews) methodologies as appropriate. They also offer on-line panels and ethnographic studies.
Text To Change has successfully implemented more than a hundred projects using text message as the mode of communication in 17 countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America, ranging from health, agriculture, education and economic development.