We aim to foster an improved understanding and integration of cross-sectoral skills in Positive Youth Development (PYD) programming. 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 programming globally. We welcome any members interested in identifying, defining, and measuring such skills across geographies and programing sectors.
- 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 and measured, as well as their importance for PYD.
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. Update: This grant was awarded to Education Development Center, Inc., for their activity "Identifying Cross-Cutting Non-Cognitive Skills for Positive Youth Development."
- 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.
- Soft Skills for Positive Youth Development
- Technical Brief: Measuring Youth Competencies Across Contexts: Lessons From Implementers on How to Adapt Soft Skills Measurement Tools
- How Do Youth Skills Development Initiatives Ensure Effective Targeting, Recruitment, and Retention?
- Guiding Principles for Building Soft and Life Skills among Adolescents and Young Adults
- Key Soft Skills for Cross-Sectoral Youth Outcomes
- Toward Solutions for Youth Employment: A 2015 Baseline Report
- Interventions to Improve Labour Market Outcomes of Youth: A Systematic Review
- From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes
- McKinsey’s Education to Employment Report
- UNESCO’s GMR Report on Youth and Skills
- S4YE: Solutions for Youth Employment
- Key Approaches to Labor Market Assessment: An Interactive Guide
Resources from CoP Members:
- Better Policies for Better Youth Livelihoods: A Guidance Note for Development Practitioners
- The Adolescents 360 Blueprint for Change
- Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Hub
- The Developmental Relationships Framework
- Guidance Note: Psychosocial Support
- Soft Skills Development: Guiding Notes for Project and Curriculum Design and Evaluation
- Psychosocial Support and Social and Emotional Learning for Children and Youth in Emergency Settings
Nancy Taggart, Senior Youth and Workforce Advisor, USAID
Nancy has over fifteen years of experience managing international education, youth workforce, and gender programs in Sub-Saharan and North Africa. Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Taggart worked at Education Development Center (EDC) as the Youth Technical Team Leader in the International Development Division.
Olga Merchan, Education Youth and Workforce Development Advisor, USAID
Olga has over twenty years of experience as a practitioner in the field of development, both in urban areas in the US and internationally. Most recently, she was the Director of Workforce Strategies at YouthBuild, an agency recognized worldwide for providing pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership for young people across the USA and 20 countries.
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.
Lindsey Woolf, YouthPower Learning Project Manager, Making Cents International
Lindsey Woolf, MSc, is an international development project manager and youth organizing specialist with experience leading and facilitating youth-led organizations, movements and campaigns, as well as developing youth leadership programming and trainings. Lindsey holds an MSc in Anthropology and Development Management from the London School of Economics.
Daniel Plaut, Program Officer, R4D
Daniel Plaut is a Program Officer at R4D working on the Global Education team. Daniel led R4D’s contribution to YouthPower Learning, and has previously contributed to R4D’s work researching skills training programs for ICT-enabled employment opportunities.
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 supported 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).