MEL for Youth in Agriculture
Framing MEL for Youth-inclusive Activities
This section provides guidance for youth-inclusive approaches to developing the monitoring evaluation, and learning (MEL) plan for Feed the Future activities. Additional considerations for MEL are provided in Volume I, Annex 3. When designing the MEL plan, consider the range of behavior changes, norms, skills, and perceptions as they relate to youth participation and success in agriculture that should be measured for each activity. The USAID Youth Compass tool, for example, establishes four areas that serve as standards for measuring a youth activity:
- Beneficiaries: Disaggregation of data according to age cohort, gender, and/or other important characteristics that define the different youth segments (discussed in Volume I, Section 4.1)
- Enabling Environment: Measuring changes to behaviors, attitudes, rules, and norms adopted by families, peers, and communities, as well as other systems factors (e.g. access to land, finance, infrastructure, technology)
- Youth Participation and Empowerment: Capturing data on how youth participate, make decisions, build skills, contribute to the agriculture sector, and the degree to which that level of engagement changes over the life of the activity
- Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: Measuring the degree to which equal rights, responsibilities, and benefits are extended to young women and men, and any relevant changes over time that can be attributed to the activity.
Above all else, indicator data for youth-inclusive projects should be disaggregated by sex and by five-year age banding, as reflected in many of the 2016 Standard Foreign Assistance Indicators. The age bandings are defined as men and women ages 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, and 25-29 years, respectively. Without considering age disaggregation, the project will not know if it has succeeded in including youth, much less in changing outcomes for youth. Youth-inclusive Feed the Future projects are advised to use the youth cross-cutting indicator (CCIR):
CCIR 4: Increased youth empowerment and livelihoods: Percentage of participants in USG-assisted programs designed to increase access to productive
economic resources who are youth (15-29) [IM-level]
In addition to the Feed the Future and Standard Foreign Assistance indicators, funders and implementers with youth-inclusive projects should consider the PYD indicators developed by USAID's YouthPower Learning.
Check out the latest curated resources on What Works in Youth and Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition