YouthPower Newsletter July 2018


The midpoint of 2018 is proving to be an active time across the YouthPower projects. The recent report from YouthPower Learning grantee, Equal Access, provides new and interesting perspectives on youth empowerment and radicalization. A webinar with YouthPower grantee, Mercy Corps, highlights results from participatory research with girls in Jordan. Don't miss the upcoming webinar on youth Career Centers on July 17. Other recent webinars have focused on youth engagement, gender equality, and promoting positive youth development through workforce development, skill-building opportunities, and family-based approaches.

We also share stories from YouthPower projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Honduras, for example, Empleando Futuros is supporting life and technical skills training for youth employment in the private sector. Similar technical education programs in Nicaragua provide employment opportunities and hope for youth. The regional Youth Violence Prevention project and the Proponte Más project in Honduras support gang violence prevention and reduction through research and counseling, respectively.

Check out the many new highlighted resources and events on!

-YouthPower Learning Team


Upcoming Webinar: Unpacking Career Centers

YouthPower Learning’s Cross-sectoral Skills Community of Practice would like to invite you to the first in a series of webinars, co-hosted with the USAID-funded Workforce Connections project, focused on Workforce Development and Higher Education. This first webinar, “Unpacking Career Centers”, will concentrate on the impact that Career Centers can have on youth transition into the workforce and into self-employment.  Many countries are experimenting with various models of Career Centers, both physical and virtual. Looking closely at USAID’s Career Center programs in Morocco and Egypt, this webinar will share lessons learned and best practices with Career Centers.

July 17, 2018, 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. (EDT)

Girl Research and Learning (GRL) Power ProjectL What can we learn from girl-led research in Jordan?

The recent webinar by GRL Power, a grant funded by YouthPower Learning, demonstrated the great impact that participatory research can have on the researchers and their environment. GRL Power aims to shift the current paradigm by being one of the first of its kind in Jordan and in the region to implement girl-led, participatory research. Unlike traditional empowerment programs, girl-led research emboldens girls by providing them with the opportunity to practice leadership within their community. Implemented in three different areas in Jordan, GRL Power researchers asked what makes girls feel unsafe, and what should be done to make cities safer for them. In the recent webinar in Arabic and English, Mercy Corps, their partner ActionAid, and the girl researchers (in Arabic only), presented the results and highlighted the impact that the research had on the girls themselves. “This research was one of the best experiences in my life, and I learned so much and changed my mind about a lot of topics”, said one of the GRL Power researchers. “The research became ours”, said another.

Evaluating Multi-level, Multi-stakeholder Interventions to Support Adolescent Girls

A recent YouthPower Learning webinar presented the results of two adolescent girls-focused programs, Plan-It Girls and PAnKH, which are designed to build agency of adolescent girls and promote gender equality at the local level. Recent evaluations of the two programs showed how gender-integrated life skills and employability skills build adolescent girls' agency, promote higher education, delay marriage, and prevent violence against women and girls. Both programs have been implemented by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and were recently evaluated. The webinar was co-hosted by the YouthPower Learning Gender and PYD and Cross-Sectoral Skills Communities of Practice, in collaboration with the American Evaluation Association (AEA).

Strategies for Engaging Youth Refugees: Lessons from Niger

​A recent YouthPower Learning webinar with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) showcases IRC’s multi-sectoral approach to refugee youth employment.  Youth refugees face limited opportunities for education, livelihoods, and civic engagement, factors that contribute to young peoples’ exclusion and disempowerment. In Niger, IRC’s approach in Tillaberry and Diffa combine education, protection from violence, and livelihood interventions. The project is moving into its second phase, focusing on opportunities for youth to engage in agricultural value chains. One of the outcomes shows that almost 60% of beneficiaries started their own business within six months. The webinar was organized by YouthPower Learning's Youth Engagement and Youth in Peace and Security Communities of Practice.

Analysis of Cognitive and Psychosocial Pathways Leading to EMPOWERMENT and RADICALIZATION - Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Rarely are the notions of "empowerment" and "radicalization" uttered in the same sentence. While less than obvious, radicalization and empowerment can be studied through similar lenses and can in fact be reduced to certain shared constructs. The purpose of a YouthPower Learning grant awarded to Equal Access was in large part to unpack key theories of empowerment and radicalization, and to elucidate some of the shared elements between the two notions, ultimately for the purpose of leveraging and transforming often-destructive processes and behavior associated with radicalization for positive outcomes. The first report produced by the grantee argues that, to be more effective, CVE programming needs to recognize, enhance, and channel potential assets of radicalized youth, and examines the possibility of reorienting their impulses, attitudes, and behaviors from violent radicalization towards non-violent civic empowerment. Read the report.

Ethiopia Cross-Sectoral Youth Assessment

The recently published cross-sectoral youth assessment (CSYA), commissioned by USAID/Ethiopia with YouthPower Learning, identifies root causes of the dissatisfaction of youth, which include a lack of employment opportunities, and social, economic, and political marginalization. USAID/Ethiopia wanted to better understand the status and aspirations of Ethiopian youth aged 15-29 in their journey from adolescence to adulthood—a transition that includes starting a productive working life, developing healthy lifestyles, and exercising citizenship. YouthPower Learning applied a positive youth development (PYD) lens to the CSYA. The aims of the CSYA included identifying challenges and unmet needs of Ethiopian youth; mapping institutional efforts to address these needs; identifying evidence-based approaches to current youth development programming; and providing strategic guidance in the development of future programming that will positively affect Ethiopian youth. The report also identifies promising policies, structures, programs, and partnerships that address the root causes of dissatisfaction.

Learn more about the assessment findings and conclusions.

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July 8-14, 2018: iEARN (The International Education and Resource Network) 2018 International Conference and Youth Summit
July 10, 2018: ALIGN Webinar: cross-country perspectives on gender norms
July 12, 2018: GEAS Webinar: A Vignettes-Based Measure of Gender Equality in Early Adolescence
July 17, 2018: YouthPower Learning Webinar, with Workforce Connections: Unpacking Career Centers
July 20, 2018: Africa Youth and Talent Summit 2018
July 26-28, 2018: 8th Annual NEXUS Global Summit
September 18-22, 2018: Youth Peacebuilders Forum on Shaping the Narrative
September 25-27, 2018: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit


Interview: Latin America and the Caribbean - Youth Violence Prevention Project

YouthPower Learning recently interviewed the Latin America and the Caribbean - Youth Violence Prevention project. In the interview, Tanya Andrade, the former Task Order Director for the project, discusses the project's goals to assist in youth violence prevention in the LAC region, and how they apply positive youth development in their research and project activities.  The project is focused on improving USAID’s and other stakeholders’ capacity to design and implement youth violence prevention programming, and has been compiling research and evidence on what works in programs to prevent violence affecting young people. Initial research findings show that persistent increases in homicide rates play a significant role in children’s decision to migrate, and an increase in unaccompanied children (UAC) apprehension rates. The study also found that UAC rates were higher in areas with persistently high unemployment rates.

Access the full interview to learn more.

USAID officials visit Empleando Futuros

USAID officials visit Empleando Futuros

In May, the USAID/Honduras Mission Director, Fernando Cossich and the USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Barbara Feinstein visited youth from the Empleando Futuros project. Mr. Cossich and Ms. Feinstein travelled to the community of Oscar A. Flores in El Pedregal and stopped by the Via de France Café, which has successfully employed Empleando Futuros youth.

Mr. Cossich’s and Ms. Feinstein’s visit highlighted Empleando Futuro’s focus on the importance of a comprehensive package of training in life and technical skills, as well as the private sector’s appreciation of this approach for youth recruitment and retention in Honduras. Read more.

Technical education, internships provide route to employment for Nicaraguan youth

Technical education, internships provide route to employment for Nicaraguan youth

With his sporadic and low-paying job as a bricklayer in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast, Juan Benitez struggled to earn enough income to care for his wife and two daughters. But now, through technical training and work experience, Benitez is launching a promising career and, for the first time in his life, has steady employment.

Benitez, 27, was awarded a scholarship to pursue his technical education through the Aprendo y Emprendo project. He completed his certification in outboard motor repair and is now an advocate of technical education among his peers.

In addition to providing hundreds of youth from Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast with internships to pursue technical education and vocational training, Aprendo y Emprendo is strengthening schools’ relationships with the private sector and helping to establish and improve internship programs. Benitez says that as he builds his career, he hopes to open his own business and create more employment opportunities in his community. Read more.

Supporting youth in Honduras' juvenile justice system

Supporting youth in Honduras' juvenile justice system

Carlos Adaly Hernandez and his mother Suyapa had always been together — until 2016, when Carlos spent most of the year incarcerated. But in December of 2016, a judge granted Carlos an alternative measure to detention and he was allowed to finish out the remainder of his sentence at home.

Carlos began working with Casa Alianza, a program that provides reintegration support. The Proponte Más secondary violence prevention program, which centers on family counseling to reduce youth’s risk of joining gangs, works with Casa Alianza as a grantee to provide additional support to youth in the juvenile justice system.

For Carlos, Casa Alianza developed and began implementing a therapeutic plan to help him emotionally and psychologically. After a few months, he started becoming more optimistic about life, positive against adversity and began building relationships with his schoolmates.

Carlos finished his sentence in March 2018 and plans to continue participating in other Casa Alianza activities. Through an online schooling option, he was able to complete the seventh grade, and is continuing his education. Learn more.

Empleando Futuros presents Labor Market Assessment, hosts annual Workforce Development Workshop

Empleando Futuros presents Labor Market Assessment, hosts annual Workforce Development Workshop

In May, the Empleando Futuros project joined USAID/Honduras to present its Labor Market Assessment, which identifies the private sector’s opportunities and challenges for youth from the most vulnerable areas of Honduras. Perhaps the highlight of the event was when youth demonstrated their new job skills for attendees, demonstrating the importance of these occupations to the sectors covered in the Labor Market Assessment.
Furthermore, the project hosted the second annual workforce development regional workshop in Honduras for representatives from various youth projects operating in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well as USAID officials from the region, which also included a presentation of the new Labor Market Assessment. Participants learned more about Empleando Futuros’ training model, including an in-depth analysis of the project’s approach to mentoring and its Life Skills and Basic Labor Competencies trainings.


YouthPower Learning Resources

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL)

Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

Economic Growth, Education, and Environment



Find more resources and events at


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