YouthPower Newsletter May 2018



It’s been a busy several months across the YouthPower project. YouthPower Learning released new briefs and guides, along with hosting a variety of successful webinars. A key theme in our recent work has been increasing youth engagement and enabling youth to take the lead in their communities. Through the publication of our Project Design Guide for Youth-Inclusive Agriculture and Food Systems (Volumes I & II), we provide Missions and implementers with approaches, frameworks, and tools to empower youth to engage more actively in the agriculture sector.  We've also hosted events to promote resources produced by other YouthPower projects, such as a webinar on YouthPower Action's Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities, and watch parties for a video series on youth engagement. These resources are designed to inspire, inform, and equip the youth development community to better engage and support young people. 

We also share with you stories of how YouthPower already fosters youth engagement around the world. In St. Kitts, for example, young men participated in the "Wheels Up, Guns Down" bike ride to promote empowerment and resistance to community violence. Empleando Futuros organized a trip for young people to travel to Colombia to participate in discussions on private sector engagement and how to better align vocational training and related services for youth with the labor market.

We invite you to read these stories, and check out resources from our recent webinars, and register for our upcoming events.  

-YouthPower Learning Team


Published: Feed the Future Design Guide for Youth-Inclusive Agriculture and Food Systems

To achieve the objectives of the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) and “A Food-Secure 2030” vision, we need to harness the creativity and energy of youth, as they are critical to global stability, economic growth, and development today and into the future. YouthPower Learning is supporting GFSS strategy with the release of the Project Design Guide for Youth-Inclusive Agriculture and Food Systems (Volumes I & II), which bridges the US government GFSS objectives and builds on USAID’s youth inclusion policy embodied in its Youth in Development Policy.  The two-part guide provides USAID staff and implementing partners with approaches, frameworks and tools to design agriculture programs that promote successful and meaningful youth engagement with the US Feed the Future Initiative and the GFSS. 

  • Volume I is intended to support Feed the Future staff (USAID Missions and others) to design youth inclusive programs based on the USAID project design cycle.
  • Volume II offers implementation guidance for activity-level interventions, intended for USAID staff and implementers who may ultimately be managing activities and/or who wish to know more about youth-inclusive approaches to implementation in Feed the Future activities.

YouthPower Learning has completed two trainings on the guide with USAID, Feed the Future, USDA, and Food for Peace staff at the regional missions in Southern Africa and Washington, D.C. and conducted a webinar, Engaging Youth in Agriculture.

In case you missed the webinar, the recording is available online:

If you are seeking additional resources about youth in agriculture, check out our curated resources on What Works in Youth in Agriculture, Food-Security, and Nutrition.

New Brief from YouthPower Learning on the Gendered Drivers of Poor Adolescent Mental Health

Working with USAID, YouthPower Learning is leading a multi-country analysis of the Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS) to investigate the associations between bullying, violence, and other risk and protective factors that contribute to poor mental health among in-school adolescent girls and boys (ages 13-17). The study includes data for in-school adolescents from a six-country analysis from different regions around the world—Cambodia, El Salvador, Ghana, Iraq, Maldives, and Swaziland.  Findings indicate that in five out of the six countries, in-school adolescent girls reported higher levels of loneliness than boys as well as problems with sleep due to worrying. In Iraq, Ghana, and El Salvador, adolescent girls were between two and six times more likely than boys to ever plan suicide. Across every region, bullying related to someone’s appearance or through sexual jokes, gestures, and comments increased the risk of poor adolescent mental health. These experiences were tied to gender stereotypes around how girls and boys should look or act toward one another. Overall, the findings illuminate the gendered dimension of bullying. Interventions should take into account gender differences in the type of bullying and violence experienced and perpetrated.

Read: The Gendered Impacts of Bullying on Mental Health Among Adolescents in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: Recommendations for Programming and Research

YouthPower Learning Webinar: 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. "Empowerment" is to be desired and supported, whereas "radicalization" is to be prevented and feared. 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.
During this YouthPower Learning webinar, Mike Niconchuk, the lead author of the first report prepared under this grant, and Kyle Dietrich, Senior Program Manager at Equal Access, will be speaking about the findings from this research.
May 30, 2018, 8:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. (EDT)

Youth Compass: Much More than a Youth Assessment

Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities, developed by YouthPower Action, is designed to increase implementers’ abilities to achieve intended results of a youth activity, bring those results to scale, and sustain them.  The tool is now available on The recent webinar recording can be accessed to learn what sets the Youth Compass apart from existing tools and frameworks, and how and when USAID, its implementers and other youth serving organizations can use this guide.

Access the webinar recording and related resources.

The Missing Peace - Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security

The UN Security Council version of the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) defines critical issues and areas of interventions for the Youth in Peace and Security (YPS) agenda. In a recent YouthPower Learning webinar, Cécile Mazzacurati from the United Nations Population Fund/Peacebuilding Support Office and Noëlla Richard from the United Nations Development Programme led a presentation and discussion on this agenda-setting document that defines a strategy for the implementation of UN resolution SCR 2250. The Progress Study was developed through a uniquely participatory research process, including face-to-face discussions with a total of 4,230 young people, as well as research in 27 countries, surveys, and mapping exercises.

By Youth, for Youth: The Potential for Youth-Led Clubs to Strengthen & Positively Impact Their Communities

Based on videos from YouthPower Learning’s grantee, Komo Learning Centres (KLC) in Uganda, a video “watch party” was held to share and learn from the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from youth-led clubs. Representatives of youth-led clubs in Grenada acted as discussants by adding comments and asking questions. Resources from the webinar and video series can be found here:

Young Women Transform Prize Update

Over 350 applications were submitted for the Young Women Transform Prize Request for Application, which closed at the end of April. Through the prize, USAID, The Volvo Group, and Standard Chartered will support youth in developing countries to design solutions to advance the economic empowerment of young women in their communities. Application review is currently underway and awardees are expected to be announced in September. 


May 30, 2018: Webinar: Analysis of Cognitive and Psychosocial Pathways Leading to EMPOWERMENT and RADICALIZATION – Two Sides of the Same Coin?
June 6, 2018: Women's Leadership in International Development: 2018 Forum
June 11, 2018: 2018 Gender 360 Summit
June 26, 2018: Webinar: Opportunities for Girls' Empowerment through Active Engagement of Men and Boys in Youth-led Clubs


Reducing Risk for Youth in Honduras

Proponte Más
Across some of Honduras' most high-risk neighborhoods, hundreds of youth have lowered their risk of engaging in gangs and violence through the Proponte Más family counseling program which focuses on reducing youth risk factors like anti-social tendencies, lack of parental supervision and negative peer influence. Three-fourths of the group lowered their risk factors for gang joining significantly and are now at a "primary," or low, level of risk. Read about how the program has made a difference in the life of Amílcar, 12, and his family. “… this has helped us to work together as a family and also ourselves as a couple. I remember we used to get mad and the family would be completely torn apart", Amílcar’s mother says. Read more

Nicaraguan Women Forge Their Own Paths to Technical Careers

Aprendo y Emprendo Nicaragua
When Juana Carolina González became pregnant at age 19, she feared she would have to give up her education like so many other young women in her hometown of Muelle de los Bueyes in Nicaragua. With support from her parents and the Aprendo y Emprendo project, Juana has been able to continue studying. Through the project, Juana, now 24, received a scholarship so she could pursue technical education. And as she strives to overcome the barriers to her continued learning, she’s also breaking stereotypes in her chosen career path: Juana is studying to become an agriculture technician, a field traditionally dominated by men. Nearly 50 percent of the hundreds of scholarships administered by Aprendo y Emprendo have gone to women, allowing them to choose promising career paths that have historically been exclusive to men, including automotive mechanics, industrial electricity and agriculture. Learn more

Wheels Up, Guns Down

Wheels Up, Guns Down, St. Kitts

In February, 30 young men rode their bicycles through the streets of St. Kitts to signal the launch of the Sandy Point Bikers Club. Dubbed “Wheels Up, Guns Down,” the ride was a collaboration between the Sandy Point Community Enhancement Committee (CEC), the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the young bikers, with support from USAID’s Community, Family and Youth Resilience (CFYR) Program. A local police inspector spoke with the youth and encouraged them to embrace the opportunity to empower themselves and avoid getting caught up in a wave of crime and violence. The biker’s club was formed by its members as a result of a CFYR-hosted youth dialogue, part of a series being undertaken with young people in the program’s five target communities in St. Kitts and Nevis. Read more

​Empleando Futuros Visits SENA: National Service of Learning in Colombia

Empleando Futuros Visits SENA

Empleando Futuros is exploring several avenues to more successfully engage with the private sector, while ensuring that its workforce development programs for at-risk youth in Honduras properly prepare youth for the needs and demands of the labor market.

In March 2018, Empleando Futuros organized a trip for 25 people to travel from Honduras to Colombia to visit with the Colombian National Service of Learning (SENA), to learn how to better align vocational training and related services targeting youth to the needs of the labor market.
Now, Empleando Futuros is exploring the possibility of an agreement between USAID, SENA and INFOP, in which SENA will guide the National Institute of Professional Training (INFOP) in expanding its activities as a project partner. With SENA’s support, USAID and Empleando Futuros can work with INFOP to develop market-driven, state of the art curricula in order to provide relevant and labor market-specific services to at-risk youth in Honduras. Learn more

Charge' d'affaires from U.S. Embassy in Honduras and USAID/Honduras Mission Director Visit Empleando Futuro Participants

Charge' d'affaires from U.S. Embassy in Honduras and USAID/Honduras Mission Director Visit Empleando Futuro Participants
Charge’ d’affaires Brian A. Nichols, U.S.  Embassy Honduras, and Fernando  Cossich, Mission Director  USAID/Honduras, met with seven   Empleando Futuros project participants during a visit to the Morales III sector of Chamelecon in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on March 19, 2018. The youth from Morales III recently completed life skills and basic labor competencies training in their community and now are participating in market-driven technical training at a vocational training center in San Pedro Sula. Following their training in vocational centers, youth will complete internships with local businesses before seeking employment, or in some cases be hired directly. Charge’ Nichols and Mission Director Cossich congratulated the youth for their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue taking advantage of this opportunity. Read more


YouthPower Learning Resources

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL)

Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

Economic Growth, Education, and Environment



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