YouthPower Learning Newsletter -  November 2017


As we reach the midpoint of YouthPower, it is encouraging to see how much progress has been made in positive youth development (PYD). Our website is filled with useful resources, tools, and successes to be used and shared. Catch up on projects underway, get to know our past and present grantees, and make a New Year's resolution to join a community of practice

Explore the new Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities if you're designing a new youth-focused activity, or want to improve an ongoing one. YouthPower Learning Director Cassandra Jessee shared some hot tips and resources for PYD following her panel at the AEA conference in November. 

Don't miss the K-YES story about how entrepreneurship training has transformed a young entrepreneur's business in Nairobi, Kenya. And  the conversation with YouthPower Action's Kristin Brady on how powerful lessons are informing further PYD work in Mozambique with orphaned and vulnerable children and their communities. New events and resources are being added every day, so keep using as your go-to resource for all things PYD. 

Thank you for your commitment to positive youth development. We wish you a very happy New Year and look forward to working with you in 2018!

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Moving youth-focused activities in the right direction: Youth Compass


The Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities helps implementers to strengthen youth-focused activity design and implementation. The tool, developed by YouthPower Action, provides a three-step, seven-task strategic process: (1) analyze weaknesses, opportunities, and knowledge gaps in youth-focused or youth-including activities;(2)  identify and prioritize actions to strengthen the activities; and (3) incorporate those actions into the activity.

The Youth Compass is highly adaptable and provides guidance for use in a variety of development scenarios, including post-conflict, preventing/ countering violent extremism, and humanitarian assistance. Download the free Youth Compass today!
DOWNLOAD Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities

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The Importance of Soft Skills Training, Safe Spaces, and Communication Support for Youth

YouthPower Learning caught up with YouthPower Action’s Kristin Brady recently in an inspiring conversation about positive youth development's impact on orphaned and vulnerable children through Programa Para O Futuro-Mozambique (PPFuturo-MZ) . Read the transcript here.

PPFuturo-MZ is the second phase of the YouthPower Action implementation project to protect and support OVCs and youth heads of households that have been affected by HIV/AIDs in Mozambique by applying a PYD lens. Phase 2 began in October 2016 and will end in March, 2018. READ MORE

PYD Measurement Training in New Delhi

USAID Headquarter staff, USAID India, program implementers, and evaluators have a new perspective on positive youth development (PYD) after the October 30 training in New Delhi provided by YouthPower Learning.

The event, which was filled to capacity, hosted representatives from Jhpiego, PSI, World vision, Pravah, Dasras, Magic Bus, and Restless Development, among others. PYD was a new concept for many participants and they found the PYD Measurement Toolkit useful for their work.

YouthPower Learning hosts fourth annual #GBVChat

YouthPower Learning hosted the fourth annual #GBVChat in support of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and USAID’s initiatives to end gender-based violence.

Nine organizations/projects came together online to lead a day-long conversation on “Positive Steps to End Gender-Based Violence—in Education & with Education” on Twitter, sharing resources, tools and inspiration.

A special thanks to YouthPower Action and the Gender and Positive Youth Development CoP—especially  Co-champions Chisina Kapungu and Chelsea Ricker—for lending their knowledge and technical expertise during YouthPower’s segment, “Positive steps to end GBV: transforming gender norms through positive youth development.” A selection of useful resources shared by lead organizations and participants is available on GBVChat details and resources.


YouthPower Learning CoP meetings

The YouthPower Learning Youth Engagement CoP and theCross-Sectoral Skills for Youth CoP both met in person this fall to build on their accomplishments in 2017, share ideas, and plan for 2018.

As an introduction to the the community's 2018 focus, 'Diversity and Inclusion,’ World Learning presented their Transforming Agency, Access, and Power (TAAP) Inclusion Approach and forthcoming TAAP Toolkit at the Youth Engagement CoP meeting. The meeting’s host, Creative Associates, kicked off the event with a presentation on their public health approach to reducing violence, which includes family counseling to reduce youth recruitment into gangs (approaches used in the Community, Family, and Youth Resilience Program [CYFR] and in Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening for At-Risk Youth -- [TVET-SAY] in Nicaragua). Watch the meeting recording and review the slides!

The Cross-Sectoral Skills for Youth CoP meeting in December featured the recently launched “Measuring Youth Competencies Across Contexts: Lessons From Implementers on How to Adapt Soft Skills Measurement Tools” technical brief,  in which the Cross Sectoral Skills for Youth CoP gathered and synthesized learnings from implementers’ experiences adapting soft skills measurement tools in diverse geographic and cultural contexts. ICYMI: Recording and slides available here

Both communities of practice took advantage of the in-person meeting time to identify potential activities for 2018 and explore future priorities and opportunities. 


January 12, 2018: Open Competition Deadline – Projects to Expand Youth Civic Participation in India
February 14–16, 2018: 2018 Winter Youth Assembly: Innovation and Collaboration for a Sustainable World
March 1, 2018: Zero Discrimination Day
June 1–2, 2018: European Parliament European Youth Event


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Puentes: bridging gaps, making connections

The USAID Bridges to Employment project (Puentes) is working to bridge labor market gaps in El Salvador. Over the summer, youth outreach organizations at El Salvador’s largest annual youth event, Juventour Fair, connected with hundreds of young people to help elevate youth job skills and entrepreneurship.

And in October, Puentes attended the launch of a campaign to bridge gender gaps—moving forward, the Puentes project will help identify  partner companies interested in improving gender-related policies and practices and encourage them to apply for the Gender Equality Seal, “Igual-es.” This seal recognizes recognize private sector companies and local governments for their best practices on gender issues.  LEARN MORE

Technical Vocational Education FTW (For the Win)!

Aprendo y Emprendo (Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening for At-Risk Youth — TVET SAY) in Nicaragua is helping to train young winners in technical excellence.

A team from the Bluefields Robotics Club—established for students to explore technology and science concepts, problem-solving skills and teamwork—took first place in a national robotics competition in Managua.
 And at the project-sponsored Innovating Youth for Development hackathon in November, teams of young designers studying technical careers at schools supported by Aprendo y Emprendo, presented innovative solutions to social problems in their community.
Read more about these young winners

K-YES Training Is Game Changer to Young Nairobi Entrepreneur

The Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES) reports some impressive results: over 12,000 youth are already running small businesses, thanks to business and entrepreneurial trainings they received through the program: nearly 14,000 youth have new or better employment (including self-employment) as a result of participation in KYES’ business trainings; over 16,000 youth have been trained in entrepreneurship under the integrated business skills training package; and financial services trainings have benefitted over 22,000 youth.

 For Bernard Kabuu, a young entrepreneur, business management training and access to financial capital enabled him to start his own Village Savings and Loan Association that is empowering his fellow youth in the outskirts of Nairobi. READ his story

 Caribbean: Through the Community, Family and Youth Resilience Program (CFYR) in Eastern and Southern Caribbean, teachers and volunteers received training on incorporating coding and robotics into schools, with plans to bring the curriculum into the classroom in 2018.
And local youth had their own hands-on tech training, learning how to map assets in their own communities using a phone app and open-source mapping platform. The data they collect through the mapping process will help the program and the community better understand local assets and design data-driven interventions.  READ MORE 

 HondurasThe Empleando Futuros Project is training 55 instructors for a youth professional training as a next step of their development in the training process, with the curriculum set to begin for students in January, 2018.

 TanzaniaThe Tanzania Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) Activity is currently in startup as it works in parallel to establish operations in three provinces in Tanzania and build the foundation for the activity’s work with partners, local communities, and youth. The activity will begin with a Youth and Gender Assessment to better understand the barriers to employment that young people face and the assets they have.

 IndonesiaMitra Kunci is in the process of undertaking two assessments, an Employer Survey and a Youth Survey, to inform the activities of local implementing partners who will be working directly with poor and vulnerable Indonesian youth, including training plans, improvements to curricula, and the formulation of policies and programs for skills training that correspond to workforce needs in selected communities.


YouthPower Resources

Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

Economic Growth, Education, and Environment



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