YouthPower Learning Brief: Systematic Review of Positive Youth Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries - Findings on Workforce Readiness & Employability

Default image, no image supplied by the user.This YouthPower Learning brief summarizes the findings from the YouthPower Learning Systematic Review of PYD Programs in LMICs that are relevant to Workforce Readiness and Employability (WR&E). It also leverages relevant insights from the YouthPower Learning PYD Measurement Toolkit.


Some of the main findings are:

  • Most programs classified as focused on WR&E also work towards outcomes in other sectors.
    • PYD programs were classified as WR&E if they worked to improve youth’s ability to secure work, or if they measured outcomes related to employability or economic growth. The review finds that a majority of WR&E programs also include activities targeted at improving outcomes in other sectors, such as health, democracy and governance, and education.
  • WR&E programs focus on building youth assets.
    • All identified WR&E programs focus on improving and increasing youth assets, including vocational and soft skills. Building youth agency and supporting an enabling environment for youth development were also part of most WR&E programs.
  • Several programs that addressed WR&E reported positive outcomes relevant to that sector: Increased formal and self-employment; better quality of employment; and financial assets.
  • Overall, most WR&E programs lack rigorous evidence.
    • A significant evidence gap on the effectiveness of WR&E PYD programs remains: Less than 10% of PYD programs working in the WR&E sector included high-quality experimental studies. 

YouthPower Learning Team, Making Cents International, the International Center for Research on Women, Results for Development Institute, University of Melbourne, and University of Washington, under the authorship of Ms. Caitlin Moss and Mr. Daniel Plaut.


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