Africa Gender Innovation Lab - Impact Evaluations: Youth Employment

August 23, 2017

The Gender Innovation Lab conducts impact evaluations in four key areas including agriculture, private sector development, land & assets and youth employment, as well as a handful of impact evaluations that explore new areas of research or provide specific support to an ongoing project. The lab is currently working on more than 50 impact evaluations across Sub-Saharan Africa.

1. World Bank, Benin Youth Employment Project

As part of the Benin Youth Employment Project, technical, business and life skills trainings and grants for small business start-up will be offered to vulnerable male and female youth. The evaluation will use an RCT to study the relative impacts of providing basic business training, providing start-up capital, or providing both, on employment outcomes for youth as measured 12 and 24 months after the program. Particular emphasis will be put on the analysis of gender-differentiated impacts, with adequate sample sizes, dedicated survey measures and qualitative work. Traditionally, strong gender norms limit the occupational choice of girls and women to two or three relatively less productive occupations. In order to encourage women to cross over to more lucrative non-traditional trades, this evaluation study will also test the impact of information campaigns, sensitization activities or short-term technical re-training in productive trades.

2. World Bank, Cote d’Ivoire SWEDD Sahel, Multi-country Girls’ Empowerment Impact Evaluation

The SWEDD is a six-country project aiming to accelerate the demographic transition by addressing both supply and demand constraints to family planning and reproductive and sexual health. The component being evaluated is designed to expand the range of choices and opportunities available to adolescent girls and their families in order to make delays in marriage and childbearing more viable and desirable. In Cote d’Ivoire, the Government will implement a series of interventions centered around safe spaces. School-based safe spaces: girls attending the first cycle of secondary school will be offered participation in groups led by trained mentors, where they will be taught life skills and information on sexual and reproductive health. Community-based safe spaces: Out-of-school girls aged 8 to 24 will be offered safe spaces in their communities, with curricula including life skills and sexual and reproductive health. A subset of safe spaces will also provide young women aged 16 to 24 with support for income-generating activities. Alternatively, selected communities will engage married and unmarried boys and men in similar mentor-led groups. The intervention will be evaluated using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in order to study the impact of safe spaces on schooling, socio-emotional skills, SRH knowledge and behaviors, and social networks. Additional research questions include the impact of including men and boys in these interventions on health and empowerment outcomes, as well as whether an IGA support program alleviate the barriers of entering the labor market faced by young women.

3. World Bank, Liberia Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI)

The EPAG project was part of the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) to promote the economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women in eight low-income and post-conflict countries. EPAG offered a 12 month employment program with 6 months of classroom training and 6 months of follow-up support. The program offered a wage employment track or a business development services track. Classroom training included socio-emotional skills as well as either vocational training or business skills training. Additional support included free child care during classroom training, savings accounts, transportation stipend, and completion bonus. The target group was young women aged 16 to 27 with basic literacy who had been out of school for at least one year, in nine targeted communities in and around Monrovia. The project has been running since 2010 and the evaluation was conducted on the first cohort of participants.

4. World Bank and IRC, Educare and PPAL, Liberia Sisters of Success (SOS)

This impact evaluation will investigate whether being part of a mentorship program during early adolescence (ages 12-15) improves outcomes for girls in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia. As girls pass through adolescence, a number of factors influence whether they complete secondary school, avoid teenage pregnancy, and develop the life skills, attitudes, behaviors and relationships that will set them on a path to a healthy and productive adulthood. SOS matches volunteer mentors to groups of 10 girls, who they meet twice a month over the course of a year and a half. This part of the program – having a mentor and being part of a mentee group – is the girl-focused intervention.  It is different from other, somewhat similar programs, in its pure life skills focus – neither vocational training, nor cash transfers, are a part of this program. Additionally, there will be a guardian-focused intervention, aimed at addressing household-level factors that may affect the same outcomes the girl-focused intervention is trying to influence.

5. World Bank, Nigeria Business Process Outsourcing Youth Employment Project:

This evaluation will analyze the impact of ICT training on employment and non-employment outcomes for women and men in the BPO industry. Treatment group received training for employment in BPO/IT industry jobs as well as general office skills training. Baseline data was collected in FY11 both through a socio-economic questionnaire and through the conduction of implicit association tests (IATs) to measure any gender bias of applicants.

6. World Bank, Republic of Congo Skills Development for Employability

In partnership with the Ministry of Technical and Professional Education, Qualifying Training and Employment, this project will provide business and technical skills training to vulnerable youth, and follow-up visits tailored to female entrepreneurs. The evaluation will examine the impacts of business skills training only versus additional technical training on business profit, investment, survival and growth. It will also compare the effects of reducing the length of training versus increasing the frequency of follow-up visits in the participation and retention of women on training activities, as well as on the impacts of training on their business outcomes. 

7. World Bank and BRAC, Sierra Leone Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescent Girls (ELA)

This initiative seeks adolescent girls’ social and economic empowerment by providing adolescent development centers (ELA clubs), life skills training, livelihood training, and credit support to start income-generating activities. The impact evaluation will disentangle the effects of the different program components to identify the most binding constraints. To this end, 200 target villages will be randomly assigned to either a control group or one of three treatment groups: the first will offer the ELA club and life skills training; the second will offer all the previous plus livelihood training; and the third will offer the entire package including microcredit support. A wide range of outcome indicators related to economic and health behaviors of adolescent girls will be examined. 

8. World Bank and BRAC, South Sudan Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI)

The Empowerment and Livelihoods of Adolescents (ELA) project in South Sudan is part of a World Bank-led Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) to promote the economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women in eight low-income and post-conflict countries. All the projects in the AGI offer skills training and complementary services to facilitate young women’s transition to productive work. The intervention is based around village-level girls’ clubs established in four states of South Sudan.

The ELA project established 100 community-level girls’ clubs in four states of South Sudan targeting girls age 15 to 24. The clubs operated from late 2010 to June 2013 and offered a safe space to socialize, socio-emotional and vocational skills training, support for savings, and community sensitization.

9. World Bank and BRAC, Tanzania Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents (ELA)

The ELA intervention aims to increase the economic empowerment of adolescent girls in rural Tanzania through life-skills training, income- generation skills training, and access to microfinance.  Versions of this program have been or are being evaluated in Bangladesh, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sierra Leone. This study will evaluate the extent of impact in the intervention in rural Tanzania.

10. World Bank and BRAC, Tanzania Promoting Safe Sex Among Adolescents

The program consists of supply- and demand-side components to promote safe sexual and reproductive health (SRH) behaviors among adolescents, with a separate focus on girls and boys. The interventions consist of i) SRH educational programming for adolescent girls, including incentivized goal-setting for reproductive health-goals, ii) provision of free contraceptives for girls, and iii) provision of education around SRH and gender-based violence for boys through soccer clubs. The evaluation will identify the following: i) the impact of education, commitment devices and monetary incentives for girls on SRH; ii) the effect of easing supply-side constraints on girls’ use of contraceptives; iii) the impact of education of male peers on social norms and girls’ health outcomes.

11. World Bank, Togo Youth Employment Program

This research study focuses on evaluating the effects of a set of alternative labor market interventions in Togo: twelve months internship program, internship program plus a voucher for training in an area of firms’ need, and a soft-skills training. The evaluation will compare these different types of interventions in order to learn about their impact on employment, income, living standards, financial independence, savings and investment behavior, and social status. This study will also focus on the gender disaggregated effects of the soft-skills training and internship programs, and special efforts will be made to ensure women's participation in the program. We will also analyze the effects on firms’ perceptions of youth and women employees and hiring.  

12. World Bank and BRAC, Uganda Empowerment and Livelihoods of Adolescents (ELA)

This study evaluated an intervention that aimed to increase the economic empowerment of adolescent girls in rural Uganda through life-skills training, income generation skills training, and access to microfinance.  After tracking 4,888 girls over a period of two years, GIL found that the program had strong positive impacts on economic, health and agency outcomes for the girls. The program increased the likelihood of participants engaging in income-generating activities by 32%; self-reported routine condom use by those who were sexually active increased by 50%; fertility rates dropped by 26%; and there was a 76% reduction in adolescent girls reporting having had sex against their will during the past year.

13. World Bank, Zambia Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL)

This project aims to test the impact of different program elements to build on recent evidence from graduation programs that only tested comprehensive intervention. The impact evaluation will focus on one arm of the project entitled Support Women’s Livelihoods which will provide i) short training, ii) cash grants (US$225), iii) savings support to 20 women identified as “extremely poor per community.  The project implementation team includes the Government of Zambia, the Ministry of Community Development and Mother and Child Health, the Department of Community Development and NGO support.