Evaluation & Assessment

Overview

This cross-cutting theme focuses on improving the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of programs by sharing data on what works and what doesn’t, and methodologies for monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment.   Improved practices in this area promise to provide stakeholders with enhanced understanding of which interventions have meaningful impact, what the likely return on investment will be, and how to design and implement improved monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

Where are we now?

As the YEO field matures, pilot programs and anecdotal data have given way to increasingly sophisticated approaches to program measurement and learning. These advances are critical to scale, replication, policy and government partnership initiatives. However, more work remains. Confusion about the purpose and practice of monitoring, evaluation and assessment, and the way it can contribute to learning with an organization or program still exists.  A common language for this area along with standardized measures of cost and benefit are also necessary to ensure discussions are productive and evaluations reflect a common framework of practice.

Trends and emerging practices

  • Donors are advocating for more rigorous evaluation to ensure greater accountability and learning.
  • Although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard, they can be expensive and time consuming, leading some donors to find quasi-experimental and impact evaluations very appealing, while others invest more significantly in M&E activities.
  • For corporations and foundations, evaluations are important to measure the social value proposition and social impact of their investments to consumers, customers, and employees.
  • More implementers are recognizing the importance of investing in good M&E, so they can demonstrate to donors their organization's social value proposition, particularly to impact investors.
  • More organizations are successfully using mixed methods approaches (both quantitative and qualitative data) to M&E.
  • Survey and focus group tools should be tested and finalized with young people for tools to achieve greater reliability and validity.
  • Data from young people should be triangulated with data from significant adults in their lives (such as parents, guardians, and teachers) to contextualize its meaning and importance.
  • More organizations are recognizing that existing M&E staff may not have the skills set required to engage young people, so training on how to conduct youth-inclusive M&E is important. 
  • Young people are not homogeneous, so questions need to be framed differently for young men and young women, youth from urban and rural communities, and/or youth from different socio-economic groups.

 

Evaluation & Assessment: Blogs

Youth in the SDGs: Getting Beyond the Rhetoric

Originally posted by Nicole Goldin, January 26, 2015.

Strawberries, Chocolate and Skill Gaps

Originally posted on the World Bank Blog, December 1, 2014.

BLOG: How Can Children and Youth Become Financially Capable Adults?

Originally posted on poverty-action.org, October 22, 2014.

Zimbabwe Labor Market Assessment

Recently the FHI 360 Workforce Connections project conducted a L

Resource Type: 
Report

Measuring Employment Outcomes for Workforce Development

Youth workforce development remains a priority of global development efforts, with increasing attention being focused beyond education and training and into labor market outcomes. Despite this, the methods used to understand employment through monitoring and evaluation are highly varied, both across and within organizations. While much is being measured, the multitude of methodologies, and prevalence of custom indicators, inhibit cross-program data gathering and understanding.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Knowledge Management Platform for Increasing the Scale and Sustainability of Youth Economic Opportunity Programs

Meeting the needs of the global youth population requires evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable initiatives. In response, Making Cents International offers a demand-driven Knowledge Management (KM) platform that builds the capacity of positive youth development stakeholders worldwide to design, implement, and evaluate high-impact youth economic opportunity programs, policies, and partnerships.
 
Resource Type: 
Report