Evaluation & Assessment

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.

 

Five Steps to More Meaningful Youth Engagement

My name is Matthew French and I work for JBS International, Inc. This blog draws upon research conducted under contract with USAID’s office of Education (read the full youth engagement report here), as well as my own experiences working with young people.

First Global Forum on Youth Policies

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Ministry of Youth and Sports in Azerbaijan, UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, UNDP, UNESCO, Council of Europe
Event Date: 
Oct 28, 2014 (All day) to Oct 30, 2014 (All day)

In 2014, of 198 countries, 122 countries (62%) have a national youth policy, up from 99 (50%) in the previous year. These numbers show that governments are increasingly aware of the need for legal and policy frameworks that respond adequately to young peoples’ needs, aspirations and demands. Despite these advances, however, a number of challenges affect both the efficiency and inclusiveness of youth policies, from fragmented responsibilities and challenged structures to the lack of reliable knowledge and the absence of appropriate resources.

Online Chat: Making the Case for Youth Savings

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
CGAP
Event Date: 
Aug 26, 2014 (10:00am to 11:00am)

The youth segment represents a promising market full of potential for financial service providers – the youth of today are the customers of tomorrow. While offering youth formal financial services can pay off for financial service providers in the long run, there are unique challenges to banking youth. 

Scaling Up—From Vision to Large‐Scale Change: A Management Framework for Practitioners

This document is intended to be a companion document to the Scaling Up TOOLKIT. With support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Packard Foundation, both documents were developed, applied, and refined over a nine year period with twenty‐two projects in India, Mexico, and Nigeria. An earlier version of this document was published in March of 2006.

Resource Type: 
Report

Evaluating Youth Economic Opportunities Programming - Lessons Learned and Actionable Guidance

This technical brief on how to effectively evaluate youth economic opportunities programming has been developed by Making Cents International’s Collaborative Learning & Action Institute for Increased Youth Economic Opportunities (CoLab) and forms part of our 2014 State of the Field in Youth Economic Opportunities Technical Brief Series.

Building a Better Working World: Solving the Global Youth Employment Crisis

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
RTI International
Event Date: 
Oct 15, 2014 (08:30am to 11:00am)

Around the world, unemployment among young people has grown into an epidemic, one that threatens economic growth and social stability in dozens of countries for decades to come. 

At this policy forum, a panel of experts will use their research and knowledge in workforce development and education to not only shed light on the crisis, but also recommend practical steps for addressing youth unemployment based upon a research agenda, field testing, and tools for scaling evidence-based practices.

A Gender-Sensitive Approach to M&E - Webinar Resource

View this PowerPoint presented by Karen Austrian, Associate from Population Council at Making Cents International's ApplyIt! Webinar "Beyond Disaggregated Indicators: Applying Gender-Sensitive Monitoring and Evaluation to Enhance Learning" on practical examples of how gender-sensitive M&E can be done and what difference it makes for youth development programs.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Change that Matters: Learning from our Partnerships

The MasterCard Foundation has been dedicated to learning as an organization since our first partnership in 2008.  It is in this spirit that we are proud to share Change that Matters: Learning from our Partnerships. Informed by evaluations, research and the expertise of our partners and staff, this report provides a narrative introduction to our work by summarizing key learning from our first six years as a philanthropic organization.

Some insights highlighted in the report include:

Resource Type: 
Report

Analyzing the Business Case for Youth Savings

This blog was originally posted on CGAP.org on July 21, 2014.

The Business Case for Youth Savings

With almost half the world's population today under the age of 25, youth finance represents a largely untapped business opportunity. Despite this potential, there are surprisingly few examples of providing youth savings in a profitable manner. Few financial service providers, especially in developing countries with large young populations, target youth specifically as a segment.

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