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Featured Resource: State of the Field in Youth Economic Opportunities: A Guide for Programming, Policymaking, and Partnership Building

This publication is a consolidation and synthesis of the lessons learned, promising practices, common challenges, and recommended next steps that participants highlighted during Making Cents International's 2011 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (GYEOC).

State of the Field in Youth Economic Opportunities: A Guide for Programming, Policymaking, and Partnership Building

Making Cents International

Abstract

The Global Youth Economic Opportunities (YEO) field seeks to grow evidence-based, sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective programs and policies that address the root causes of youth unemployment while increasing the opportunities young people have to obtain a decent job or start a successful business. Such a bold mandate cannot be achieved without collaboration, sharing, and peer-to-peer learning. For the past five years, Making Cents International has invited members of the YEO field to an annual learning event designed to build and strengthen the filed. The 2011 GYEOC convened more than 400 stakeholders from over 50 countries who shared key findings and promising practices, discussed common challenges, and reflected on next steps for the field. This publication provides a synthesis of how conference participants--those who design, implement, monitor, evaluate, and fund programs and policies in this field--create safe and viable economic opportunities for young people. It also highlights the lessons they have learned along the way.


Rather than seeing young people as a challenge, members of the YEO field see youth as partners who contribute to socio-economic growth and development. The global demographic is substantial--over 1.8 billion adolescents and youth globally. At the end of 2010, over 75 million young people ages 15-24 were struggling to find work. In order to support young people to transform local economies, more banks must provide appropriate financial services to youth; more industries must train their workforce for today's and tomorrow's market demands; more schools must mainstream entrepreneurship and nurture potential entrepreneurs; and more governments must encourage young people's innovation and engagement. And they need to do these things in an effective and inclusive way, prioritizing young people's safety, considering their developmental needs, and including girls and other marginalized populations to ensure equity.

Keywords

Making Cents International; Youth Enterprise Development; Workforce Development; Youth-Inclusive Financial Services and Financial Capabilities; Adolescent Girls and Young Women; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Impact Assessment.

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Access the 2012 State of the Field Publication.

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