Promoting decent work for youth through knowledge and action: Work4Youth project results 2011-2016

The event will mark the end of the five-year “Work4Youth” partnership and provides an opportunity to showcase the numerous outputs of the project.


Six years ago, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and The MasterCard Foundation set an ambitious goal: to increase the existing number of school-to-work transition surveys (SWTS) from five to 52, integrate the data and analysis into publications and work directly with policymakers on interpreting results for formulating “smarter” investments in youth employment. The Work4Youth partnership was founded on the premise that with access to accurate, up-to-date data, policy-makers are better positioned to adopt policies aligned with the needs of young people and inform youth employment interventions nationally and globally.

The Work4Youth partnership, which ran between 2011 and 2016, exceeded its targets. Highlights of the programme include:
  • 53 school-to-work transition surveys were completed across 34 developing countries ;
  • More than 186,000 young people participated in the surveys, representing 335 million persons between the ages of 15 and 29;
  • 34 country-level analytic reports were published as well as 8 thematic reports, 4 regional reports, 8 technical briefs and 30 country summaries;
  • Two editions of the ILO’s flagship publication Global Employment Trends for Youth were published with more detailed analyses of labour market trends in developing countries, thanks to new survey results;
  • Two databases were developed. One (YouthSTATS) using the school-to-work transition data-sets and the other (YouthPOL) an inventory of more than 500 youth employment policies divided by country and theme, which are both openly available;
  • The project also conducted more than 20 national and regional workshops, two symposia for researchers to showcase innovative research based on the datasets, capacity building for staff of National Statistical Offices, and technical support to policymakers to analyze the data and develop related polices.
Wrap-up event will highlight achievements and lessons learned

The ILO will host a Work4Youth “wrap up” event on 29 March 2017 as an opportunity to showcase the numerous outputs of the project, with emphasis on the value-added of the new datasets to the realm of policy-oriented research. A debate will be organized on the degree to which data and research can influence youth employment policy-making, and both the ILO and The MasterCard Foundation will be given the floor to discuss evolving strategies and future plans for investment in youth employment.

Target participants

Representatives of the ILO Youth Employment Programme and The MasterCard Foundation; ILO colleagues, representatives of other international organizations and donor institutions involved in data collection, standards in labour statistics, research and youth employment programming.