Issue # 29: November 2011


Youth Employment Network


The Youth Employment Network is an inter agency partnership of the ILO, UN and World Bank working to engage, educate and motivate actors to provide improved employment opportunities for youth. YEN was created in 2002 following the Millennium Summit which identified youth employment as priority for the global development agenda. Core support for YEN's activities is provided by Swedish Sida.


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Phone: +41 (0)22 799 7824



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In this issue



Dear Readers,


Fall has been a busy month at YEN (so please excuse our lateness with the newsletter!)!


In October, the YEN Secretariat hosted two successful and very rewarding Evaluation Clinics in Geneva and Kampala, which brought together practitioners and policymakers working in youth employment initiatives in the Middle East, North and East Africa. Lots of experiences and technical knowledge were shared to improve the results-based management of youth employment projects and their prospects of going through meaningful, rigorous evaluations.


YEN is also pleased to announce the new support of the Jacobs Foundation to the implementation of an impact evaluation of an entrepreneurship education program in Uganda. The first results of the evaluation will be available in 2013.


We also say goodbye to the five Canadian YEN Associates placed for 6 months in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and Indonesia. The Associates work has been incredibly valuable and we wish them luck in future endeavors.


As always, we encourage any comments or feedback on the below content!


Happy reading.


Susana Puerto

YEN Manager




YEN will cooperate with Innovation for Poverty Action, University of California, the German Institute for Economic Research and the Jacobs Foundation on an impact evaluation of entrepreneurship education in Ugandan schools


The impact evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the Entrepreneurship Education Program, which seeks to prepare Ugandan upper secondary school students for the transition from school-to-work. The program will be piloted over two academic years in 2012 and 2013.


Uganda and African youth in general often encounter numerous challenges that prompt a long and difficult entry into the labour market. In economies where employment opportunities are scarce and self employment is often the only answer, youth need to acquire the right combination of economic, social and human skills that will give them a chance to change their energy and ideas into entrepreneurship opportunities.


The results of the evaluation will inform policy making by strengthening the evidence base for the Government of Uganda on whether to invest more intensively in entrepreneurship education.


The results of the baseline survey will be available in the second quarter of 2012.


More information on YEN & ILO's entrepreneurship work in Uganda




This month's spotlight is on a dynamic 23 year old from Sierra Leone offering decent work for the country's youth!


Kindi Bah came up with a project idea to help 25 youth create a cooperative that recycles ink cartridges for sale.  She is the project coordinator for the Messeh Partnership Trust (MPT), a youth led organisation based in Freetown. MPT provides their beneficiaries with a comprehensive training programme that includes technical, soft skills and entrepreneurship training as well as practical experience.


MPT is working with Cartridgeworld UK who will provide the expertise and equipment necessary to help set up the “Made in Salone Cartridge Recycling Company”. This green business has already received great interest from various businesses in Freetown as they can reduce the cost of ink cartridges by 60% and provide a guarantee on the quality of their cartridges. The cooperative will open their doors to clients this month. For more on our grantees in Sierra Leone


Click here or here for more on how the Youth-to-Youth Fund works


News from YEN




As of 1 October 2011, Susana became the new manager of YEN replacing former manager Mr. Markus Pilgrim who served for 2.5 years at YEN's helm. Susana was formerly YEN's Evaluation Specialist working in cooperation with ILO's Small Enterprise Department on the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility project. Welcome Susana!




The Y2Y Fund provides grants of up to 20,000 USD for youth led projects to further entrepreneurship development.


Recognizing the disparity between young women and men in terms of opportunities and access to resources such as financial or social capital, this year’s call focused on young women. The call resulted in the submission of 1037 short proposals across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, from which the top 15 were selected by independent national juries following a rigorous multi-stage assessment and applicant capacity-building and proposal development process spanning several months.


This year’s winning projects from Kenya (6), Tanzania (4) and Uganda (5) range from an initiative to facilitate school drop-out single mothers’ involvement in organic urban farming using tower & sack molds in Uganda to a project aimed at enhancing the capacity of hearing-impaired  young women to engage in chalk and sandal-production and marketing in Tanzania.


More info about the Y2Y Fund in East Africa



A new resource for youth employment will be soon be available on line: the YEN Marketplace is set to be launched this December.


The Marketplace is an on line platform for exchange and collaboration. Some of the key “market stalls” are the Trading Centre and the What’s Working? competition.


The Trading Centre is the heart of the Marketplace, where you can access and exchange resources, advice, or opportunities through our system of offers and requests. We are looking for early submissions for the Trading Centre. If you have a specific offer or request for your organization or enterprise (materials, advice, volunteers, etc.) please send an email to Tendai at


What’s Working? is one of the competitions the Marketplace hosts. If you have a project that has been successful in creating youth jobs, you can submit a “Smart Note” about your project for the chance to win an award and have your entry published on our site! Send an email to Sharon at requesting an early application form that can increase your chances of winning.


Be among the first contributors to the YEN Marketplace by signing up for our early membership list




Ghana's National Youth Employment Program (NYEP) and YEN completed a survey of 350 NYEP staff and young beneficiaries. The final report delivers a series of recommendations for improving the program


Situated within the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Youth Employment Program is Ghana’s focal public agency responsible for implementing youth employment initiatives. The NYEP provides temporary subsidized employment and skill-building opportunities for youth aged 18-35 through employment modules in various demand-driven areas.


YEN, as part of its Associates program recently completed the "YEN Survey of Operations of the NYEP" which consisted of site visits to 5 regions and interviews with 350 program staff, partner organizations and young beneficiaries involved in the 8 NYEP modules. The review included both quantitative and qualitative feedback related to various areas of program implementation.


The survey’s findings and recommendations were compiled in a final report that was presented at the NYEP Stakeholders meeting on Friday, November 11 2011. Recommendations included:

  1. The necessity of setting up an accountable and transparent mechanisms to ensure payment of beneficiaries
  2. The need for a de-politicization of the program’s activities
  3. The importance of developing well-structured Guidelines of Operation to underlie all program implementation

For more information or to request a copy of the report, contact Ms. Saskia Knight at

To learn more about the YEN Associates program


Recent publications in youth employment

Click here to learn more about YEN's donors - thank-you for your continued support!

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