Further Reading

Use the links below to navigate directly to section of interest.

Job and Skill Diagnostics
Market Assessment
Reaching Girls
Life Skills
Safety and Safe Spaces
Technical and Business Skills Training
Monitoring and Evaluation


Job and Skill Diagnostics

For foundational guidance on the why, what and how of jobs diagnostics, see this guidance note.

For descriptions and links to available jobs diagnostics tools, see this directory.

Connecting Youth and Business: A Toolkit for Employers (Gap Inc., 2012)
This toolkit is tailored to private companies looking to develop a youth engagement strategy in three areas: soft skills development; work ready skills development; and learn and earn programs. The toolkit includes an employer assessment survey to inform strategic decision making on how to engage youth in terms of the program type and scope and provides guidance on how to plan, implement, refine and scale-up a pilot program.

STEP Skills Surveys (World Bank, 2014)
The World Bank's STEP Skills Measurement Program (STEP) measures skills in low- and middle-income countries to enable better understanding of the skills available and requirements in the labor market. The STEP approach measures the supply and demand of a broad set of skills: Cognitive—both directly measured and self-reported; Socio-Economic—personality traits, behavior, risk and time preferences; and Job-Relevant skills—direct qualifications, and indirect job skills. The STEP skills measurement program is comprised of a household-based survey and an employer survey. Together these instruments can facilitate a thorough analysis of skills gaps and mismatches.

Women's Economic Empowerment: Pushing the Frontiers of Inclusive Market Development (USAID, 2014)
Prepared in the context of the USAID's Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project, the paper presents the LEO framework for identifying gender considerations, and provides examples for facilitating women’s economic empowerment in inclusive market systems. Practitioners can use the LEO framework for women's economic empowerment to assess the empowerment level among young women in a given community in the diagnostic phase of program design.

Market Assessment

Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers and Youth (Women's Refugee Commission, 2008)
The toolkit for is a combination of resources, questionnaires, and activities to guide vocational training service providers in a demand-driven approach, matching youths’ interests, skills, and available resources to market opportunities for employment and self-employment.

Manual for Conducting Market Assessments South Sudan (MDGF Achievement Fund, 2013)
Prepared for the UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment in South Sudan, the manual provides practitioners with step-by-step guidance and a rapid methodology for obtaining basic information on the markets in which they want to offer vocational, livelihoods, and skills trainings. The manual is based and adapted from the ILO TREE methodology and offers information on designing, implementing, and analyzing data of three interlinked components: a Consumer Demand Survey, a Market Opportunity Survey, and an optional Youth Skills Survey.

Toolkit: Gender and Poverty Targeting in Market Linkage Operations (IFAD, 2002)
This toolkit explains to practitioners what participatory tools are available for rapid market problem diagnosis, socioeconomic, and gender targeting and—for each tool—how to use it, how to analyze the information, and how to use the findings in designing, implementing and evaluating projects.

Reaching Girls

The Adolescent Experience In-Depth: Using Data to Identify and Reach the Most Vulnerable Young People (UNFPA and Population Council, 2009)
This series of data guides, drawn principally on data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, aims to provide decision makers with data on the situation of adolescent girls and boys, and of young women ages 10 to 24.

Girl-Centered Program Design: A Toolkit to Develop, Strengthen & Expand Adolescent Girls Programs (Population Council, 2010)
This toolkit is designed for anyone who is interested in working with girls ages 10 to 24. It can be used by anyone who is designing or running a program, someone writing a proposal to work with girls, or staff working directly with girls who need fresh ideas on how to strengthen program activities.

Girl Consultation Toolkit (Girl Effect, 2013)
The Girl Consultation Toolkit is a guide for individuals or organizations who wish to speak directly to girls in poverty. It includes a selection of tools to help you hear from girls, to understand their lives, to uncover the issues and challenges they face, and to gather their opinions on how they want the world to change. This toolkit will guide you in setting up a workshop, managing the activities, and analyzing the findings.

Investing When It Counts: Generating the Evidence Base for Policies and Programs for Very Young Adolescents (UNFPA, Population Council, UNICEF and UNAIDS, 2006)
The methodologies described in the guide are useful primarily for discovering which very young adolescents are most vulnerable, what their needs are, and whether they are being reached by existing programs.

Taking Programs for Vulnerable Adolescents to Scale: Experience, Insights and Evidence (Population Council, 2011)
Bringing to scale programs that are directed toward poor, often invisible and voiceless girls, poses unique challenges. Given that this is a relatively new field at an early stage of experimentation, the evidence base is still emerging, regarding which strategies are most effective. The Population Council has been exploring a variety of approaches to meet these challenges in diverse settings and gathering evidence to inform program and policy development. This brief provides definitions and approaches to scaling up, key observations, insights and key lessons, and cites a few promising programs and their efforts to scale.

Life Skills

Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program Health and Life Skills Curriculum (Population Council, UKAID, Zambia YWCA, 2013)
This life skills curriculum has been implemented in Zambia among adolescent girls (10-19 years old) from vulnerable backgrounds. The training includes weekly safe space meetings with topics on: sexual reproductive health, life skills, HIV and AIDS, STIs, gender and gender-based violence, leadership, human rights, and financial education.

Adolescent Reproductive Health and Life Skills Curriculum (PATH, USAID and Population Council, 2006)
The curriculum has 30 sessions that focus on life skills and adolescent health. The curriculum is for use with adolescent boys and girls aged 10 to 19.

Choose a Future: Issues and Options for Adolescent Girls: A Sourcebook of Participatory Learning Activities (Centre for Development and Population Activities [CEDPA], 1996)
This curriculum has been implemented in Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Uganda. The curriculum includes 12 modules (48 sessions) on topics such as self-respect, self-esteem development, supportive peer relationships, decision making, negotiation skills, and other topics.

Empowering Africa's Young People Initiative: Maisha Bora (USAID, U.S. President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, International Youth Foundation, n.d.)
This peer education manual has been used in Africa. The curriculum aims to help young people explore their values and understand themselves, their sexuality, and their reproductive health.

Empowering Young Women to Lead Change: A Training Manual (UNFPA, World YWCA, 2006)
This easy-to-follow resource manual can help young women prepare and facilitate training sessions on a host of issues that are important to them—including young women's leadership, economic justice, HIV and AIDS, human rights, peace, self-esteem and body image, SRH, and violence against women. The manual was developed by young women.

From Research to Program Design, to Implementation, Programming for Rural Girls in Ethiopia: A Toolkit for Practitioners (Population Council, 2011)
This toolkit includes: 1) factors to understand before designing programs for rural girls; 2) steps to design a venue, service delivery strategy, and content suggestions; and 3) methods for monitoring. Specific tools include: quantitative/qualitative needs assessment tools for the pre-design stage; a qualitative tool to collect feedback on program from girls; a registration form and an activity form for a girls' program.

Gender or Sex: Who Cares? (Ipas and Health and Development Networks, 2001)
This manual offers an introduction to the topic of gender and sexual and reproductive health. The manual is for professionals and volunteers who work with young people on the influence of gender on SRH issues. A workshop curriculum is provided that incorporates suggestions and feedback from organizations in various regions of the world.

Girls' Success: Mentoring Guide for Life Skills (AED, 2009)
This guide is for mentors in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East who dedicate themselves to enhancing the lives of the girls and boys in their countries.

Go Girls! Community-based Life Skills for Girls: A Training Manual (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Center for Communication Programs; USAID-PEPFAR, n.d.)
This curriculum has been used in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. It is designed for adolescent girls, ages 13-17 years old, and includes a full spectrum of life skills.

GREAT Scalable Toolkit Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations (GREAT) Project (Georgetown University Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH), Save the Children; Pathfinder International, n.d.)
The curriculum was developed in Northern Uganda and includes a full spectrum of life skills with activity cards for very young adolescents, older adolescents, and married adolescents (15-19 years old). It also includes radio discussion guides and community games for engaging adults.

It's About More than just Sex: Curricula and Educational Materials to Help Young People Achieve Better Sexual and Reproductive Health (USAID, PTA, Interagency Youth Working Group, FHI360, 2013)
This curricula for youth and adolescents includes materials on comprehensive sex education. It is organized by sections: adult-led, peer-led, and supplemental games. Topics include sexual health, gender, relationships, attitudes and values about sex.

It's All One Curriculum: Guidelines and Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality, Gender, HIV and Human Rights Education (Population Council and IPPF, 2010)
This resource kit is designed for developing a unified curriculum on sexuality, gender, HIV, and human rights. It enables educators and policy makers to address not only the individual determinants of young people’s SRH, but also the social determinants of their health and well-being.

Life Centered Education (LCE) (Council for Exceptional Children, n.d.)
Used in the United States, this curricula covers three critical domains: daily living skills; self-determination and interpersonal skills; and employment skills. It is designed for students who have learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and students whose ability to live independently is in question.

Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program (Advocates for Youth, 1995 [being revised])
This curriculum is designed for youth ages 13-18 and is available in English, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish. It covers sexuality/life skills education, HIV prevention education, pregnancy prevention, relationships, violence prevention, and community responsibility as well as chapters on skills-building, values, self-esteem, parenting, employment preparation, and reducing sexual risk.

Life Planning Education Manual (Advocates for Youth, 1995)
Packed with interactive exercises, supplemental leaders' resources, participant handouts, and a complete guide to implementation, this resource is appropriate for use in schools and other settings for sexuality/life skills education, HIV prevention education, and pregnancy prevention. The manual is intended for use with youth ages 13 to 18.

Life Planning Skills: A Curriculum for Young People in Africa (PATH, African Youth Alliance, 2003)
This curriculum is designed for youth ages 10 to 24 and has been adapted for use in Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda. It is available in English and Kiswahili. Topics include reproductive health, gender roles, communications, goal setting, and planning for the future.

Life Skills for Life: A Handbook (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, 2013)
This handbook provides guidance on how to: conduct needs assessments; and plan, implement, and monitor and evaluate life skills programs. It contains checklists and case studies/best practices to help program staff tailor activities to specific target groups such as children, youth, women and men, and older people. It is also designed with particular attention to implementing life skills programs during and after a crisis.

Life Skills Manual (Peace Corps, 2001)
This manual takes a comprehensive behavior change approach that concentrates on developing the skills needed for life, such as communication, decision making, and critical thinking. It consists of more than 50 different interactive lesson ideas, using role plays, games, puzzles, group discussions, and a variety of other innovative teaching techniques.

Passport to Success Life Skills (International Youth Foundation)
Launched in India and Mexico, this curriculum is designed for youth ages 12 to 24 and is adaptable to other contexts. It includes work readiness and life skills in six units with 60 life skills lessons, including 10 lessons on service learning, community service, and project-based learning.

Strengthening Life Skills for Youth: A Practical Guide for Quality Programming (World Bank, International Youth Foundation, 2014)
Guidance on life skills to help donors and youth serving organizations enhance the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of life skills programming and training based on a set of nine life skills standards of excellence (that IYF developed). This guide is intended for any organization that works with youth (aged 15-29), as well as the donors that support this work.

Tuko Pamoja: Adolescent Reproductive Health and Life Skills Curriculum (Population Council, 2006)
This curriculum was developed in Kenya for adolescent boys and girls, ages 10 to 19. It is designed to encourage delay of sexual debut and promote sexual and reproductive health by addressing gender, reproductive health, preventive behaviors, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, abstinence, gender violence, decision making, communication and other important life skills.

Working with Young Women: Empowerment, Rights and Health (Promundo, ECOS, PAPAI, Salud y Genero and World Education, 2008)
This manual includes more than 30 activities to conduct group work with young women (age 15 to 24) on gender identity, relationships, sexuality, reproductive health, motherhood and caregiving, drugs, work and preventing and living with HIV and AIDS.

Safety and Safe Spaces

Creating a Safer World: Child Rights, Participation and Protection (Right to Play, 2013)
The manual provides comprehensive training on how to prevent and respond to child abuse, as well as how to create safe play environments where children can exercise their rights freely. Guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Creating a Safer World also provides a collection of 70 play-based learning activities that empower children to learn about and realize their rights.

Creating Safe Spaces for Adolescent Girls (Population Council, 2011)
This brief provides a simple introduction to practitioners on what a "safe space" is, the importance of social and friendship networks and the role of mentors. It also cites some promising programs that delay child marriage, develop financial literacy and expand life opportunities for girls and adolescents.

Doorways III: Teacher Training Manual on Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response (USAID Office of Women in Development, 2009)
This set of three manuals was designed for upper primary and lower secondary school teachers teaching 10-14 year old children. It aims to increase teachers' knowledge and shift attitudes and behaviors so that they may prevent school-related gender based violence (SRGBV) and respond to students who have experienced SRGBV.

The Essential Guide to Safe-Space Programmes for Girls (The Girl Effect, 2013)
A guidance note focusing on how to create a safe space, the essential components of a safe space, the right models, how to involve girls in the process, troubleshooting, and case studies.

Girl Safety Toolkit: A Resource for Practitioners (Girl Hub, 2014)
This toolkit on girl's safety outlines program strategies including a situation assessment, program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. It draws on a variety of resources from existing organizations and was tested over three months. The section on guidance provides tools, guidelines, and exercises to carry out in all phases of the program.

Identifying Sources of Adolescent Exclusion due to Violence: Participatory Mapping in South Africa (Population Council, 2008)
Citing research conducted by the Population Council in South Africa, this document advocates the need for creating safe spaces for adolescents, especially starting at a younger age to prevent sexual violence. It also references mapping projects and their effectiveness in engaging young people in participatory research. According to previous mapping projects, there are stark differences in perceptions of safety between boys and girls.

I'm Here: Adolescent Girls in Emergencies: Approach and tools for Improved Response (Women's Refugee Commission, 2014)    
This report is a resource for emergency response staff. It outlines an operational approach and recommendations that can help humanitarian sectors be more accountable to adolescent girls from the start of an emergency. Key rationale, findings, and recommendations are based on a literature scan, expert interviews, and a field assessment and pilot testing of mobile-based tools in South Sudan.

Preventing Gender-Based Violence, Building Livelihoods: Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming (Women's Refugee Commission, 2011)
This report provides guidance and tools for strengthening livelihood programming, as a way to prevent gender-based violence and promote women's well-being. This guidance builds on work that draws lessons from workshop participants who incorporated women's and girls' protection into their livelihood or GBV programs, site visits, desk research and 40 expert interviews.

Safe Cities (UNIFEM, Red Mujer y Habitat Latina America & Women in Cities International, 2010)
A tool highlighting lessons learned, guiding principles, and step-by-step guidance for creating safe cities and communities for women and girls. It is intended for all actors involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that aim to create safe cities for women.

Safe Spaces for Adolescent Girls (Martha Brady, Population Council, 2003)
This paper calls for the importance of safe and supportive spaces for girls and adolescents and describes examples of them. It outlines the steps needed to develop and design programs that use the safe-space concept as an organizing principle including community mapping, receiving input from stakeholders, and gauging girls' expectations and aspirations. Then it sets terms for participation and developing mentors for girls.

Safe Spaces for Girls: Six-Country Mapping (Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, 2013)
This report provides a broad overview of the most prominent and well-evidenced programs providing safe spaces for girls in six selected countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). The criteria for defining a safe space followed the Population Council's guidance; the following programs all contain these elements: regular safe meeting space, an older or peer mentor, and life skills training.

Strong Girls, Powerful Women: Program Planning and Design for Adolescent Girls in Humanitarian Settings (Women’s Refugee Commission, 2014)
This report includes ap­proaches and promising practices in adolescent girls' programming undertaken across various contexts as well as initial learning from pilot programs in three refugee settings.

Tips for Creating Safe Spaces (Women Win, 2011)
This brief provides user-friendly tips on creating safe spaces that all programs should consider when addressing safety, especially that of girls. The tips cover creating both physically and emotionally safe spaces.

Violence against Adolescent Girls: A Fundamental Challenge to Meaningful Equality (Population Council, 2011)
This is a review for investing in practices that effectively combat violence against girls. The author outlines the problem of violence against girls and discusses the current landscape of how programs are reaching or failing to reach girls. The review makes recommendations for policies and practices that could be adopted, and highlights some promising programs around the world that are addressing this issue through safe spaces and education.

YWCA Safe Spaces for Women and Girls: A Global Model for Change (World YWCA, 2014)
This guidance note outlines and defines characteristics of YWCA Safe Spaces as a model for creating lasting change in the lives of women and girls. The model builds on the common purpose uniting YWCAs worldwide to “develop the leadership and collective power of women and girls around the world to achieve justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment.”

Technical and Business Skills Training

The Nuts and Bolts of Designing and Implementing Training Programs in Developing Countries (World Bank, 2013)
This paper provides a foundational guide to youth skills training; it conducts a comprehensive review of training programs effectiveness in developing countries. Based on relevant international experiences, the paper highlights key design features associated with program success as well as implementation challenges and discusses their policy implication. The ultimate goal is to inform new program design and improve the performance of current training programs.

Youth Employment Inventory (World Bank, German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Labour Organization, World Bank and Youth Employment Network)
The Youth Employment Inventory (YEI) provides examples of youth employment interventions, including documents on design, implementation, and achieved results. YEI is the first comprehensive database to provide comparative information on youth employment interventions worldwide. The database comprises more than 400 youth employment programs from about 90 countries.

Empower, It's Her Business: Handbook for Preparing Young, At-Risk Women to Become Entrepreneurs (EMPower, n.d.)
The publication is a practical resource for organizations seeking to start or strengthen entrepreneurship programs for young, at-risk women. It outlines the essential components of successful entrepreneurship programs, discusses common challenges and considerations, and provides other useful tips and resources.

Rural Skills Training: A Generic Manual on Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) (International Labour Organization, 2009)
Developed by the ILO's Skills and Employability Department, this manual serves as a guide to designing, planning, and implementing using the Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) methodology. Volume VI on gender awareness and advocacy offers practitioners guidance and best practices in gender-focused TREE program design and implementation. It includes a section on key gender issues and constraints in education, training, microenterprise development, and wage employment, and a section on gender analysis and gender mainstreaming in identification of economic opportunities and training needs assessment.

2012 State of the Field in Youth Economic Opportunities (Youth Economic Opportunities, 2012)
Making Cents International's 2012 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (GYEOC) convened more than 400 of the field's stakeholders from 54 countries in Washington, DC, from September 11-13, 2012. Participants discussed lessons learned, shared challenges, learned from evaluations, identified priorities, and pinpointed existing gaps in the field. This site presents the various discussions and findings of the 2012 conference, including a focus on the importance of life skills for youth.

Preparing for Work: Resources for International Youth Livelihood Education (EQUIP3, 2012)
The Preparing for Work website was developed by Education Development Center as part of the USAID-funded Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP3) that focused on youth livelihoods. The website provides resources and tools for practitioners that have been reviewed by professionals in the field of education, entrepreneurship, and workforce development.

Technology-based Vocational Skills Training for Marginalized Girls and Young Women (UNESCO, 2008)
Developed to support the expansion of the UNESCO's pilot project in Indonesia, this manual provides practitioners with guidance on how to design and implement technical and vocational education skills development activities for impoverished, out-of-school girls, and young women.

Money Minds!  (Making Cents International)
Making Cents designs and customizes curricula to develop the mindset, skillset, and toolset that enable entrepreneurs and enterprises to participate in profitable markets, financial institutions to serve new populations, and individuals to obtain meaningful work.

Enterprising Your Life: Building the Capacity of Youth for Economic Engagement (Making Cents International, 2014)
This is innovative, youth-focused training curriculum is built on coaching and applied learning methodologies and designed to transfer key enterprising life skills to youth to empower them to engage in a wide range of income-generating activities. Through the use of short, targeted training sessions incorporating visual aids and learning activities, supplemented by ongoing coaching, youth are able to develop the entrepreneurial mindset necessary for business success.

Accelerated Skills Acquisition Program (ASAP): Training for Young Entrepreneurs - Business/Entrepreneurship Skills (USAID, in partnership with Creative Associates International and International Youth Foundation, 2009)
Created under the Sri Lanka Skills Acquisition Program, this curriculum provides training for young entrepreneurs in enterprise development and in how to produce a viable business plan.  Designed to be taught in group settings, this training program can also offer a more solid base to young entrepreneurs who have recently established their small business and are looking for ways to scale it up.

Banking on Youth: A Guide to Developing Innovative Youth Savings Programs (Women's World Banking, The Nike Foundation, 2014)
This publication presents Women's World Banking's approach to designing, implementing, and evaluating savings programs for low-income youth, based on its experience providing technical assistance on programs launched at three financial institutions in three countries.

Girls and Their Money Strategies for Promoting Savings, Financial Education and Social Support for Adolescent Girls in Low-Income Countries (Microfinance Opportunities, 2011)
This report examines the process and results of five different programs targeted at girls' financial education. It includes process documentation that aims to understand the actual experiences and perspectives of people engaged in all project levels. The report includes a synthesis of key lessons learned.

Financial Education Curriculum   Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) (Population Council, UKAID, Zambia YWCA, 2013)
Based on and adapted from "Young Women: Your Money, Your Future," developed by Microfinance Opportunities and the Population Council, with support from the Nike Foundation and the Financial Education Fund, these learning sessions were developed as part of the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program. AGEP's overall goal is to help girls build social, health, and economic assets in a safe and fun learning environment.

Financial Education for Youth: Trainer's Manual (International Labour Organization, 2011)
This training package aims at assisting organizations reaching out to youth, ages 18 to 29, to teach them basic knowledge and management skills in finance and how to use financial services. Using a participatory approach, the training package seeks to ease the learning process of young women and men, especially of those with little formal education for achieving sustained behavior change.

Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) (International Labour Organization)
The Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) program is a system of interrelated training packages and supporting materials for small-scale entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. It aims at increasing the viability of SMEs through management principles suitable for the environment of developing countries.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Designing Results Frameworks for Achieving Results: A How-to Guide (World Bank, 2012)
This publication provides how-to guidance for developing results frameworks by discussing the definition and uses of results frameworks; requirements to design a results frameworks, how to design a results frameworks, and potential challenges.

Impact Evaluation in Practice (World Bank, 2011)
This book offers an accessible introduction to the topic of impact evaluation and its practice in development. Although the book is geared principally toward development practitioners and policy makers, it can be a valuable resource for students and others interested in impact evaluation. It includes a core set of impact evaluation tools and discusses their application to real-world development operations.

Measuring Success of Youth Livelihood Interventions (World Bank, 2012)
This introductory guide was written to help practitioners who want to demonstrate the results of their work, but have limited or no knowledge about impact evaluation or quantitative research methods. This guide offers an accessible introduction to the topic of monitoring and evaluation and to its practical application in the youth livelihood field.

Results Readiness in Social Protection & Labor Operations: Technical Guidance Notes for Labor Markets Task Teams (World Bank, 2011)
This note is a tool to provide policy makers and youth-serving organizations with a framework to better diagnose short- to medium-run constraints facing the stock of unemployed youth and to design evidence-based youth employment interventions.

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