Diagnosis and Targeting

Diagnosing Opportunities and Constraints

AGI Lessons Learned

Assess, don't assume. Gather data—through existing sources and rapid assessments—early on in the project design. Use these resources to make informed decisions about the type of intervention that is likely to be successful and appropriate in the given context and to refine the appropriate beneficiary profile. Rapid assessments should be repeated on a regular basis and should cover all geographical areas of project implementation.

Take the time to consult directly with youth to understand their needs and constraints. Rapid assessments that include direct consultations with youth—either through surveys, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, or other means—can triangulate findings from other data sources and add a layer of richnesss to the analysis. And it is good practice to give youth a direct voice in the project design. In Liberia, the Girls’ Vulnerability Assessment findings directly informed many project design elements such as childcare services, training schedules and incentives, professional and behavioral coaching, and measures to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Consult directly and regularly with private sector representatives, beginning early on in the diagnostic stage. An employer survey in Haiti shed light on employers' perceptions of young women's barriers to entry and helped inform the project design. In Liberia, the project established an Employers’ Advisory Committee—and then Private Sector Working Groups—which proved to be very important for ensuring that programming was demand-driven.

Be specific as possible about the priority skill constraints among the target group. Youth will have many competing needs—it is important to prioritize and be realisitic about what the project can achieve. Not every need can or should be addressed in a single project; try to identify the key bottlenecks and focus on building the skills and assets that are most essential for promoting the target group's economic empowerment.

Don't underestimate the "hidden" importance of socio-emotional and behavioral skills, especially in fragile and post-conflict settings. Life skills training was a central aspect of both the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the Girls' Club models. Research shows that these "soft" skills are critical for young people's health, development, and their success in the labor market.

Programs should identify emerging market opportunities and high value-added activities for young women. Skills training interventions present an opportunity to break occupational sex-segregation, but oftentimes they fail to do so. Do not limit the assessment of market opportunities to traditionally "female" sectors or jobs. In Nepal, for example, AGI trained young women in fields such as mobile phone repair, motorcycle repair, masonry, and electricity. In Liberia, participants learned to be professional painters, drivers, and security guards, among other trades.

Jobs diagnostics provide a profile of the country context, of jobs and workers, and of employers and enterprises (see Further Reading). Jobs diagnostics can identify the relative importance of creating additional, better, and/or more inclusive jobs, and for defining priorities and potential solutions. Such diagnostics can also supply critical age and gender disaggregated data to inform the design of policies and programs to narrow gender gaps in employment and earnings.

The AGI assessed trade- and sector-specific labor market opportunities and constraints facing young female job seekers and potential entrepreneurs using nationally-representative household and labor force survey data, in combination with rapid assessment tools (see table, below). AGI rapid assessments were designed to identify market-driven opportunities for young women (including in nontraditional fields) and to identify barriers to entry and productivity constraints in these areas. AGI vulnerability assessments examined a broad range of social constraints related to gender inequalities—with mobility and time constraints being key—and young women’s skill gaps, including basic skills, technical skills, behavioral skills, and entrepreneurial skills.This type of assessment is particularly important when working with girls and young women because household surveys often fail to reflect their situations.

AGI Rapid Assessments
Assessment Type Types of Information Collected Resources and Tools

Labor Market Assessment. AGI pilots conducted labor market assessments during the diagnostic phase. Labor market assessments were periodically repeated and refreshed between project cycles, often in partnership with service providers. In Nepal the service providers are responsible for conducting rapid market appraisals prior to each training cycle and the costs of these assessments are included in their overall budgets.

  • Constraints facing job seekers and potential entrepreneurs
  • Trades and sectors, and geographic areas where job growth is most likely to occur
  • Demand-driven trades in which young women are underrepresented

Tool icon Liberia Labor Market Assessment Terms of Reference (ToR)

Resource icon Video: Nepal Rapid Market Assessment (RMA)

Resource icon Nepal RMA Handbook

Resource icon Nepal RMA Factsheet

Resource icon Guidance Note: Incorporating a Gender Lens in Rapid Market Assessment

Employer Survey. During project preparation in Haiti, the team conducted a rapid survey among private sector employers to get their input into the project design.
  • Employer perceptions of skill deficits in the workforce
  • Perceived barriers to hiring and retaining young women
  • Willingness to participate in a potential project
  • Input to project design
Tool icon Haiti Employer Questionnaire

Girls’ Vulnerability Assessment. Several AGI pilots conducted vulnerability assessments to collect primary and secondary data to construct a demographic profile of the girl population of interest and elaborate on their barriers to employment and context-specific vulnerabilities.

  • Mobility constraints
  • Time-use patterns
  • Childcare responsibilities
  • Experience of violence
  • Socioeconomic characteristics
  • Skill gaps

Resource icon Liberia EPAG Girls’ Vulnerability Assessment ToR

Resource icon Liberia EPAG Girls’ Vulnerability Assessment

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