This paper assesses the reliability and validity of cognitive and socioemotional skills measures and investigates the correlation between schooling, skills acquisition, and labor earnings. The primary data from Pakistan incorporates two innovations related to measurement and sampling. On measurement, the paper develops and implements a battery of instruments intended to capture cognitive and socioemotional skills among young adults. On sampling, the paper uses a panel that follows respondents from their original rural locations in 2003 to their residences in 2018, a period over which 38 percent of the respondents left their native villages. In terms of their validity and reliability, our skills measures compare favorably to previous measurement attempts in low- and middle-income countries. The following are documented in the data: (a) more years of schooling are correlated with higher cognitive and socioemotional skills; (b) labor earnings are correlated with cognitive and socioemotional skills as well as years of schooling; and (c) the earnings-skills correlations depend on respondents’ migration status. The magnitudes of the correlations between schooling and skills on the one hand and earnings and skills on the other are consistent with a widespread concern that such skills are underproduced in the schooling system.
Jobs entry conditions are tough for disadvantaged youth in a tight labor market. South African employers prefer to hire employees who have at least completed a secondary school education and one year of work experience. Yet, over 47 percent of South Africa’s unemployed youth have education levels below secondary (termed “Matric” in South Africa) level education and most youth have not held a job. However, growing evidence globally and in South Africa demonstrates that 21st century skills – non-technical skills which include executive function skills and socioemotional skills – rival technical skills in their ability to positively impact employment and earnings, and may be the single most important predictor of a new employee’s success, providing a new entry point for disadvantaged youth.
This technical note provides support for applying a human rights-based approach (HRBA). The note begins with a short introduction to the HRBA and Sida’s PLANET tool. It then explains how human rights norms and standards underpin the thematic area. The note demonstrates how PLANET can guide staff in planning, assessing and monitoring a contribution through a series of guiding questions and examples. Finally, it provides a simple empowerment and capacity development analysis model and a list of additional resources to explore.
It is widely accepted that schools and other settings catering to youth can play an essential role in offering education in life skills and character. However, there exists a broad array of potential targets for such programs, suggesting the need for guidance on which targets are most likely to result in demonstrable and valuable results. This report attempts to integrate a broad literature addressing the universe of targets for skills development programs for youth. After identifying a set of 30 candidate skills to investigate further, research literature was reviewed to evaluate each skill on three dimensions. Measurability had to do with the extent to which adequate measurement tools were available for evaluating skill level, with emphasis on those tools specifically used for younger populations and available in multiple languages, particularly in Spanish. Malleability had to do with the extent to which there is evidence that interventions have the potential to modify skill level, with emphasis on those that have been extensively evaluated through randomized controlled trials. Finally, meaningfulness had to do with the extent to which evidence exists demonstrating that the higher levels of skill can result in consequential outcomes. Based on these criteria, 10 skills were selected for further review as having the most compelling evidence to date that they are life skills that matter: Mindfulness, Empathy and compassion, Self-efficacy/ Self-determination, Problem solving, Critical thinking, Goal orientation and goal completion, Resilience/Stress resistance, Self-awareness, Purposefulness, and Self-regulation/Self-control/Emotion regulation. The evidence for each is summarized. We finish with a review of key issues to consider in the design, implementation, and evaluation of life skills that matter.
This paper presents evidence on how social protection and especially non-contributory cash transfers impact on individuals and households in low- and middle-income countries. The paper provides guidance on what policies, programming and interventions have been considered effective for Sida’s objective of creating better living conditions for people living in poverty and oppression.
This note seeks to look back at the development and implementation process of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). It takes take stock of its main achievements and how they are taken forward in the 2020 Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience and paves the way for future EU initiatives.
This report seeks to answer the question of what works to improve productive employment opportunities and reduce poverty? This question is purposefully broad, as employment-targeted interventions often tackle a wide range of outcomes: the supply of labour that focuses on marketable skills and equal access to productive assets and the demand for labour that focus on promoting entrepreneurship, business development, and market access.
Early results from a randomized control trial (RCT) between Harambee, RTI International, Duke University’s DevLab, and LinkedIn show an increase in employment rates from providing a short intervention on use of the LinkedIn platform for young work-seekers.
The purpose of this study is to review the effectiveness of projects that supported jobs for youth in Niger over the years 2007-2018. This report reviews the design and performance of 50 jobs projects carried out under the aegis of the Government of Niger over the years 2007-2018.
This study presents novel evidence from Lebanon on the impact of offering a volunteering program that consisted of inter-community volunteering activities and soft skills training on self-reported social cohesion values in the short term.
This paper examines the effects of a government-sponsored apprenticeship training program designed to address high levels of youth unemployment in Ghana. The results show that apprenticeships shift youth out of wage work and into self-employment.
Youth Programming Assessment Tool (YPAT) tool helps youth-serving civil society organizations reflect upon their internal programming and institutional practices and identify areas for improvement. The tool sets standards of best practice and provides concrete steps and examples for improving programming.
This toolkit provides key steps for planning and designing a youth employment program. While the guide leads the reader through all stages involved in formulating youth employment programs, the main thrust of the guide is on monitoring, results measurement and evaluation.
This paper presents findings on the utility of Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI) - a tool to measure attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs associated with being an entrepreneur - highlighting its potential as an innovative and effective assessment tool in the entrepreneurship education landscape.
This report highlights the results of the Felestineya Mini-MBA, an innovative solution to advance businesswomen’s management and strategic planning skills through training and coaching with local and international experts, and a host of Bank of Palestine employees.
The toolkit provides resources which are best applied ex-ante in the design of projects and their M&E systems, so that data collection can support implementation progress and reporting from the outset. The indicators and data collection forms may also be useful for related mid-term, final or impact evaluations.
This paper systematically reviews and summarizes 40 rigorous evaluations of SME support services in low and middle-income countries and presents evidence to help inform policy debates.
The purpose of this paper is to frame the current issues around measuring employment and labor market outcomes in the context of workforce development programs.
This brief summarizes the impact of a job search planning intervention on job search efficiency and employment among unemployed youth in South Africa. The planning intervention improved participants’ job search intensity and efficiency, leading to higher rates of employment.
This report is an example of a randomized controlled trial baseline report from 2014 in Morocco. The research explores the impact of employability, finance, and entrepreneurship training combined with job placement support to better understand young people’s transitions from school to the labor market.