Home | 2011 Workshop

Using ICTs for Youth Employment Creation
August 17, 2009 – 3:30 p.m.

Presenters:Nancy Taggart, International Youth Foundation (IYF)
Jacob Korenblum, Souktel
Mary Joy Pigozzi, Academy for Educational Development (AED)

Moderator:Anthony Bloome, USAID Office of Education

This session presented several successful USAID projects that utilized ICT programs to train disadvantaged youth in preparation for employment. The presentation included case studies in Brazil, Morocco and South Africa. Nancy Taggart shared IYF’s experiences in positioning youth for employment through ICTs. The Foundation’s Entra21 program in Latin America is currently in its first phase, emphasizing training in ICT skills like call centers, systems design, computer repair, web design, and basic IT skills, to build participants’ capabilities to work in ICT positions. To track program outcomes, IYF tracks youth enrollment, program completion, and employment through an online M&E database. Program challenges include tracking youth after completion; stereotypes about female youth and ICT jobs; too few computers; poor internet connections; low government capacity; and limited access to contacts in the private sector.

Mary Joy Pigozzi discussed AED’s one-year pilot program in Brazil to train participants for ICT employment. The program emphasizes project-based and active learning using ICTs. After one year, all 50 disadvantaged Brazilian youth participants had completed the program and 92 percent were still employed four years later. Other iterations of the program have taken place in Mozambique and South Africa. These programs focus on looking at ICTs as a means to help young people to build other critical skills, as well as using authentic, practical projects to develop creative thinking and technical skills while fostering professional networks. An important component of the projects is “e-Mentoring,” which connects youth and professionals using ICT tools, weekly engagement through email and online chat, and activities aligned with employability curriculum.

Jacob Korenblum of Souktel discussed a program that utilizes mobile technology to help youth find jobs. Employers were proactively vetted to prevent both unsafe employment and political recruitment through the mobile tool. Participants asked what partnerships were necessary to make such a system successful; Korenblum cited Souktel partnerships with the private sector, such as HR firms in Palestine, as key alliances. Texting costs and how cost would affect access were other participant concerns. Korenblum in response described an agreement with cell phone companies to ensure the lowest possible rates.

Key take away points from this session were examples of ICT activities that allow disadvantaged youth to work directly with technology and see its potential, while simultaneously enabling young people to understand and utilize social networking in a professional context. Moving from urban to rural contexts was noted as a challenge, as was careful integration of ICTs into programming and the customization of ICT tools to fit local contexts, cultures, and languages (which helps youth better understand how such tools can be used).

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
IYF, Taggart : Open
Souktel, Korenblum : Open

For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com