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EXPERIENCES FROM THE FIELD

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Organization(s) sponsoring the project:
World Bank
Created By:Lorraine ShimNo presence information
Published:3/28/2012 12:43 PM
Primary Contact:
Suleiman Namara
snamara@worldbank.org
+256- 5393+2252
Country:Uganda
Project dates:
2005-
Project Stage:Ongoing activities
Geographic Coveraget:National
Interventions:Active Labor Market Programs and Activation Policies; Skills and Training
Target Population:Lowest Income; Unemployed; Self-employed; Youth
The Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) Youth Opportunities Program (YOP)
  
Impact of project:
Impact evaluation completed
Project Description:
The Youth Opportunities Program is one of the four components of NUSAF, a Government of Uganda project which started in February 2003 with credit from the World Bank. The YOP component was added to NUSAF in 2005. The main objective is to educate unemployed youth in trade skills (accompanied by tool kits for the trade and start-up capital for establishing productive enterprises) in order to improve their chances for employment and, ultimately, improve economic livelihoods and social cohesion at the community level.

More specifically YOP has three main objectives: (1) provide youth with vocational skills and tool kits to enable them earn incomes and improve their livelihood; (2) contribute towards community reconciliation and conflict management; and (3) build capacity of NGOs, CBOs, and Vocational Training Institutes (VTIs) to respond to the needs of youth.
Why this project is a Good Practice example:
Helping young adults find jobs is a key goal of policymakers in emerging economies, where high rates of unemployment are a potential social and economic problem. Many countries are work¬ing with vouchers, training programs and microfinance to raise employment opportunities. In a new approach, the Ugandan government funded a program that gave cash grants to young adults who drew up busi-ness plans explaining what they would do with the money. As the impact evaluation shows, giving young people cash grants can, at least in some cases, help spur economic activity. These young adults, who were motivated enough to meet the re¬quirements for grant application, showed more self-discipline and focus then might have been expected. Given the focus by many development experts on microfinance, which generally carries tight controls and high interest rates, this impact evaluation shows that young adults can have high returns on investment when they are given access to capital.
Impact Evaluation:
Lessons Learned:
The impact evaluation led to a range of policy-recommendations to further improve program design.
• Expand set of micro-enterprise and skill development beyond traditional vocations, in particular to include business skills and life skills.
• Assess whether the provision of additional technical assistance or information about market opportunities can improve decisions
• Explore mechanisms for making investment more profitable for women: e.g. choice of vocation; mobilization of “women’s groups”; empowerment within mixed-gender groups
• Continue strengthening evidence base for interventions that address youth unemployment by including rigorous M&E in future operations
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