Youth Employment Programs - An Evaluation of World Bank and IFC Support

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World Bank and IFC Support for Youth Employment Programs, 2001-2011 Youth employment issues are a major concern for many countries because they have negative effects on the welfare of young people, and may also adversely affect economic performance and social stability. This is the first IEG evaluation of the World Bank Group’s support to countries trying to address youth employment issues. The World Bank lending portfolio for youth employment is relatively small, although components of programs appear in 57 countries. Most projects include interventions in skills development and school-to-work transition. Half of the projects include interventions to foster job creation and work opportunities for youth. IFC has a broad approach to job creation. Between FY01 and FY11 youth employment has not been specifically targeted, except in the Middle East and North Africa region and in a small number of other interventions. IFC invested $500 million to 50 investment operations and 18 advisory services to education. Although youth employment is addressed in the education, social protection, and labor strategies, it is not recognized as an issue in most country strategies - even where youth unemployment is serious. The evaluation makes two recommendations: (i) apply an evidence-based approach to youth employment operations, and (ii) at the country level, take a strategic approach to youth employment by addressing the issue comprehensively, working across World Bank Group teams, with governments and other donors. There is a critical need to strengthen evidence-based feedback loops to the strategic planning process.

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