Few threats to a country’s development are as troubling as an increased youth unemployment, especially when coupled with a rising youth population. In many developing countries there are limited examples of proven and sustainable methods to get youth into the formal job market. Moreover, both youth and women seeking to engage in entrepreneurial activities outside of formal employment often lack access to adequate financial resources. As a result, a large proportion of the world’s youth and female population remains underserved, underemployed, and lacking the financial services they need to establish a sustainable livelihood.
Making Cents International worked closely with the Client to conduct three landscape analysis reports on the Client’s efforts to address youth employment and youth financial literacy in-Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, as well as gender-inclusive finance globally. The resulting reports provided forward-looking recommendations for the Client on the types of programming that intersect the three focus areas as well as findings related to donor interest, market need, and demand for services.
Each report was conducted through a multi-stakeholder approach, involving research, interviews, and analysis of the Client’ current financial services programming. The Report on Youth Economic Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa was grounded in 11 individual interviews with key Client staff across its program areas. The Report on Youth Economic Opportunities in Asia featured a comparison of current youth international programs in Asia (with a focus in India and Indonesia), and supported by interviews conducted with five Client staff. Lastly, the Report on Gender-Inclusive Finance included reviews of the approaches of major donors, best practices for empowering women and girls, and analysis of the Client’s existing financial products and services.
The reports also assessed the capacities of the Client in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia and its ability to provide equitable gender integration services globally. The reports identified the critical areas in which the Client must build additional capacities to better serve their youth and women beneficiaries and the “easy-wins” that leverage the Client’s existing skills to create better youth employment outcomes.