Guidelines and Experiences for Including Youth in Market Assessments for Stronger Youth Workforce Development Programs

Assessing and implementing youth development programs

This paper describes ways to strengthen market assessments for youth workforce development programs. It is based on the experiences of three organizations, Education Development Center (EDC), Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), that conducted market assessments to develop and maintain market-driven youth workforce development programs. The paper considers issues, such as institutional capacity, local context, appropriate tools and approaches, and inclusion of youth in market assessments. Guidelines for making market assessments genuinely youth inclusive include:

  • Segment the youth market;
  • Make the most of youth as clients and as market assessment participants;
  • Understand challenges of youth participation in market assessments;
  • Give youth the opportunity to become members of the market assessment design teams;
  • Know the pulse of the market;
  • Consider the breadth of the market;
  • Understand difficulties of market assessment in fragile environments.

Finally, market assessments need to be embedded into the design and implementation of youth development programs. This can happen if an organization is able to institutionalize a process of continuous market appraisals which includes creating the methodologies and tools that will help fulfill this goal.