Youth unemployment in Uganda is about 64%-70%, and about 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market, yet only about 9,000 available jobs. About 30% of qualified youths are unable to find jobs, and the situation is even worse for semi and unskilled youths. Employers also require Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) experience, which young graduates often lack and consequently, lack dignified and fulfilling work, resorting to basic M&E tasks such as data collection and entry.
As a response to address this challenge, the Mastercard Foundation supported the Young Impact Associates (YIAs) program. The first cohort of 12 YIAs is close to graduation (April 2023) under the mentorship of the Impact Partner Organisation (IPO) project, implemented by Provide and Equip (P&E), Vijana Corps (VC) and Itad.
The objective of the program is to use transformational approaches to address capacity-gaps among aspiring young M&E practitioners aged 18-35 years to address existing challenges and tap into opportunities for joining dignified and fulfilling work.
The methods employed by the program included pre-capacity assessment, on-job mentorship, peer-to-peer and co-creation activities learning, practical sessions, linkage to communities of practice (e.g. UEA, YEE, AfrEA, Evidence to Action, online webinars) and virtual and physical training sessions based on the developed curriculum addressing their needs and market demand.
Analysis /discussion of results
The model of more hands-on, job mentorship, peer-to-peer learning and minimal forma sessions yields relevant marketable skills and makes them more competitive in the job/consultancy market.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Replication of this model is highly recommended to equip young and emerging professionals with marketable skills and link them to potential employers, and can be tapped into by the government, private sector and development partners to strengthen M&E practice of young professionals.
Authors: Norman Muhumuza, Owen Namanya, Joshua Wakabi and Dr. Julian K. Bagyendera-Provide and Equip Ltd
Acknowledgements: The author(s) is solely responsible for the content of this article, including all errors or omissions; acknowledgements do not imply endorsement of the content. The author is grateful to Siziwe Ngcwabe and the Africa Evidence Network team for their guidance in the preparation and finalisation of this article as well as their editorial support.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in published articles, as well as any errors or omissions, are the sole responsibility of the author/s and do not represent the views of the Africa Evidence Network, its secretariat, advisory or reference groups, or its funders; nor does it imply endorsement by the afore-mentioned parties. We hope you enjoyed this blog teaser. Be sure to watch our newsletter for when the full blog post is published after Evidence 2023.