Yes Youth Can! Impact evaluation final report
Yes Youth Can! (YYC) is a 3-year, $55m program funded by USAID to promote youth empowerment in Kenya. YYC includes an independent impact evaluation implemented by NORC at the University of Chicago to assess the impact of the program on the outcomes it seeks to influence. The evaluation process began with development of the design and baseline survey carried out during the first half of 2012, with an endline survey and analysis in late 2013 and early 2014. This report presents the findings of the impact evaluation.
- YYC's approach is to work with young people in communities to organize themselves into groups called "bunges." These bunges are formed for a variety of purposes according to the activities that the youths themselves wish to pursue, ranging from income-generating activities to community service and arts. Once established, bunges can solicit funding from YYC to pursue their activities. YYC also provides training and sensitization activities to bunge members that cover topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, and life skills. In addition, YYC includes the creation of a county and national bunge structure, along with a youth-oriented think tank to engage in policy-related research.
- The target population of YYC is youths between the ages of 18 and 35, and the program was implemented in a range of areas in Kenya that were identified as being at particularly high risk for post-election violence.
At baseline in 2012, a sample of 667 bunges was drawn roughly in proportion to the total number of bunges in each of the six regions. A total of 6,370 members of those bunges were interviewed along with a sample of 3,216 youths from comparison areas. The youth survey includes information on demographic and other characteristics, experiences with YYC, as well as a range of measures of each of the five outcome categories. A separate survey was administered to leaders of each of the 667 bunges to capture information at the bunge level. At endline, the same bunge members, comparison youths, and bunge leaders were re-contacted and re-interviewed where possible using a similar survey instrument. The final sample that was interviewed at both baseline and endline consisted of 569 bunges, 4,581 bunge members, and 1,969 comparison youths. Finally, the impact evaluation includes an extensive qualitative analysis. This analysis uses data from 48 Focus Groups Discussions (FGDs) and 98 In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) with YYC participants and a range of other stakeholders including implementers, other members of YYC communities, members of civil society, etc.
- Bunges tended to remain active and engaged throughout the evaluation period.
- YYC improved relations between youth and their communities.
- YYC was successful in terms of increasing participants' self confidence and self-esteem.
- YYC led to some improvements in political engagement, but youths continue to feel alienated by political elites and the political system.
- The impact of YYC on economic outcomes was limited.