For the past two decades; government, non-profit organisations and corporates have been working to fund, develop, implement, and drive youth employment programmes. These programmes are aimed at improving not only the technical skills of the youth, but also their work-readiness – with a view of reducing the youth unemployment rate. Despite these efforts, the youth unemployment crisis persists.
The Momentum Metropolitan Foundation (MMF) has developed and implemented a youth employment strategy with the objective of improving youth employability and providing youth with the support needed to secure sustainable jobs/ future income to break the cycle of poverty. To implement this strategy, MMF partners with six existing organisations who have a track record of delivering well-designed, holistic, and sought-after youth employment programmes.
Early in 2020, MMF commissioned Trialogue to conduct an independent evaluation of the six MMF-supported programmes with the intention of evaluating the relevance and appropriateness of these programmes, the quality of implementation, and the achievement of outcomes. The overall purpose of the study was to identify lessons learnt in the implementation of the strategy; to identify good practices; and to make recommendations regarding future programmes.
Trialogue completed the study using a five stage methodology: project initiation, document review, evaluation plan, research and fieldwork, and analyse and report. As part of the evaluation plan, the research questions and sources of information were agreed. All of the fieldwork was done during lockdown and thus had to be done virtually. This included semi-structured interviews with MMF and project managers at the six organisations, an electronic survey of 262 beneficiaries across the six programmes, and an electronic survey of 38 employers across the six programmes.
Trialogue found that overall MMF had achieved many of the outputs it set out to achieve, although not necessarily to the extent desired. The programme had however had significantly less success in achieving its intermediate and long-term outcomes regarding the employability and sustained employment of the youth. Several key recommendations were made to strengthen the design and implementation of the MMF youth employment strategy for future iterations and MMF is working with its partners to address these recommendations.
“I am very happy with the work that Trialogue did for us and so is the Foundation board – the approach was good and every programme got equal and sufficient attention. We have used the findings of the evaluations extensively, providing in-depth feedback to all of our implementing partners and working with them to incorporate the recommendations and their theories of change into our SLAs going forward.”
Charlene Lackay, Group CSI Manager, Momentum Metropolitan