YouthInvest: A case study of savings behaviour as an indicator of change through experiential learning
The burgeoning youth population worldwide and associated challenges of economic integration, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), have created the need for innovations in programming to support young people's economic participation. This article focuses on one aspect of economic inclusion - savings - that has positive impacts beyond the targeted activity. Using the YouthInvest project as a case study, this article will look closely at ways in which behaviour change is possible through experiential learning for youth in Morocco. Early indicators have been found of increased savings behaviour of young people aged 15-24 after having been trained in the areas of life skills and financial education, using an experiential teaching approach. YouthInvest is a MasterCard Foundationfunded project being implemented by MEDA in Morocco. Over the course of the ‘100 Hours to Success’ training, 96 per cent of participants surveyed in a recent field study have started saving and more than half of those grew their savings during the training period. These young people are more selfconfident than they were before the training, are planning for the future, and are more likely to increase their incomes.
Evaluating value chain impact using a sustainable livelihoods approach: A case study on horticulture in Afghanistan
This paper presents the results of an innovative livelihoods-based impact assessment methodology applied to a horticulture value chain project for women in Afghanistan. The methodology, designed by CATIE Agricultural University in Costa Rica and the Ford Foundation (Donovan and Stoian, 2009), applies indicators that can be used to quantify assets and identify changes in their levels over time. Capital assets are used as proxies for changes in poverty and well-being, and thus, impact. The results show that the approach has potential to provide useful information on a broader (i.e. beyond economic) scope of impact, and offer a unique, non-conventional approach to visualizing value chain results. This research deepens the CATIE/Ford approach by charting pre-project and post-project levels for five key capital assets on a sustainable livelihoods five-pointed framework. While the illustrative clarity of the approach is useful, the primary challenge lies in numeric calculation for each type of capital asset. The paper presents alternatives for addressing this challenge as well as others noted in the paper.