Review of USAID Youth Development Measurement Tools
In 2012, USAID launched its Policy on Youth in Development that strengthens and expands high-quality youth programming by the Agency, as well as calls for increased rigor in the evaluation of such programs. To support better research on youth development, USAID’s Education Office asked JBS International, Inc. to scan and review tools designed to measure developmental assets, work readiness skills, and life skills – all areas identified as key stepping stones for young people to achieve positive life outcomes. The search included identifying measurement tools through outreach to youth serving organizations and researchers, as well as a scan of organization websites and resource repositories. As a result, the JBS research team examined 47 measurement tools covering multiple concept areas, including: communication, daily living, and work/study skills; home life; self-care; social relationships; housing/money management; career planning; and work life.
This brief summarizes the process of the measurement tool scan and review; offers background and reviewer feedback on the top five tools; discusses challenges facing USAID and others interested in measuring youth development; and presents recommendations for next steps.