Pardee Initiative Partners with the World Bank

Pardee RAND faculty member Peter Glick and a Pardee RAND student are working with Pardee RAND alum David Robalino, director of the Labor Markets and Youth team with the Social Protection unit of the World Bank, in a collaboration looking at issues of youth unemployment in developing nations.

The Global Coalition for Youth Employment

The Coalition is a major new initiative by the World Bank and other partners to identify and support effective and scalable solutions for youth employment in low and middle income countries. It grows out of a recognition both of the massiveness of the youth unemployment problem—particularly in the MENA and Sub-Saharan African regions—and the fact that, despite the huge amount of resources and programs in existence, the evidence base on which interventions or policies are effective remains thin and scattered.

Several aspects of what the coalition aims to do are innovative:

  • First, it will be comprehensive, compiling the full body of rigorous evidence on effective programs for youth employment, including training, job creation, entrepreneurship development, private-public sector and private initiatives, as well as broader labor market policies affecting youth. The Coalition will create a “blueprint” for new programs that builds on what is rigorously known.
  • Second, the emphasis is on scalability and the transformation of evidence into policy action through extensive dissemination work and interaction with policymakers; the process does not stop with the assembling of evidence.
  • Third, the coalition recognizes the key role to be played by the private sector, both as partners in the coalition itself and more broadly as partners in interventions and policies for youth employment. In particular, the coalition will seek to engage the private sector—including both large international firms and those based in low and middle income countries—not from the perspective of a model of donations but rather, one of investments in programs that yield returns.

The Coalition will also act as major funder of youth employment programs and their evaluations through a competitive process, with funding provided through the World Bank. The evaluations will add to the knowledge base being assembled.

The Coalition partners currently include, in addition to the World Bank and RAND: Accenture, a leading multinational management consulting and technology services firm; Plan International, a major global organization directed at ending child poverty and increasing development; and International Youth Foundation and Youth Business International, two prominent NGOS focused on youth in low and middle income countries.

RAND will play a key intellectual role in the Coalition. In the first phase of the initiative, lasting until Fall 2014, RAND will take the lead role in designing the approaches to developing the knowledge base, creating the “blueprint” for transferable and scalable interventions, developing strategies for dissemination and policy impact, and setting out the evaluation criteria for funding interventions.