Beginning in 2015, ICRW served as the lead research partner for YouthPower Learning—a five-year, US$21 million initiative to generate and disseminate knowledge about the implementation and impact of positive youth development (PYD) and cross-sectoral approaches in international development. The project responds to USAID’s renewed call for unbiased impact and performance evaluations of the agency’s programs, as well as for increased use of research to improve program planning and results.
Under YouthPower Learning, ICRW led research, evaluations, and events designed to build the evidence base and inform the global community about how to help young people pursue their aspirations and contribute to the creation of more peaceful and prosperous communities. In May 2020, the consortium released its final report, which details key learnings and resources from the five-year initiative.
ICRW played a lead role in producing indicators and related tools to bridge gaps across sectors and establish measures to contribute to PYD evidence base, including production of a global meta-review to expand the knowledge base about PYD programs in international development, particularly in low and middle-income country settings. Additionally, ICRW supported Making Cents International in fostering an inclusive, audience-specific, and demand-driven cross-sectoral Youth Learning Network (on www.youthpower.org) and communities of practice. More specifically, ICRW served as a co-champion of the Gender and PYD community of practice through collective sharing and learning about what works, how to measure efforts, and how to support application of knowledge. ICRW also provided research assessment and evaluation expertise for mission level activities.
The cumulative impact of this work is that the development community much better positioned to center youth as partners in development while utilizing new evidence and promising practices to engage young people as meaningful contributors to development outcomes.