Ninaweza Youth Empowerment
The Program emphasized on a practical skills-based approach driven by employer needs to increase the chances of the participating youth in finding work at the end of the training. ACWICT conducted an assessment of relevant/growing sectors in Nairobi that offered significant employment opportunities for young women from low-income households in Nairobi’s informal settlements.
The information gathered in this assessment provided useful intelligence on market needs and the required competencies critical in providing employment opportunities for young people with little or no qualifications.
The Ninaweza Program also doubled up as an impact evaluation that sought to investigate the impact of ACWICT’s comprehensive youth employability training model on: whether the program lead to improved self-confidence and other attributes of psychosocial and interpersonal empowerment; whether the ACWICT youth employability program produced technical knowledge and skills that will allow the young women to obtain work in IT and related sectors; and whether the program had a positive effect on income-generating capacity of the young women.
The impact evaluation was implemented over a period of 29 months starting October 2010 to March 2013. It targeted a total of 1,400 young women aged 18-35 years from Nairobi’s informal settlements and was conducted by an independent team of international and local evaluators.
The young women were divided into two groups comprising of 700 in the treatment group and a similar number in the control group. The impact evaluation showed positive results that the ACWICT’s youth employability program led to increased confidence in participants’ skills set; increased knowledge in ICT and life skills; and that the program led to increased employability especially in the ICT and retail sectors.
For improved self-confidence and other attributes of psychosocial and interpersonal empowerment, the evaluation showed that the young women were able to determine the correct behavior in an interview scenario, know what to include in a good curriculum vitae, recognize the best personal attributes for an employer, realize the kinds of actions that constitute workplace deviance, make decisions based on what is necessary to succeed in the workplace and were aware of current influences in the world of work.