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Series: STRIVE for Learning Series
Organization(s): MEDA, FHI 360
Institution(s): USAID Displaced Children & Orphans Fund
Date Published: April 1, 2012
An activity under STRIVE, the Afghanistan Secure Futures (ASF) initiative enhanced economic opportunities for youth in Afghanistan by targeting youth apprentices. The program had two key components: increase the number and diversity of contracts for enterprises—primarily workshops in the construction sector—who employ youth apprentices, and improve working conditions and learning opportunities for those youth. The latter included a critical literacy training component as well as a workplace safety component. Over the course of the 3 years, ASF reached 353 workshops and 1,080 youth apprentices, with approximately one-third of these receiving multiple ASF interventions. ASF’s role in supporting workshop owners—were awarded contracts totaling US$2.2 million–to secure contracts included: providing training; facilitating contacts between workshops and contractors; and connecting workshop owners to each other, facilitating the process of subcontracting, or joint bids by multiple workshops.This STRIVE for Learning Activity Brief outlines the program's key approaches, methods, and outputs. ASF was one of five country programs implemented under the STRIVE program, funded by the USAID Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, in close collaboration with the USAID Microenterprise Development office cooperative agreement. STRIVE is an Associate Award under the FIELD-Support LWA.
As published online at http://microlinks.kdid.org/library/strive-activity-brief-1-afghan-secure-futures-asf-project
Organization(s): FHI 360, MEDA
Institution(s): United States Agency for International Development
Date Published: January 1, 2012
Although there have been some economic gains in recent years, most Afghans continue to struggle financially, and an estimated 90 percent of Afghan families rely on informal employment to support themselves. Young people from poor families are generally unable to afford costs associated with formal schooling, which places them at a disadvantage when seeking to enter the workforce. In response, the Afghanistan Secure Futures (ASF) project has engaged youth apprentices and informal sector small enterprises, in order to improve economic opportunities for vulnerable children and youth apprenticed in small workshops in the construction trade. The activity was implemented by MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) under the STRIVE program managed by FHI 360, with funding from USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF).Download the PDF to find out how ASF generated new learning in an under-served arena of development: the role of non-formal education and apprenticeships in alleviating poverty.
As published online at http://microlinks.kdid.org/library/strive-success-story-apprentices-learn-and-earn-afghanistan
ASF was one of five country programs implemented under the STRIVE program, funded by the USAID Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, in close collaboration with the USAID Microenterprise Development office cooperative agreement. STRIVE is an Associate Award under the FIELD-Support LWA.
Date Published: December, 2013
This report draws from the experience of the Afghan Secure Futures (ASF) project to highlight several important technical considerations when leveraging apprenticeships to reach vulnerable youth. Its intended audiences are implementers and donors who are developing programming for vulnerable children and youth considering entry points for interventions or pathways for economic inclusion. It summarizes findings from using an apprenticeship model to improve economic opportunities for vulnerable youth in Afghanistan.
This report draws on the experience of the Afghan Secure Futures (ASF) project to highlight several important technical considerations when employing indirect programming approaches to reach vulnerable youth. Its intended audiences are implementers and donors who are developing programming for vulnerable children and youth and considering entry points for interventions or pathways for economic inclusion. The report discusses each finding in turn and then presents conclusions.
ASF operated from 2008 to 2011 with a budget of $2.9 million. Implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and managed by FHI 360, the ASF project focused on improving the lives of as many as 1,000 vulnerable boys, mainly between the ages of 14 and 18, who were living in Kabul and working as apprentices in the construction sector. The project took an indirect approach to generating economic benefits for youth apprentices by focusing its economic interventions on the workshop owners that employ apprentices.
ASF was one of four field projects of the STRIVE program, managed by FHI 360 in partnership with Action for Enterprise (AFE), ACDI/VOCA, MEDA, Save the Children, the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland and USAID/DCOF. STRIVE implemented four field projects in Africa and Asia between 2008 and 2013. Each project pursued a unique economic strengthening approach, ranging from savings-led finance to workforce development to value chain interventions. Coupled with a robust monitoring and evaluation framework and learning strategy, STRIVE tracked and documented the impacts of these diverse interventions on child-level indicators related to both economic (financial), and non-economic (health, education, nutrition, etc.) vulnerability factors. As a result, STRIVE has sought to identify and demonstrate interventions that can sustainably increase household incomes and/or assets and document how such increases improve (or fail to improve) the lives of children.
This FIELD Report summarizes the findings of one of the STRIVE projects, MEDA’s Afghan Secure Futures (ASF) project, on using an indirect approach to reach and benefit youth in Afghanistan. It finds that indirect approaches can create both economic and social benefits for youth and that many questions remain on how to implement indirect approaches most effectively.