Following modest delays due to new legislation requiring security clearance for each activity, the Project closing date was extended from April 30, 2017 to June 30, 2017 to facilitate an orderly completion of the planned and ongoing activities. The Project was not restructured. However, the scope of pillars 2 and 3 was somewhat expanded to support innovating through new approaches for youth engagement.
Definition: Youth mainstreaming denotes a process for a meaningful engagement and broad integration of young people into structures and activities of development projects to strengthen the participation and inclusion of young people in development projects, and to enhance the benefits that youth can derive from such investments. Mainstreaming can take various forms, which can substantially differ by sector and stage of the project cycle, and is critically dependent on available resources, capacity and commitment for working with young people. Within the World Bank country portfolio, youth mainstreaming is an effective mechanism to support voice and agency, based on the recognition that young people are equal and valuable partners for development.
Youth Development is cross-sectoral in nature and lends itself to mainstreaming across the Bank portfolio. When approaching youth through the transition framework from adolescence to adulthood, it becomes clear that all sectors are related to the lives of young people, with varying degrees of intensity. For example, the most relevant sectors include education and skills, social protection and labor, social development, urban and rural development, governance, as well as poverty, health, environment, ICT, transport, and others. While specialized youth projects have been implemented in these sectors, the cross-sectoral nature of youth development allows supporting youth through regular programs in the different sectors by complementing the existing project design, activities and frameworks.
Youth Mainstreaming works through the project cycle approach to support impact, participation and engagement for young people. Mainstreaming puts young people at the heart of development and can be applied at any stage of the project cycle, broadly defined as design stage, i.e. identification, preparation and appraisal; which is followed by implementation, and completion. Since the implementation phase is typically the longest, it can be further divided into (i) effectiveness and starting phase; (ii) mid-term of implementation; and (iii) additional financing (AF) and project extension, where applicable, and is supported by (iv) monitoring of progress. During the completion phase, projects focus on evaluations, conduct Implementation Completion Reports (ICRs), and ensure effective mechanisms for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of provided infrastructure, when applicable. Available entry points for mainstreaming differ substantially depending on the project stage, and are typically most meaningful for early-stage engagement. The other main constraints for effective youth mainstreaming are the available resources and capacity to absorb and implement of implementing partners.
Instruments for Youth Mainstreaming
Three categories of mainstreaming instruments exist: Inclusion, Participation and Benefit. The available instruments can be easily combined and tend to be complementary.
Inclusion refers to introducing the needs and priorities of young people into the conceptualization of project activities and is most applicable for the design stage of the project cycle (preparation, appraisal) and project extensions. Available inclusion instruments include youth consultations, design thinking workshops7, nudging8 and other behavioral approaches, outreach campaigns, and other initiatives that can ensure projects are youth-informed.
Participation describes the active participation of young people to support project implementation, for example as community mobilizers; trainers, coaches and peers; enumerators in third party monitoring and other data collection; through participation in project steering committees; and as engaged citizens to strengthen accountability and safeguards at the local level. Participation can be applied during the implementation and completion phase.
Benefit refers to direct and indirect youth beneficiaries of a project. For example, benefit can be increased by adjusting the Results Framework or existing targeting mechanisms; by revising selected project activities or their implementation; by amending the project operations manual; or in selected cases by a restructuring a project. Overall, the impact of youth mainstreaming can be very high when applying Benefit instruments, however, these instruments can also require substantial transaction costs for the Bank and clients.9