Note that results are preliminary. Time use shifts away from street sales for all household members in treated householdsFemales and young adults in treated households spent less time collecting water and firewoodHousehold members in treated households spent less time not doing any activityThe reported incidence of domestic violence (in past 3 months) decreased by 22% for female respondents in treated households
60% of 9,000 = 5,400 expected to be gainfully employed by end of project.
Some Education: Skills ChosenAuto Mech, Mobile repair, Electricals & mobile repairs, Solar Paneling, Catering, Hair-dressing/cosmetology, Electrical installation/electrical, Carpentry, Computer software, Computer hardware, Metal Work/welding, Constructions/masonry, Weaving, Tailoring & embroidery, Auto electricianLow Education: Skills ChosenAuto Mechanic, Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Carpentry, Masonry, Tailoring, Catering, Hair Dressing, Welding, Building and Construction, Wheel Chair Fabrication, Tin-smithing, Auto-Electricity, Motorbike Repairs, Blacksmithery, Caterpillar Operator, Mobile Phone Repair/Electronics, Refrigerator and Air Conditioner Repairs, Metal Works / Welding, Generator Mechanic, Shoe Making
The District Youth Councils (DYCs) are instruments proposed in the National Youth Policy that provides concrete expression of youth participation. The DYC creates a golden opportunity for the best potential leaders among our young men and women even at chiefdom level to emerge through a process of practical training in governance and democratic engagement.
Experiences from Sierra Leone in Youth Employment
Learning from Past Experiences for Future Opportunities in Youth Employment in West Africa
July 23 - 24, 2012
Anthony A. Koroma
Commissioner, National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone
The World Bank Group
Sierra Leone Youth Profile
Situation of Youth in the Labour Market;
Status of Programme Implementation-:
a. Policy Development
b. Strategy for Youth Employment
c. Youth Employment Interventions
• Youth Employment Support Project (YESP)
• Other Youth Employment Initiatives
Target Population Profile
Youth- (15-35) years
34% of the population
Split across three age groups
(15-19 / 20-24 / 25-35);
Half of youth urbanised, poor and lack professional skills;
About (800,000) 70% unemployed or underemployed or employed
Self employment – major means of livelihood for many youth
Low human capital, high illiteracy
- 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000
Age Females Age Males
The Situation of Youth in the Labour Market
• High level of inactivity, especially for male and urban youth.
• High unemployment rates, up to four times higher than older workers.
• Urban youth aged between 15 and 24 are ten times more likely to be unemployed
than rural youth.
• High unemployment for young women in both urban and rural settings.
• High and growing levels of employment and underemployment in the informal
economy, where employment is often low paid and dangerous.
• Lack of high quality skills, mismatch of supply of skills to labour market needs.
• Lack of business experience or knowledge of self-employment as an option.
• Lack of access to targeted business development services that include:- access to
information on variety of employment opportunities
• low creativity, absence of innovative orientation
• low investment capabilities, poor technological capabilities overall
• lack of marketing capacity by most youth due to poor exposure and low education
• limited or no access to credit facilities, especially the appropriate types such as micro-
(Sources) Modified from “Improving Opportunities for Sustainable Youth Employment in Sierra Leone”, World
Bank 2007 and “Productive and decent work for youth in the Mano River Union: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
and Côte d’Ivoire”, UNIDO 2007
Lack of Skills &
Lack of capital
• National Youth Policy. First National Youth Policy was formulated in 2003. Review of
this policy on-going with the assistance of the World Bank. It is expected that a new
policy will be in place by December, 2013
• National Youth Employment Strategy (2009-2012). Derived from PRSP II (Agenda
• National Youth Commission Strategic Plan 2013-2017 finalised and produced with the
assistance of the UNDP. The plan in place is to provide policy guidance to
ministries, agencies, Local Councils, and other institutions active in the sector. The plan
will guide the commission and its operations in the next five years;
• National Youth Employment Action Plan (NYEAP). The 2009 -2012 Youth Employment Strategy
has been revised for 2013-2017 with the help of the UNDP. It is an elaboration of youth provisions
in the draft National Employment Policy prepared with the leadership of the Ministry of Labour
and Social Security (MLSS), the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) with
the support of GIZ and ILO.
• Local Content Policy. Formulated in 2012, the policy is meant to create an enabling environment
for the Sierra Leonean youth to secure gainful employment and stake in private sector investments
and operations in key sectors – mining, construction, oil, etc.
• Sierra Leone’s Third Generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2013-2018) – The Agenda
for Prosperity – The road to the country’s 2035 Vision to become an inclusive, green, middle-
income country. The document highlights key strategies for growth and human development.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT INTERVENTIONS
The Youth Employment Support Project (YESP ).
• The biggest project on youth employment is the WB funded Youth
Employment Support Project (YESP). The project aims “to increase
access to short-term employment opportunities and improve
employability of targeted youth”
• YESP is an emergency response to global financial crisis
• The project has 3 components:
– Cash-for-Work (CfW) to provide short-term employment –
implemented by National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA)
– Skills development to test approaches for improving livelihoods and
employability among youth (second chance)
• 3 different target groups – rural youth, urban youth with less than secondary
education, urban youth with some secondary education
• Implemented by NGOs
– Institutional support, policy development, and impact evaluation
YESP: Component 1 -CfW
Cash for Work: National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA)
• This component provides short term employment to youths in public
works projects. The projects involves rehabilitation and/or
improvement of priority infrastructure, including feeder road
rehabilitation and maintenance, agriculture, and renewable
• 251 sub-projects under this component have been implemented and
completed, providing temporary employment to about 18,000 (of
which 36.4% women) people against the end of project target of
23, 500 beneficiaries (about 77% achievement). Three quarters of
sub-projects were roads, and one quarter in the agriculture sector.
• 133 sub-projects launched for the third round of CfW. Mentorship
and money management support and entrepreneurship skills were
provided. A total of 11,515 beneficiaries (cumulative) have
benefited from this training.
Impact evaluation finds positive effects on
income and economic activity
% of hh members who
worked for cash in last
% females who worked
for cash in last 12 mos.
% ages 15-35 who
worked for cash in last
(%) HH reported any
member that set up a
new enterprise (past 3
Control Group CfW Program Difference (p.p)
Total value of cash and in-kind
payments in the past month (Leones
On average, total value of reported cash and in-kind payments received by household
for work increases by 34%
CfW: The Challenges
Program duration (50-75 days)
too short to provide meaningful
transfer to poor households
3 main challenges:
Sectoral distribution skewed
toward roads, which require
high materials costs and have
lower female participation
Use of contractors to implement
left high risk of leakage and
limited the communities’ ability
Extend program duration to
provide longer term support to
Proposed modifications to address
Shift program focus toward
agricultural and environmental
Give implementation role to
Committees and use mobile
phones to deliver payments
Cash for Work
Road rehabilitation and cassava/potato farm in Bombali district under the CfW
YESP: Component 2
Skills Development and Employment Support
• This component is meant to scale up and test approaches
to support 9,000 young individuals and youth groups who
either have established businesses or are interested in
pursuing business/employment opportunities which will
consist of technical training through apprenticeship
schemes in the formal and informal sectors, business
development support and coaching, and other life skills.
• Still in early stages of implementation (Phase 1). Already
showing promise, especially as second-chance
opportunities for youth who have dropped out of school
YESP: Component 2
1. Urban youth with low levels of education (3,000);
Implemented by Child Fund. 1,200 youths with low levels of education
placed for training in 16 TVET institutions in
Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Koidu. 60% to be gainfully employed
(wage or self) by end of project.
2. Urban youth with higher levels of education (3,000);
Implemented by HELP-SL. 1,200 youths with some level of education
placed in TVET institutions in the urban centres of
Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Koidu. 60% to be gainfully employed
(wage or self) by end of project.
3. Rural youth (3,000)
Implemented by PaRD-SL. 1,200 rural youths undergoing training in rice
milling, cassava and oil palm processing and then formed into cooperatives
in eight districts (Port
Loko, Kambia, Koinadugu, Tonkolili, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bonthe and
Kailahun). 60% to be gainfully employed (wage or self) by end of project
Skills Development: The Challenges
• There is an overwhelming demand for the skills training by
• High expectations for the stipend provided and post-
• Some youth who selected skills that were not identified as
marketable in the market surveys conducted refused to
accept the other recommended skills
• Some female mothers come to the training with their little
children and this causes distraction during the training (no
• High cost of providing start up kits to groups of youth who
• Insufficient outlets for on-the-job training placements
Component 3—Institutional Support, Policy
Development, and Impact Evaluation
This component consist of two sub-components.
• Institutional Support and Policy Development provide financial and
technical support to help the Government of Sierra Leone develop policy
responses through analytical work on labour markets, skills
certification, monitoring and evaluation of existing programs and setting up
of systems to assist in the identification and follow-up of beneficiaries.
• Impact Evaluation, will support impact evaluation of activities under the
first two components.
District Youth Councils Established
Koinadugu Kenema Moyamba
Port Loko Tonkolili Western Urban
Other Youth Employment Initiatives
1. Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme (YEEP)
(UNDP and National Youth Commission)
a) Career Advisory and Placement Services (CAPS) centres: CAPS is a comprehensive
service offered by Njala University, University of Sierra Leone and Northern and
Eastern Polytechnics to facilitate:
• Increase employment prospects of university graduates and alumni;
• Improve pathways from universities to employers;
• Decrease saturation of graduates in no/low growth jobs.
CAPS promote constructive relationships between these institutions and the employers.
b) Business Development Services (BDS) Centres for Youth
The centres are “one-stop shop” providing real life examples of BDS support services
in the following areas:
• Business information and facilitation: market opportunities
• Business skills training: management training
• Financial services: Access to credit
Other Youth Employment Initiatives
C) Graduate Internship Programme (GIP)
• The Graduate Internship Programme (GIP) is an initiative of the National Youth Commission promoting
work experience and employment opportunities for young tertiary level graduates in Sierra Leone supported
by UNDP under the YEEP
• Implemented through Restless Development - Professional internship model and placed interns in
private, public and non-governmental institutions throughout Sierra Leone;
• The GIP is a pilot for the proposed National Youth Service and an employment facilitation programme for
tertiary graduates The duration of the placement is 3 months.
Other Youth Employment Initiatives
• Youth Employment Programme by GIZ
Targeting both urban and rural youths in three districts and using public private partnership
approach in the cocoa and coffee industry
• Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP) – Agriculture Business Centres (ABCs).
(Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS)
Major integrated rural development program supported by the World Bank and other
partners. The program support young people engaged in the agric sector to increase their
skills and productivity
• Volunteer Peer Educators: By Restless Development with support of DFID, recruits, train and
place young people from senior secondary schools, polytechnics, TEC/VOC institutions and
teacher training colleges in all 12 provincial districts for a period of nine months. Gives
beneficiaries an opportunity to live and work in regions different from their region of origin.
Also provide opportunity to have work experience.
• Quick Impact Employment Creation for Youth through Labour Based Public Works – ILO
create productive employment opportunities for youth in Bombali/Moyamba
• Strengthening the Agro‐Industrial Growth Centres for Income Generation and Youth
Employment ‐ UNIDO - provide skills training as well as entrepreneurial support to young
people in agro-processing and help address the need for transformation of agricultural
produce into value added products both for consumption and marketing (Growth Centres)
• Youth business groups in agri-business; COOPI. Adding value to agriculture products
Some Lessons Learned
Lessons Learnt: Public Works
• Sectoral distribution skewed toward roads, which require high materials costs and have lower female
• Use of contractors to implement left high risk of leakage and limited the communities’ ability to monitor
• Lack of adequate and accurate data on beneficiaries contributed to inclusion and exclusion errors in the
selection of participants in some of the projects.
• Difficulty in reaching certain remote communities was a challenge in some instances.
• Inadequate funding meant that large numbers of potential beneficiaries were omitted.
• Project cycles were too short
Lessons Learned regarding the projects: Enterprise Development
• Projects need to link youth into a network
• Projects have to play a facilitating role between the youth and the business idea and play the interlocutor
role (WFP and Youth Farmers)
• Most projects are more effective where there is a good social organization, normally in the form of
preexisting natural groups
• Life skills is an essential component
• There must be at least 6 months of mentoring to enable the enterprise to get established
• Not all implementing agencies (mostly NGOs) have the necessary technical background to undertake the
necessary roles. They do not have the business acumen and often are biased to social service provision.
Some Lessons Learned
Lessons learned from agriculture-based interventions for youth:
• Projects in rural areas have to be part of the decentralization process and the strengthening
of local state structures and institutions. They have to be designed with the objective of
economic, political and social empowerment of youth in mind
• Projects that specialize in certain activities and set clear priority areas for interventions are
more likely to succeed.
• Land acquisition is not a major challenge for youth engagement in agriculture in the rural
• There is need to encourage private sector development to create jobs for youth;
• More partnerships and collaboration are needed in creating the enabling environment for
• The need to integrate sound employment policies/strategies for youth in all development
programmes and MDAs;
• More resources are needed for youth employment programming;
• The curriculum of training institutions should be reviewed to target job market demands;
• Promotion of National Youth service in the form of apprenticeship, peer
educators, mentoring and formulating internship policy will build the capacity of youths.
• Most youth employment projects, including the YESP, targets only the vulnerable. Graduate
Unemployment is an emerging challenge in Sierra Leone
Electronics Repairs Motorbike Repairs ICT
Weaving Mobile Phone Cards Cosmetics