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Evaluation report

2016 Somalia: Evaluation of the Youth Education Pack (YEP) Programme in Somalia

Author: Samwel Hall

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows: “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 3’.


Designed to develop practicable skills for male and female youth aged 14 to 25, the Youth Education Pack YEP is a one-year Programme with three equally important components: vocational skills (learning a trade), transferable/life skills (conflict resolution, IT, business, health etc.) and foundational skills (numeracy and literacy). Few in the programme have completed primary education and fewer still are able to dedicate between three and six years to complete fast track or formal education to a primary level due to family commitments and the pressure to work. However, although NRC targets some of the most vulnerable groups such as youth heads of household, young single mothers and those with the poorest educational background, YEP learners must still be able to spend one year in full time education. This is an opportunity cost NRC has tried to mitigate by providing a modest stipend that students can use to support themselves or their family.


This evaluation of the UNICEF YEP programme strives to understand lessons that can be learnt from providing informal education in Somalia, both in the terms of delivering relevant skills that can improve the lives of beneficiaries, and the impact a tailored curriculum can have on peace building in Somalia when drivers of conflict are taken into account.


Focus group discussions (24): A total of 24 FGDs were conducted with the six groups identified in the targeting strategy. As part of the FGD, three additional exercises were conducted with participants:
Social mapping exercise: Designed to encourage participants to highlight areas of economic opportunity as well as perceived risk or insecurity in their community.
Image and word association exercises: Designed to explore how participants associate specific images and words that are related to key concepts that underpin the YEP programme.
Key informant interviews (16): A range of KIIs were conducted at each location, representing stakeholders at the national and district level. This included representatives from the Ministry of
Education (MoE) and YEP Centre Managers, as well as UNICEF counterparts and NFC staff directly involved in the YEP programme.
Field observations (4): Direct observations of each YEP centre were conducted in order to assess the conductions under which students are taught.
Case studies (8): Two at each location (one male, one female) were purposefully selected to provide a detailed narrative on the impact of YEP on the beneficiary, their families and the wider community. In addition, findings from the selective analysis of a Knowledge, Attitudes Survey by DRC was done to beef up the findings.

Findings and Conclusions:

In terms of programme drivers, the findings of this evaluation clearly show that the short-term needs of those targeted through the YEP programme are predominantly economic rather than conflict driven. This is not to say that security concerns do not exist in these communities, but rather that perceptions of insecurity have become normalised over several years. The majority of respondents interviewed stated that their communities were safe, whilst later citing incidences of theft, violence or tension with local government forces, typically as a result of a weak local economies and poor job prospects. As a result, conflict reduction is seen by many of those interviewed as a by-product of increased employment, with many arguing that by increasing employment opportunities, the risk of marginalization and conflict amongst youth is correspondingly reduced. By providing context specific vocational training (determined through local market surveys) supported by life and foundational skills, the YEP programme is therefore able to make a significant impact on youths’ ability to develop sustainable livelihoods (between 22% to 60% of graduates now have a regular income), thereby improving economic resilience and reducing reliance on negative coping strategies. It is therefore reasonable to assume from this study that economic development and peace building are strongly linked.


  1. Dig deeper into the role religion can play in peace building.
  2. Use the YEP programme to normalize relationships between government forces and youth.
  3. Encourage graduates to form cooperatives to strengthen economic resilience.
  4. Use YEP centres as revenue-generating hubs.
  5. Embrace IT skills training, but plan to mitigate its misuse.
  6. Focus life skills training on localized issues of criminality.
  7. Use YEP centres as a focal point and catalyst for community groups, with a strong remit of encouraging membership by non-beneficiary youth.
  8. Encourage social participation as part of the YEP curriculum.
  9. Refine KAP data to yield more detailed results.
  10. Research role of YEP in helping IDPs and migrants return home.
  11. Explore the potential impact on community cohesion should the YEP programme cease to operate.
  12.  Build on the KAP survey to deepen contextual knowledge of education needs and conflict drivers in target communities

Full report in PDF

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Early Childhood Development (ECD)


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