| South Africa
Evidence of non-economic indicators as markers of success for youth in youth employability programs: Insights from a South African study
Abstract: Evaluation studies of youth employment programs prioritize employment and earnings outcomes and use these indicators to determine what labor market interventions are most successful. Evidence from pre and post data of a cluster randomized controlled longitudinal study, consisting of 1 892 youth between 18 and 25 years who participated in Youth Employability Programs (YEPs) in South Africa, confirms the importance of the inclusion of non-economic indicators to measure success for youth. This study provides evidence that non-economic markers of success such as job-search resilience, self-esteem, self-efficacy and future orientation are potentially important in the transition to employment in the longer term and points to the need for more evaluations that use these markers to predict youth’s success in employment. The findings further suggest that these non-economic outcomes, which were conceptualized as intermediary outcomes, can influence how young people manage the increasingly protracted and difficult transition to work. The study enlarges our understanding of the non-linear and protracted pathways of youth transitions to work in a development context, and how to best support youth in this transition period. These findings have implications for rethinking YEP evaluation outcomes that could lead to adaptive programming and management of interventions.
Suggested Citation: Patel, L., Graham, L., & Chowa, G. (2020). Evidence of non-economic indicators as markers of success for youth in youth employability programs: Insights from a South African study. Children and youth services review, 118, 105404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105404