USAID’s “YouthPower” initiative includes Creative-led consortium

 

February 26, 2015

Feb. 26, 2015—To empower youth and advance programs that put them at the center of community change, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Creative Associates International as one of six organizations to support initiatives and build the capacity of youth-led and youth-serving organizations. (www.CreativeAssociatesInternational.com)

“Investing in youth and empowering them to be agents of positive change benefits all of us,” says Charito Kruvant, Creative’s co-founder and CEO. “From El Salvador to Afghanistan, young people are taking a more active and productive role in their communities. With the right skills and tools, their voices and actions can become even more powerful.”

As part of USAID’s “Youth Power” Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contract (IDIQ), Creative and its consortium partners are eligible to compete for selected programs ranging from education to workforce development and violence prevention.

Sean Carroll, Senior Director at Creative, says improving the ability of youth to carry out development programs across sectors is the only way to ensure comprehensive and long-lasting change.

“Without good health, education is difficult to pursue. Without access to jobs, work skills are unused. And, if leaders don’t include and engage youth, then societies can’t fully realize and capitalize on youth’s energy, innovation and aspirations,” says Carroll.

Creative has extensive experience in youth-focused programming. Its violence prevention activities throughout Central America, for example, provide youth in at-risk neighborhoods with job training, life-skills support, English classes and volunteer opportunities as part of a holistic positive youth development approach.

Through direct support of youth-led organizations to expand their skills and resources and by building alliances between young people and adult leaders in their communities, Creative’s youth programs enable young people to take the lead on local development initiatives and connect with decision-makers to shape programs and policies that effect their lives.

In Morocco, for example, where 11 percent of middle school students drop out of school each year, Creative’s Youth Speak program empowered young researchers to take the lead in investigating the factors contributing to school dropout in their community.

The researchers, including youth in and out of school, used their findings to design mobilization plans to address the problem. After learning that a lack of safe and affordable transportation was preventing students from attending school, youth in four communities drafted proposals, and ultimately received funding, to buy school buses.

About Creative’s YouthPower Consortium

Katy Vickland, Practice Area Director, Workforce Development and Youth, will manage the IDIQ.

Creative’s consortium includes global and regionally-based partners working in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

These include: BRAC International, CARANA Corp., CARE USA, Child Trends, Education for Employment, Equal Access, FINCA International, Management Sciences for Health, McKinsey & Co., Management Training Corporation, PeacePlayers International, Social Impact Lab, Soul City Health & Development, TECHO WebFirst, and Winrock International.

Among the partners are youth-led and serving organizations that have specialized expertise on workforce development, non-formal education, gender, local health systems, microenterprise and more.

Host-country ownership and community involvement is central to Creative’s approach.

About Creative Associates International

Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace.

Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a staff of almost 1,100 professionals working around the world. Since 1977, it has worked in 85 countries and on nearly every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflictive environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.

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