Sub-Saharan Africa, young people under 25 make up 62 percent of those unemployed, the youth population as a whole is expected to reach 400 million by 2045, and job creation is not keeping up.
Digital Jobs Africa
Against this background and with the ICT sector in Africa expected to reach $150 billion by 2016, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) Initiative worked across six countries to catalyse sustainable ICT jobs for African youth within the newly developing Impact Sourcing global market ecosystem. The Initiative aimed to have an impact both on improving wellbeing of those employed, their families and communities, and also to promote inclusive business hiring practices that would lead to job creation for youth in ICT-enabled sectors.
Monitoring and Learning (M&L) of the DJA initiative supported internal learning which informed and improved strategic management and knowledge sharing, and ensured that the Initiative was fully accountable to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Executive Team and Board of Trustees, as well those benefitting directly from the Initiative’s work. On a wider scale, M&L aimed to ensure that the Initiative made a public contribution to practice and capacity in the fields of digital jobs and disadvantaged youth, philanthropy and development monitoring and evaluation.
Itad led a consortium providing Monitoring and Learning for the Initiative between 2014 and 2015. In the Inception period, using the existing DJA Theory of Change, the team developed a Results Framework and Baseline Indicator Framework, and designed tools for data collection and a separate Technology-Enabled Monitoring and Routine Results Reporting Plan and System, which would use innovative ‘real time’ ICT for M&E tools including audio-accompaniments to stories of change of beneficiary youth across the Initiative, generated through participatory workshops with a cohort sample of youth in South Africa and Kenya.
The Implementation period used these tools to support on-going monitoring and learning across the six countries and the Initiative as a whole. As part of the ongoing responsiveness and partnership approach to designing the M&L framework, the team also designed case studies to explore in more depth early findings emerging on business linkages and Impact Sourcing partnerships and to generate knowledge to demonstrate to the new Impact Sourcing ecosystem on how IS partnerships might catalyse and develop over time, as well as learning briefs and other knowledge products and identified ongoing opportunities for learning and communication.
Image © Walking Along the Road, East Africa. Photo Credit: Grace Elliott