In 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. 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 is working across six countries to catalyse sustainable ICT jobs for African youth.
The Initiative aims to have an impact both on improving wellbeing of those employed, their families and communities, and also to promote inclusive business practices that will lead to job creation for youth in ICT-enabled sectors. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the DJA initiative supports internal learning which will inform and improve strategic management and knowledge sharing, and ensure that the Initiative is 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&E will ensure that the Initiative makes a public contribution to practice and capacity in the fields of digital jobs and disadvantaged youth, philanthropy and development evaluation.
Itad led a consortium providing Monitoring and Evaluation for the Initiative between 2014 and 2019. In the Inception period, using the existing DJA Theory of Change, the team produced a Results Framework and Baseline Indicator Framework, as well as designing tools for data collection and a separate Technology-Enabled Monitoring and Routine Results Reporting Plan and System, which used innovative ‘real time’ ICT for M&E tools such as SMS-based surveying of beneficiary youth across the Initiative.
The Implementation period used these tools to support on-going monitoring, learning and evaluation across the six countries and the Initiative as a whole. Throughout the evaluation period the team developed case studies, learning briefs and other knowledge products and identified ongoing opportunities for learning and communication. There were also two more intensive periods of evaluation, at mid-term, and a summative evaluation in 2018.
Image © Fruit Market Stall in Cairo. Photo Credit: Filip Maljkovic (CC BY-SA 2.0)