Access to livelihoods training and other economic opportunities are essential to combating extreme youth poverty and unemployment and make a contribution to lasting peace. Since 2007, the IRC has been implementing apprenticeship and skill building programs in Burundi. Standard end-of-project evaluations raised concerns about the rationale of implementing such programs in a desperately poor setting, as in rural Burundi where purchasing power is exceptionally low. Therefore, the IRC conducted an evaluation with 1,000 vulnerable youth to assess the effectiveness of apprenticeship interventions and their ultimate impact on social and economic wellbeing. The IRC also conducted a complementary qualitative research component focused on self-esteem and self-efficacy to provide a more comprehensive picture of the project’s outcomes and generate supplementary learning mechanisms. Key findings from the evaluation suggested the apprenticeship program was successful in increasing the proportion of young people earning a salary through stable paying jobs. This positive impact of the program was also reflected in diversification of the types of employment amongst those trained in apprenticeships. The program was also shown to improve wellbeing, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.
The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.