Youth Employment Network

Youth employment is becoming a priority in many regions, especially where a large portion of the population is young.  Although there is growing interest and investment, a lot of youth employment projects do not have a significant impact. The Youth Employment Network and Making Cents International have partnered to launch the Project Impact! competition to draw out the lessons learned that youth employment practitioners have experienced in the field. The result of the competition will be a series of Smart Notes published on the YEN Marketplace website.

What is a Smart Note?
A Smart Note is a short publication summarizing a successful project or approach and explaining why it was so successful. The winners of the Project Impact! competition will be asked to produce a Smart Note based on their entry to be published by YEN and our partners.

How Does the Competition Work?
  1. Entries are submitted under a chosen theme for the competition
  2. YEN screens the entries to ensure that only qualifying entries are posted on the Marketplace
  3. Marketplace members can discuss the projects and vote on their favourites
  4. The judges panel scores the entries and makes their final decision
  5. YEN and its partners verify the claims of winning organisations, which may include site visits or reference checks
  6. The winning applicants are informed and the final Smart Notes are submitted
  7. The winning Smart Notes are published and the awards are presented
What topics can the Smart Note cover?
The competition entry should highlight a specific approach that has had significant impact on the labour outcomes of young people. Applications must fit into one of the following categories:
  • Workforce Development
  • Adolescent Girls and Young Women
  • Youth-Inclusive Financial Services and Financial Capabilities
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Impact Assessment
  • Youth Enterprise Development
The cross-cutting theme for the competition is rural youth and increasing opportunities in rural areas. This focus is closely aligned to the theme of the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunites Conference. Young people are discovering new ways of participating in rural markets, from employing technology to enhance agricultural productivity to applying their service skills in the tourism sector.  Through the competition we hope practitioners will tells us:
  • What’s working in opening up employment opportunities to young people in rural areas, including both the agriculture and non-agriculture sectors?
  • What’s working in developing the skills young people require to participate in those sectors and what’s working in ensuring the educational system is meeting those needs?
  • What’s working in enabling young entrepreneurs take advantage of market niches existing in rural areas?
  • What’s working in confronting some of the obstacles (such as lack of ownership over assets) that young entrepreneurs in rural areas face?
  • What’s working in tackling the financing challenges that exist for young entrepreneurs in rural areas?
  • What’s working in better linking rural value chains to both rural and urban customers?
  • What’s working in addressing the particular challenges young women in rural areas face in obtaining employment or starting a business?
Eligibility
  • The project described in the Smart Note must be targeted at young people (aged 15-35)
  • The applicant must be personally involved in the project and have the consent of the project manager
  • The competition is open to all countries
  • YEN and Making Cents International reserve the right to to verify the authenticity of the project before awarding a prize.
How to Apply
  1. Download and read the Application Guidelines (below)
  2. Make sure you have all the necessary information and the consent of the project manager
  3. Fill out the online application form before the deadline
The deadline to enter is June 14, 2013 at 23:59 GMT and the deadline for voting is June 28, 2013 at 23:59 GMT. The results will be announced on July 5, 2013.

The Selection Process
All entries will be screened to make sure the follow the guidelines. Qualifying entries will be evaluated based on three criteria: the number of votes, the number of comments, and the external judging.
  • Voting – all members of the Marketplace can vote on the project(s) they thing should win. You can encourage your friends and colleagues to join and vote to improve your chances.
  • Judging – an independent judges panel will also evaluate the projets and contribute to the final ranking.
Prizes
The winners will have their Smart Note published on the YEN Marketplace website, and there will also be a monetary award for the top three. The prizes are $800 for first place, $500 for second place, and $300 for third place. We may also award Special Mentions to projects that did not win, but showed exceptional merit. The winners will have their Smart Notes featured at the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference in September. 


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