Multi-country mid-term evaluation of the YouthCan! programme, promoting the employability of vulnerable young people

Title Multi-country mid-term evaluation of the YouthCan! programme, promoting the employability of vulnerable young people

Location Madagascar, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Brazil

Duration September  2020 – April 201

Funding SOS Children’s Villages International



The YouthCan! programme started in Madagascar around 10 years ago as a partnership between SOS Children’s Villages and Deutsche Post DHL Group, with the aim of fostering the employability of vulnerable young people, by means of trainings, internships and mentoring activities carried out by DHL employees.

Given its success, the programme was extended to many other countries and to involve five other multinational companies (AkzoNobel, Allianz, Johnson & Johnson, Siegwerk and TK Elevator) and hundreds of regional and local partners, becoming a multi-stakeholder partnership. By 2020, the programme was active in 37 countries around the world, involving 6500 young people and more than 1400 volunteers.

SOS Children’s Villages decided to crown the first 10 years of YouthCan! by commissioning an independent evaluation of its outcomes, focusing on four countries selected as case studies: Madagascar, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Brazil.


General Objective

The main objective of the mid-term evaluation was to measure the outcomes of the programme in terms of the professional achievements of its beneficiaries, as well as in terms of skills, self-esteem and social inclusion. In addition, the study also paid specific attention to the benefits of participation in the programme for the volunteers of the partner companies.

Moreover, the multi-country setting made it possible to carry out a comparative analysis, providing an opportunity to identify possible good practices to replicate and to formulate recommendations to strengthen the programme.

The evaluation was indeed an important learning moment for SOS Children’s Villages and its Member Associations, as well as a useful tool to share its experience and vision with its partners.


Our contribution

ARCO conducted a mixed-methods evaluation study, integrating both quantitative and qualitative data collection tools: CAWI and CATI surveys, Key Informant Interviews and Virtual Focus Group Discussions. Given that the assessment took place in the midst of the second wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, all tools were re-designed to be used remotely.

The analysis focused on:

  • the outcomes and impact of the programme on current and former participants, specifically on four dimensions of interest: hard and soft employability skills, self-esteem, support networks and livelihood.
  • the outcomes of the programme on the volunteers from corporate partners who supported young participants, specifically on their awareness of social injustice, sense of self-worth, job satisfaction, and skills and work environment.
  • the quality of the programme in terms of four OECD-DAC criteria: relevance, coherence, efficiency and sustainability.

Read more on our M&E and Impact Evaluation Unit