Can skills training increase employment for young women? The case of Liberia


Youth unemployment and youth exclusion are among the main obstacles to development in Liberia, and gender and youth are positioned prominently in the Government of Liberia?'s poverty reduction agenda. The country has a very young population; nearly 60 percent of the population is under the age of 24, many of whom grew up during the Liberian conflict (1989 to 2003). There are few opportunities to enter in wage employment; most of Liberia'?s youth earn income on a day-to-day basis by trading on local markets or as day laborers in precarious conditions. More than a quarter of young people are unemployed. Youth are also often excluded from key decisions affecting their lives, often leading to disparities in health, education and income. This paper summarizes rigorous impact evaluation results from the Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls Project (EPAG) in Liberia and presents long-term project results gathered in an end-line survey. EPAG has been very successful in achieving its primary objectives - increasing employment and earnings among young women. The magnitude of the results is impressive when compared to findings from other youth training projects in developing countries, and end-line data from more than one year after the project completion shows that EPAG’s effects are long-lasting.


World Bank. Can skills training increase employment for young women? The case of Liberia. World Bank Group, Washington DC, USA (2014) 17 pp.

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