Lessons Learned from Youth Employment Programmes in Kenya

A summary and lessons learned from recent donor and multilateral job programmes in Kenya


The government of Kenya with the support of multilateral donors, especially the World Bank, has introduced several youth employment initiatives since the 2000s, including a large-scale public works programme. There is a mix of supply-side programmes which provide training to enhance the skills of the youth labour force and demand-side initiatives which facilitate entrepreneurship and provide business development services. Although the Kenyan economy is transforming slowly, there are structural impediments to creating higher productivity jobs especially for the youth. The literature calls for youth employment programmes to adopt a demand-side approach which stimulates job creation and encompasses support for labour-intensive industries which generate wage-employment as well as self-employment initiatives in agriculture and the informal sector.

K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development.


Ismail, Z. (2018). Lessons learned from youth employment programmes in Kenya. Birmingham UK: University of Birmingham (2018).

Lessons Learned from Youth Employment Programmes in Kenya

Published 9 March 2018