Contextualizing and Integrating Soft/Life Skills Positive Youth Development (PYD): Implementation and Measurement in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) (at CIES 2018)

Contextualizing and Integrating Soft/Life Skills Positive Youth Development (PYD): Implementation and Measurement in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).

A YouthPower-led session. 

Where: CIES 2018

Thu, March 29, 8:00 to 9:30am, Hilton Reforma, 2nd Floor, Don Diego 1 Section C

Group Submission Type: Panel Session

Over the last decade, there has been a shift in recognizing the importance of soft or life skills. Soft skills/life skills refer to a broad set of skills, behaviors, and personal qualities that enable people to work collaboratively with others, communicate effectively, and navigate their environment. These skills are broadly applicable across sectors and complement the acquisition of technical, vocational, and academic skills. While these skills generally apply across sectors, certain soft skills have been shown to be particularly important for certain outcomes; a recent study by Gates et al. (2016) found that positive self-concept, self-control, and higher-order thinking skills are particularly important for workforce development.

Despite considerable progress made in understanding the importance of soft skills for positive youth development and gathering evidence, challenges remain to developing effective and contextualized soft skills curricula, successfully measuring these skills, and interpreting the results.

Chaired by a USAID representative, this panel will explore what we know about the importance of soft skills in different contexts, how we adapt and teach them, and how we measure them. Presenters will also share recent evidence.
Within the framework of Remapping Education, it is important to recognize the need for contextualization of tools and research approaches, as well as the need to transfer knowledge and build local capacity. All speakers of this session will highlight successful (local) youth engagement, where relevant.

Building on research carried out under the USAID funded YouthPower Learning project and other studies, this panel will start by presenting results from a YouthPower Learning systematic review on positive youth development and the role of soft skills in PYD. 
This will be followed by presentations on soft skills curriculum integration and implementation. IYF has integrated soft skills into a TVET program in Mexico. Another speaker will present an approach for integrating life/soft skills into technical training curricula for high-risk youth in El Salvador under the Bridges for Employment program. FHI 360 will contribute its experiences from its Programa para O Futuro project in Mozambique, where they leveraged research on soft skills building and PYD to help youth build the skills needed to transition into a healthy, productive adulthood. 

Despite ample evidence on the benefits of soft skills for youth development, challenges persist in measuring these skills. Room to Read will focus on how we measure soft skills, based on experiences from a large baseline study in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The speaker will present the challenges they faced in applying soft skills measurement tools and interpreting the results in different contexts and will share how they have overcome these challenges. 

A discussant from EDC will contribute comments and observations, also drawing on EDC’s perspectives of soft/life skills from a YouthPower Learning grant in four countries (including Philippines) which used photo voice as a tool for youth to communicate the soft/live skills they found most valuable.

resenters include different representatives from 

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Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 8:00am

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