Youth Employment and Gender: Evaluating the Skills to Succeed (S2S) Program in Bangladesh
Nathan Fiala (University of Connecticut); Meir Brooks (Princeton University - PhD Student); Nicole Dulieu (Save the Children); Mobasharul Islam (Save the Children); Eyerusalem Tessema (Save the Children)
Youth unemployment is a major concern in Bangladesh, where a fifth of the population is between 15 - 24. Forty percent of the population works only a few hours per week in low-paid and hazardous jobs, a majority of the workforce earns less than US$5 a day, and women’s economic participation is hindered by social and cultural barriers. Save the Children’s Skills to Succeed (S2S) program targets youth in the slums of Dhaka who have dropped out of school. It first trains them on soft skills such as goal setting, and communicating with employers and customers, to improve low motivation. Then, it offers them hands-on technical training in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), with job and entrepreneurial support.
This study examines the impact of the S2S program on young people’s labor market outcomes. In stage 1 of the study, researchers first conducted qualitative interviews and group discussions with former participants in January 2020 to identify obstacles preventing women from joining the labor force and the ICT sector specifically. Some of the concerns identified concerns about safety and harassment at work or in transit, restrictions on mobility and agency; and lack of self-confidence and positive role models. This shaped the design of an additional gender-based component in which families of potential female participants interacted with local women who have completed the S2S program to demonstrate the value of such a program for their daughters and exposing potential participants to female role models. Researchers are now conducting a randomized evaluation to determine the impacts of the S2S program in two cohorts, starting in February 2020 and February 2021 respectively. The study is uniquely placed to illuminate specific interventions through which women can enter or re-enter the labor market once the pandemic allows it. Two surveys are planned: one in late 2021 to measure the short-term outcomes and a more comprehensive survey in 2022.
This project is a part of the Women's Work, Entrepreneurship, and Skilling (WWES) Initiative.
Project Outcomes of Interest
Key outcomes of interest include job placement, self-employment, income, social status, goal setting and quality of job. Researchers will also be looking at outcomes for the youths’ households, as well as the potential effects of the intervention on workers who are displaced by youth who obtain a job through the S2S program.
- Improve women’s health, safety, and economic empowerment
Project Data Collection Mode
- CAPI (Computer-assisted personal interviewing)
- CATI (Computer-assisted telephone interviewing)