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«EVALUATION OF THE YOUTH PROGRAM SOLOMON ISLANDS December 2015 Diane McDonald Damian Kyloh © Cardno 2014. Copyright in the whole and every part ...»

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December 2015

Diane McDonald

Damian Kyloh

© Cardno 2014. Copyright in the whole and every part of this document belongs to Cardno and may not be used, sold,

transferred, copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner or form or in or on any media to any person other than

by agreement with Cardno.

This document is produced by Cardno solely for the benefit and use by the client in accordance with the terms of the engagement.

Cardno does not and shall not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever to any third party arising out of any use or reliance by any third party on the content of this document.


1 Executive Summary

2 Background

2.1 The Solomon Islands Labour Market Context

2.2 The Youth@Work Program

3 Overview of Evaluation

3.1 Purpose of the Evaluation

3.2 Approach and Methodology

3.3 Limitations of the Evaluation

4 Key Findings from the Qualitative Review

4.1 How Y@W has developed

4.2 The Main Program Benefits so far

4.2.1 What differences have been attributed to the program?

4.2.2 Views of young program participants on the value of the program

4.2.3 Views of employers re value of internships through Y@W program

4.2.4 Views of government on the value of Y@W and YEP

4.2.5 Views of development partners on the program

4.3 Challenges and Lessons Learned

4.3.1 Solomon Islands macro economy and the labour market

4.3.2 Program specific challenges

4.4 Program Implementation in Provinces

4.4.1 Program experience so far in Choiseul province

4.4.2 Program extension to Malaita

4.5 Other Youth Employment Programs

5 Key Findings of the Cost Benefit Analysis

5.1 Overview

5.2 Outline of the Cost Benefit Analysis

5.3 Benefits

5.3.1 Private benefits

5.3.2 Social Benefits

5.3.3 Employer benefits

5.4 Costs

5.4.1 Private costs

5.4.2 Social costs

5.4.3 Program costs

5.4.4 Costs of the Y@W program in Choiseul

5.4.5 Could Y@W increase the stipend for interns?

5.5 Value for Money

5.6 Social Impact Assessment

5.6.1 Gender

5.6.2 Disability

5.6.3 Socio economic group

5.6.4 Age

5.6.5 Rural Areas

5.7 Comparison with Other Unemployment Schemes

5.7.1 Labour mobility schemes

5.7.2 Rapid Employment Project (REP) World Bank

5.8 Final Considerations

6 Conclusions

6.1 Program Effectiveness

6.2 Opportunities for Further Program Strengthening

6.2.1 Program design

6.2.2 Strategic oversight of the program

6.2.3 Program management

6.2.4 Training and mentorship

6.2.5 Increased links with other job creation employment schemes

6.3 Sustainability

6.4 Program monitoring

6.5 Recommendations


1. Employment outcomes from Tracer Study One 33

2. A snapshot of employment effects from Tracer Study Three 34

3. Employment effects from Tracer Study Four 34

4. Employment effects from Tracer Study Five 35

5. Employment rate of Y@W comparison against the Counterfactual 36

6. Costs of the Y@W program, Honiara, May 2012 – August 2013 40

7. Costs of the Y@W program, Honiara, June – December 2013 41

8. Percentage share of costs for Y@W program in Honiara, 2014 42

9. Costs of the Y@W program, Honiara, 2015 43

10. Costs of the Y@W program, Choiseul, 2014 44

11. Costs of the Y@W program, Choiseul, January – June, 2015 45

12. Employment by Gender 46

13. Y@W program participants by Gender, Honiara 47

14. Phase One Participants by Age 48

15. Phase Two Participants by Age 48

–  –  –


1. Evaluation Terms of Reference 58

2. List of Stakeholders Consulte 61

3. Summary feedback from participant focus groups in Taro, Choiseul 61

4. Example of community service activities for YEPs in Choiseul 62

5. List of Employers of interns, Honiara 63


AusAID Australian Aid program within DFAT (see below) AUD Australian dollars CCA Climate Change Adaptation CHICCHAP Development partners in Choiseul province: Provincial Forestry Division, Provincial Fisheries Division, SPC, SWoCK, SPREP, GIZ, SIWSAP, UNDP, RDP, LLCTC.

CV Curriculum Vitae DFAT Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade EU European Union FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations GDP Gross Domestic Product GIZ German company that specializes in international development ILO International Labour Organisation INGO International Non Government Organisation LMU Labour Mobility Unit MCT Ministry of Culture and Tourism MCIE Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Employment MEHR Ministry of Education and Human Resources MFAET Ministry for Foreign Affairs and External Trade MNDPAC Ministry of National Development, Planning and Aid Coordination MWYCA Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs MNURP Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace NCD Non Communicable Disease NGO Government Organisation PHARMA Pacific Horticultural Market Access program PLP Pacific leadership Program REP Rapid Employment Programme (World Bank) RSE Recognized Seasonal Employees program (New Zealand) SBD Solomon Islands dollar SI Solomon Islands SIG Solomon Islands Government SPC South Pacific Commission SPCSICPM SPC Solomon Islands Country Programme Manager SPREP Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme SWP Seasonal Workers Program (Australia) TOR Terms of Reference TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training USAID United States Aid program Y@W Youth@Work program YEP Youth Entrepreneurs Program YOSI Youth of Solomon Islands magazine


The Evaluators gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of many people who so willingly contributed to this Review.

Special thanks are extended to the Mia Rimon, the SPC Country Programme Manager for Solomon Islands and to Rebecca Sade, the SPC Finance Manger who jointly coordinated our field visit to Honiara and Choiseul province. Without their kind assistance it would have been impossible for us to meet with such with a wide range of stakeholders within the limited timeframe that was aavailable. As well as sharing their extensive knowledge concerning the development, present day activities and significant achievements of the Y@W program so far, they facilitated our access to a wide range of program information and reports.

Our thanks too are extended to Georgina Cope the PLP Team Leader who provided invaluable assistance throughout the implementation of this Evaluation. She, along with representatives from other development partners shared important insights concerning some of the opportunities and challenges that face the program going forward. Of particular note is the useful feedback received from senior officers from the SIG Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs in both Honiara and Choiseul. Their national perspective on the contribution that has been made by the program to date and how it could be further enhanced has been greatly valued.

Particular thanks are given to all the Y@W staff who very generously gave their time to enlighten us about the many and varied aspects of the Y@W program, and the multiple benefits that are being achieved for program participants, employers and the wider community. Their views concerning the current challenges that they face in undertaking their roles has been crucial in helping us to identify some key areas in which the program can be further strengthened. The assistance provided by Hika Taroaniara and Raywin Gone, Team Leaders in Choiseul province, during a three-day field trip to Taro and by accompanying us on long-distance journeys by boat to several of the villages in which the Youth Entrepreneurship Program has been conducted, was especially welcomed.

Recognition is also given to the valuable contribution that has been made to this Evaluation by the many youth interns and YEPs who met with us either in focus group sessions, individually or during village visits. Their input concerning the many ways in which the program has improved their lives has been most helpful. So too have been their suggestions about changes that could be made so that the program responds even better to their needs. The insights shared by both public and private sectors employers have also been greatly appreciated.

Last but not least we want to express our gratitude to Agnes Rigamoto, the PLP Leadership and Resources Officer, who provided the much appreciated logistical support that is associated with international travel.


The Youth@Work (Y@W) program is a practical response to the growing issue of youth unemployment, a key national development priority for the Solomon Islands Government (SIG). It provides youth with training, practical experience and support to increase their potential for workforce participation. The majority of urban participants join the internship stream.

They are trained in work related skills and key development issues and are assigned to work placements for up to six months. Provincial youth and some young people from Honiara participate in the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) component. Rather than taking on an internship, they receive additional training to help them to start their own business and can apply for a small startup grant in the form of materials. From the program’s inception it was intended that all participants would have access to mentoring and relevant follow up resources. However this has been difficult to achieve.

The initiative is operating within a challenging economic and social environment. Solomon Islands faces some significant challenges in trying to address issues of youth employment and facilitating the active involvement of the nation’s youth in sustainable development. Within this context Y@W is making a difference to the lives of hundreds of young Solomon Islanders. It has been especially effective in providing them with new knowledge about a wide range of topics of relevance to their own future and to the development of their country; as well as expanding both their personal and basic work related skills. Training and practical experience provided through workplace internships and village YEP placements have contributed to multiple benefits for young people in both Honiara and Choiseul province.

The Program is helping to improve youth attitudes and behaviour; enhancing their appreciation of their own value and the contribution that they can make within their communities; opening up their minds to new ideas and possibilities for their own future; and motivating many to pursue further study. For a number it has also led to employment. A ‘snaphot’ of Y@W participants from March 2015 shows that at the end of their internship 31% of youth surveyed where still employed, many with their original internship host.

Employers of interns greatly appreciate the service provided through Y@W. They report that interns are willing to learn and are making a useful contribution. They note that with the help of the preparatory training provided by Y@W the interns are often more ‘work ready’ than staff that they have recruited through other channels. Community members from some of the villages from which young people have participated in YEP are also very satisfied. They note the broader social benefits that have been achieved, providing examples of youth sharing the new information and skills that they have learned about agroforestry, conservation, fisheries, nutrition and healthcare with other village members; and of the YEPs taking more initiative than before and playing a more active role in community development.

Similarly representatives from national and provincial government departments attribute a variety of benefits for youth, families and the wider community to both Y@W and YEP. Likewise, representatives from development partners and NGOs have commented on the success of these initiatives in helping to address some of the critical issues facing Solomon Island youth today. These activities are giving young people hope, confidence, dignity and a purpose and participants are discovering how they might make a meaningful contribution to the future of their country. This clearly has wider social impacts for Solomon Islands society.

Y@W has many strengths including strong program management support from SPC; established links with many Government Ministries; commitment from development partners; an enthusiastic youth team is implementing it; and it has built good connections within the private and NGO sectors. The program fits well with SIG’s youth policy framework that includes a focus on improving youth education and employment opportunities and engaging youth in sustainable development. A key factor that has led to the success of the initiative so far is that Y@W responds to the aspirations of youth for workplace training and experience. The needs of rural youth who want to expand their knowledge and practice in income generation are also being addressed.

Considerable groundwork has now been laid to try to address significant youth employment and engagement concerns that are critical to the future of Solomon Islands. This Evaluation has facilitated a comprehensive review of Y@W implementation to date with a view to building on this experience to further enhance the program’s longer-term impacts.

Opportunities for program strengthening have been identified. These are listed below. Y@W is now well placed to continue to build a good practice model that will make a valuable contribution to the lives of Solomon Island youth who are so critical to the future of this nation.


Following is a list of suggested actions that should be undertaken to further enhance the effectiveness of Y@W program implementation and the achievement of longer-term development outcomes.

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