Project: Youth Training Program

Youth employment and educational opportunities are limited in El Salvador and Honduras. A large portion of the countries’ youth population faces significant barriers to completing secondary and post-secondary schooling and engaging in formal employment in the labour force. To improve opportunities for youth, World Vision adapted its Youth Ready training program for implementation in El Salvador and Honduras. 

For participants, the first six months of the program involved regular program meetings and formal training on employability, entrepreneurship and life skills. The second six months of the program provided participants mentoring as they looked for work, engaged in entrepreneurial activities, continued in school, or pursued other life goals. 

Limestone Analytics was approached by World Vision Canada as early as 2016 to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the program and evaluate its suitability for results-based financing. However, what made this challenging was the limited evidence on the effectiveness of Youth Ready or comparable interventions. Therefore, Limestone was hired to design an evaluation of the Youth Ready training program that could be suitable to inform a cost-benefit analysis and generate recommendations on the program’s suitability for result-based financing. 

It is the first time that the Youth Ready program model, in any form, has been subjected to a rigorous impact evaluation

The key findings from the evaluation include:

  • The evidence consistently suggests that the Youth Ready program in El Salvador and Honduras succeeded in increasing labour market opportunities for participants following secondary school.
  • Participants were more likely to graduate from secondary school than were non- participants. 
  • Overall, the program significantly increased self-perceived leadership and empowerment, as measured by the CARE Youth Leadership Index (YLI), with this increase being larger for male participants. 
  • The program decreased the likelihood of wanting to pursue higher education (university or higher). This is consistent with participants having greater opportunities in the labour market following secondary school.
  • Participation in the program increased risk aversion among female participants. 
  • There was no evidence the program had an impact on measures of life outlook or time preferences.


Clients / Partners



Situational Analysis
  • Conducting a comprehensive situation analysis
  • Developing the first draft of an integrated feasibility model
  • Comparing alternative measures of impact
  • Assessing opportunities for results-based financing (preliminary)
  • Highlighting key knowledge gaps


Evaluation: Baseline
  • Designing of a quasi experimental evaluation to address knowledge gaps
  • Developing instruments and sampling framework
  • Training of enumerators for baseline data collection
  • Monitoring data quality
  • Analyzing data and developing baseline report


Feasibility: Update
  • Documenting changes to theory of change
  • Adjusting the feasibility model assumptions
  • Feedback on alternative implementation strategies for a future implementation


Evaluation: Endline
  • Updating the instruments and sampling guidelines
  • Training enumerators for endline data collection
  • Monitoring data quality
  • Analyzing data
  • Developing evaluation report
  • Drafting recommendations for results-based financing