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Phylicia commented on Youth Rising Kampala

Dear Chelsea Takamine  and AMPLIFY Team 

Thank you for your feedback. Please see our responses below.

Engaging Parents and Guardians: From the youth ladder of participation, which places youth and adult decision making at the top to Search Institute’s 40 Assets, we know that the most important factor in a young person’s life is the presence of at least one caring, accepting and supportive adult. At Youth Rising, we value the participation of adults in the community and understand the benefits of fostering strong youth-adult partnerships to see our impact take root.

Thus far, our programs have generated a great deal of interest from parents, particularly those who have attended our open community dialogues, which we intend to host on a quarterly basis. A group of mothers now attend evening urban agriculture sessions and some come with their children. During the sessions, they have the opportunity to ask questions about how their sons and daughters are performing and we suggest ways that they can support them. Other parents have requested that we develop an advisory committee that meets quarterly to discuss our impact and advise our programs. We’ve also planned for open-house events, where youth can showcase their work for their families and we have conveyed since day one that we have an open-door policy, which allows parents to observe our sessions and activities, as they see fit. Lastly, we actively pursue feedback and engage in conversations with parents of our beneficiaries. Whether we are eating local lunch, riding on a boda boda or taking an afternoon walk, we always cross paths with the youth and adults in our community and conversation is the simplest way to build and sustain the positive relationships we seek.

Monitoring and Evaluation: We believe in a robust evaluation model, including the use of counterfactual situations and well-designed randomized control trials with a specific focus on improving evidence on what works. We rigorously collect, store and analyze program data using both formal and informal data collection tools to inform and continuously improve our programming. Cohort-based studies and formative evaluations are conducted to ascertain best practices of impact that will inform the improvement of forthcoming beneficiary cohorts. Operations research is conducted to better understand the impact and causal relationships of our programs and other confounding variables to the quality of life of the youth we serve. We use our targets and anticipated outcomes to develop output and outcome indicators to track our progress against our benchmarks.

Our program lifecycle consist of the following stages of evaluation: Formative research, development of performance indicators, monitoring, process evaluation, cost analyses, impact evaluation, and evaluating scale-up.

The Integrated Approach: We operate on the premise that interactions between interventions from two or more sectors will generate benefits beyond a vertical intervention.

In more than 15 countries, USAID’s SCALE+ methodology has successfully been used as an essential component in facilitating cross-sector planning for integrated initiatives, accelerating broad stakeholder engagement to address complex development issues and ensuring meaningful participation of youth, women and the poor.

One such study has been conducted in the Philippines to assess the amplified effects of integrating SRH services and food security interventions. Through the integrated approach, all of the program’s indicators reached desired levels and several performed better than comparative programs with single-intervention arms.

In another example, a recent facility-based costing study in Kenya and Swaziland measured the benefits and costs of a range of models for delivering integrated HIV and SRH services in settings with medium and high HIV prevalence to reduce HIV infection and unintended pregnancies. Through their evaluation model, they discovered that efficiency gains were most evident when three services were combined, suggesting that clinics and organizations with similar intentions must carefully consider which services to integrate and when.

In Uganda, specifically, many organizations are considering the potential of an integrated approach, however, parameters set by donors often prevent this from becoming a reality.

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Phylicia commented on Youth Rising Kampala

AMPLIFY Team Thank you for this opportunity!