In his review of “The Power of Market Creation: How Innovation Can Spur Development” by Bryan Mezue, Clayton Christensen, and Derek van Bever, William Johnson describes three types of innovation that drive economic and employment growth: “sustaining innovation,” “efficiency innovation,” and most importantly for achieving transformative growth and prosperity in international development, “market-creating innovation.” He explains that if decision makers encourage both the public and private sector to support market-creating innovations, new markets will lead to more jobs, resulting in sustained prosperity over the long term.
In her response to Nicholas Burnett and Shubha Jayaram’s “Skills for Employability in Africa and Asia”, Youth Advisory Board member Michaella Munyuzangabo notes that while extra-curricular activities can be downplayed by teachers, especially in Africa, they can be very important in developing non-cognitive skills for students who will use them in the workplace. Parents and students, employers, and school officials should rebrand extra-curricular activities, highlighting the role they play in bridging the gap between the training students receive in school and the needs of employers in the workplace.
The Workforce Connections inventory is an evolving collaborative learning initiative in support of the project’s objective to generate, synthesize, and disseminate evidence. We examined a USAID-funded portfolio of $1.2 billion of projects awarded since 2008 that involve workforce development. Based on this review, we present here a preliminary analytical snapshot.
In her response to Paul Krugman’s op-ed “Jobs and Skills and Zombies”, Youth Advisory Board member Kim Ouillette notes that while there is not a national skills shortage that can explain high unemployment in the US, there are some more localized, industry-specific skills gaps that can be addressed through structured training programs. However, she argues, these technical fixes should not preclude other fiscal and political changes that are more likely to get at the root of national unemployment and give more Americans access to decent work.
Workforce Connections Community of Practice: The Challenge of "Soft Skills" Measurement: Toward a Common Approach
Check out resources from Workforce Connections' Community of Practice launch event! The goal of Workforce Connections is to promote dialogue and knowledge exchange among international youth workforce development professionals. Our speakers included Luis Crouch from RTI International, Clare Ignatowski, representing the USAID Office of Education, and Child Trends’ Laura Lippman and Kristin Anderson Moore. Lara Goldmark, Director of Workforce Connections, FHI 360 and Eric Johnson, Supervisory Education Development Specialist, USAID moderated the event.
Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 200 million people ages 15-24. Current trends indicate that figure will double by 2045. Youth Employment is growing in prominence on the agenda of the African Union (AU), a coalition of 54 Member states established to help bring about “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
The first Workforce Connections book review, by Kiera Derman of FHI 360, assesses the implications of Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed for international youth workforce development. The Workforce Connections Reading Corner is a place to interact with, discuss, or contribute thought-provoking learning resources for the workforce development community. Content includes book reviews, key technical resources, and dialogues.