In Latin America and the Caribbean, one in five young people ages 15 to 24 is out of school and not working, and this number is projected to rise.
To improve youth employability, the Advance program is strengthening the capacity of two- and three-year technical tertiary education programs to meet the needs of disadvantaged youth in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica. The project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Office of Regional Sustainable Development, along with USAID missions in Guatemala and Honduras.
In each of Advance's focus countries—the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica—FHI 360 engages stakeholders from the education sector and the private sector to make technical training programs more relevant to the market based on country-specific workforce needs. Building on three initial crosscutting assessments that help bridge the gap between existing technical education and labor market needs, Advance improves the capacity of target institutions in five key areas:
Curriculum and pedagogy
Professional development of faculty and staff
Admissions and recruitment
Advance also promotes the exchange of best practices in technical tertiary education and workforce development among the three countries. We expect to support up to three technical institutions per country over the life of the project.
FHI 360 has extensive expertise in education and career readiness. Under this project, we will apply methodologies and lessons learned through our work with institutions of higher education in Afghanistan and with university career centers in Morocco.
THEORY OF CHANGE
Advance's theory of change suggests that if we reach back to upper secondary-aged youth in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, and Jamaica to help them understand their post-secondary choices, reach out to technical training institutions to build their capacity in specific programs and services, and reach in to employers in these three countries to better understand their workforce needs and how these needs align with technical education programs, then more disadvantaged youth will obtain better or new employment.