Access tools that support good practice youth employment program design
Program design is an important part of ensuring that program activities will lead to better employment outcomes for young people. It also forms the basis for developing strategy, planning, program implementation and program measurement.
A well-designed youth employment program:
1. Has a logic model
A logic model connects your program activities with the outcomes you want to achieve.
A logic model:
- defines the issue you want to address
- identifies the program resources and activities; and
- shows the expected changes that will occur for young people as a result of the program.
Program activities should be designed to align with the features that are common to effective youth employment programs, noting that not every program will include all ten features.
For programs that incorporate only some of the features, it’s important to consider potential delivery partners e.g. other community organisations, employers, business, education institutions etc.
Download the Features of Effective Programs, and use the Review Road Map in the Resources section below to develop a logic model with activities that align to the features.
2. Includes the voice of young people
Young people are the experts in their own lives. Including them in the design of a program respects them and their expertise. It can also offer insight into how young people will respond to program activities, which can provide ideas on how to change these activities and improve program effectiveness.
There are lots of different ways to involve young people in a meaningful way. These don’t have to be limited to formal, structured processes or groups. Creating a variety of opportunities for young people to get involved will show how their opinion is valued and builds mutual trust and respect.
Examples of involving young people in program design include:
- Requesting input on an advisory group so that their ideas are included from the very beginning
- Facilitating workshops and/or semi-structured interviews with young people to identify their issues, priorities, needs and aspirations as part of your logic model development
- Surveying young people about the program to hear their views about the activities you are delivering
- Using Facebook groups, WhatsApp and video technology to engage young people in an accessible way
The Resources section below includes tools to help you involve young people in a meaningful way.
3. Has an outcomes framework
An outcomes framework will help you to collect data that tells you whether your program is creating the outcomes you outlined in your logic model.
An outcomes framework should include:
- Priority outcomes – changes that the program hopes to achieve
- Indicators – quantifiable measures that demonstrate that change has occurred
- Questions – the information that is going to be collected about the indicators
- Data source – the tools that you are going to use to collect the information
- People that will be asked questions
- Frequency with which information will be collected
- How data will be stored
One or more useful indicators need to be identified for each of the priority outcomes in a logic model. These almost always start with words such as ‘The number of…’ or ‘The percentage of…’
Example outcome: More young people are in paid employment
Example indicator: The percentage of young people who have gained paid employment
Example question (asked at the beginning and end of a program): Are you currently in paid work?
Access the Review Outcomes Framework in the Resources section below to see more detailed examples of youth employment outcomes, indicators and questions, and/or use the Review template to develop your own framework.
The following resources support the design of good practice youth employment programs.
Logic model - use the Review road map to develop a logic model for your program
Youth participation - explore ways to include the voice of young people in your program
Outcomes framework - use the Review example and template to develop your own framework
For more information on logic models and outcomes measurement, we have put together a set of additional resources.