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The Metrics Challenge


How do you measure youth job creation?

With great difficulty.

Jobs come in so many different shapes and sizes, varying greatly in terms of salary, hours, permanence, formality and more. An obvious ‘end-of-pipe’ measure is cost per job created, but even that can be problematic. Our distinguished job creation partner in the Netherlands, SPARK, once had this on its homepage: “10,000 jobs created; Cost per job created: $74 to $5,868.” Which made the point. The difference between creating a job in farming and one in law or medicine is too vast to make the measure meaningful.

We must improve. Already, the organisations that have contributed to this booklet are planning to work together to see if we can develop a standardised, universal measure for job creation. Such a measure must start with profiling the participants: each intervention must know the gender, educational attainment, income level, background (migrant, trafficked person, ex-child soldier, etc.), criminal history and more of its participants. Even at the bottom of the pyramid, there is huge variety.

First, we need to know how stakeholders from the different sectors are measuring their impacts. Here are some examples:

  • YBI’s new Operations Management System (OMS), based on the Salesforce platform, is a cloud  computing solution that allows YBI members to track their KPIs in real time.
  • The European Commission’s Entrepreneurship Competence Frameworktracks 15 areas of competence in three categories: ideas, resources and action.
  • The Commonwealth’s Global Youth Development Index has a domain on “Employment & Opportunity” that measures: NEETs (youth Not in Employment, Education or Training); youth unemployment (ratio of youth to adult unemployment rates); adolescent fertility rates (births per 1,000 girls age 15-19); and bank account (number of youth with accounts at formal bank)
  • Plan – Accenture: YES!ME Monitoring and Evaluation System: This system allows programme implementers and trainees to input, via mobile phones and the web, basic personal information + current training and employment status. Designed to monitor and identify next steps for Plan Intl. youth employment programme trainees and help them secure access to decent work opportunities.
  • The World Bank/IYF Practical Guide to supporting Young EntrepreneursBasic data gathering and qualitative analysis of Youth Job Creation information.
  • Commonwealth Development Corporation’s (CDC) Community Job Creation Matrix: CDC is DFID’s commercial investment arm charged with supporting the building of business throughout Africa and South Asia to create jobs in some of the world’s poorest places. It has the most sophisticated Job Creation Metric designed to capture measures at different levels

–  Direct jobs: number of jobs created by the investee.

–  Supply chain: number of jobs created by direct and indirect suppliers.

–  Induced effects: wages spent by employees of the investee and its suppliers.

According to CDC research, one job created in LEDCs by the investee company results in 7.5 jobs in the supply chain as well as others in the community through the induced effect of employee-spent wages.

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