Measuring Youth Competencies Across Contexts: Lessons From Implementers on How to Adapt Soft Skills Measurement Tools

Daniel Plaut
Caitlin Moss
Shubha Jayaram
Making Cents International
Institutional Sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Publication date: 
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Measuring soft skills is a task that continues to challenge program implementers and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) experts around the world. Growing evidence highlights the importance of these skills in contributing to youth development, but their intangible nature makes them difficult to assess. This challenge is compounded when implementing soft skills programs across geographic and cultural contexts, in which cultural differences can play a role in the fundamental definitions and manifestations of these competencies.

The purpose of this technical brief, developed by YouthPower Learning's Community of Practice on Cross-Sectoral Skills, is to gather and synthesize lessons learned from implementers’ experiences adapting soft skills measurement tools in diverse geographic and cultural contexts through a brief scan of the literature and three implementer case studies. It is not intended as technical guidance for tool adaptation, but instead as a means of leveraging the knowledge and experiences of community of practice (CoP) members to improve practice by identifying common challenges and lessons learned.