The Youth Opportunities Project Office Emblem

What is YOP?

YOP refers to Youth Opportunities Project –that is designed by both the GoL and World Bank technical teams.

The Official Launch Of The YOP

What is the purpose of the project or the Project Development Objectives?

The Project Development Objectives (PDO) are to improve access to income generation Opportunities for targeted youth and strengthen the government’s capacity to implement its cash transfer program.

The project will directly benefit about 15,000 targeted youth aged 15–35 years. There will be 50 percent participation of vulnerable female youth.  In addition, the distribution of beneficiaries across urban and rural areas will be based on the proportion of total youth population in each area and poverty levels.

Summary of YOP Expected outcomes:

  • 10,000 vulnerable youth aged 18-35 years in rural communities in 15counties will be supported with simple farm tools and planting materials to engage in communal farming in their respective communities. They will sell their farm produce and access income for their dividends. This sub-component will be implemented by LACE.
  • 3,000 vulnerable youth in Monrovia are to federate in groups of 8 and engage in household businesses. Each federation of 8 youth will benefit from small business grants of US$2,400.00 to either expand their existing businesses or start new ones
  • 2,000 youth aged 15-17 years in Monrovia will undergo job-readiness training, preparing them for their contribution in labor market participation. This component will be implemented by Ministry of Youth and Sports
  • GOL capacity strengthened to implement its ongoing Cash Transfer Program. The area to be strengthened is operational efficiency. This component will be implemented by Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection
  1. Breakdown of beneficiaries by project component and locations

(i) Subproject Component: Productive Public Works & Life Skills Support    (Community farming activities).

Focuses on farming activities by interested youth living in rural communities whose livelihoods depend on farming. Youth in this category will be supported with simple farming tools and planting materials to engage in communal farming. They will market their farm produce and generate income for their dividends. Each beneficiary of this component will receive labor subsidy of US$150.00 in two tranches of US$75.00, as support for food provision during intensive farming activities.

In addition all 10,000 rural youth will benefit from Life Skills Training to enable them adapt positive outcomes for productive and healthy living habits.

The project will provide Agro-Machines (Rice & Cassava Mills) to farming groups having the highest acreage cultivated, all planted with crops and maintained as value addition, enabling them to process their farm produce before marketing.

Selection of Project Communities

To select Project communities in each county, LACE undertakes stakeholders’ consultations with County Superintendent and Code of Officers. Firstly to acquaint them with the project aims and objectives and solicit their political buy-in. Secondly, using the project criteria for district selection, LACE facilitate a project district selection meeting with the superintendent’s office. When the Superintendent’s office shall have selected the district, (at most three districts), he/she writes a letter to the Commissioners of the selected district, informing them that from the stakeholders’ consultations, their districts were selected for the project and that they should now work with the LACE team to employ similar process, using the project criteria for selection of project communities to select communities in which the projects will be implemented. Eighteen communities are to be selected per county.

Sustainability:

Supervision of Farming Group activities after LACE’s Support ends:

Farming Groups in the Districts will be linked to District Agriculture Officers of the Ministry of Agriculture who will continue to animate them. For example District Agriculture Officers will continue to mentor and supervise the activities of the group including overseeing the sharing of income/revenue dividends from the sale of their farm produce, saving and managing money and preserving seeds, cuttings and suckers, etc. for undertaking future farming activities.

(ii) Subproject Component: Household Enterprise (Business)

This component focuses on supporting youth who are either managing an existing business or wanting to establish a new one. As you may be aware one of the major challenges businesses encounter is inadequate financial resources. This component will provide financial support of US$2,400.00 as start-up grants to a youth group of 8 persons either to start a new business or expand an existing one.

Three Thousand (3000) youth aged 18–35 years will benefit from this component.

Two cohorts of beneficiaries will be considered under this component: (a) youth who are new entrants into household businesses, who are underemployed and not in school and (b) youth involved in existing household businesses and who can demonstrate management of an active household business over the last 2 years.

Beneficiary Selection

The project will notify the public and interested vulnerable youth will send in application letter to recruitment panel. Interested youth who sent in applications would be screened in accordance with the eligibility criteria before being selected and processed for entry into the subcomponent.

 Sustainability: This component will be sustained by the beneficiaries themselves. The beneficiaries herein will not repay the starter grants, but are rather expected to invest with the starter grants to establish and run businesses. Once the businesses are well managed, beneficiaries will be able to always replenish their goods and manage savings and capitals appropriately; using the skills and knowledge they acquired from the business management trainings.

(iii)  Subproject Component:  Pre-Employment Social Support

Focuses on preparing youth aged 15-17 years for the entry into the labor market. This   component provides job-readiness skills to youth in this category in order to get them ready for their contribution to labor market participation. Training offered under this component will provide beneficiaries with problem-solving, interpersonal and anger management skills, as well as developing positive attitudes toward work. These skills are critical to success in education and sustaining formal and informal employment.

Two Thousand (2000) in and out- of- school youth aged 15–17 years in urban     Montserrado (Monrovia) will benefit from 3-12 months training in this regard over the lifespan of the Project. As youth graduate from this component they automatically become eligible to transition to the Household Business Component of the Project.

(iv) Strengthening the GOL systems and capacity to implement its Cash Transfer Program

The Ministry of Gender will implement this component. The GOL through the Ministry of Gender, Social and Children Protection, has been implementing its Cash Transfer Program in under its Ebola Response Program Grand Cape Mount, Grand Kru and Maryland Counties since January 2015.

The objective of GoL on-going cash transfer program is to provide consumption smoothening to up to 10,000 households that are extremely poor, labor constrained, and affected by EVD. The phrase ‘consumption-smoothening, refers to providing income support to extremely poor and vulnerable households to enable them afford at least a meal a day. Through consumption smoothening, nutritional needs of mothers and children are addressed consequently reducing prevalence of malnutrition (stunting, micro nutrient deficiencies).

The Ministry of Gender, Social and Children Protection will over the next five years use the loan to ensure operational efficiency of GOL Cash Transfer/Safety Net programs, generally considering the use of ICT to improve operational efficiency of the project, specifically by (a)

building safety net Management Information Systems (MIS), including targeting,

beneficiary registration, payments, and grievance redress; (b) using video-based peer

learning systems; and (c) using smartphones and tablets for data collection, electronic

registration, and electronic payments.

Sustainability

In July 2013, the Cabinet adopted the National Social Protection Policy that clearly articulates the financing arrangement for GOL Cash Transfer program and other Social Safety Net interventions.

YOP Implementing Agencies and Subcomponents

IMPLEMENTING AGENCY SUB-COMPONENT
MYS 1A: Pre-employment Social Support

1C: Capacity and Systems Building

4A: Project Implementation and Coordination

LACE 1B: Household Enterprises

2A: Productive Public Works and Life Skills Support

2B: Capacity and Systems Building

4B: Project Implementation and Coordination

MGCSP 3B: Capacity Building for Cash Transfer Program

4C: Project Implementation and Coordination

This distribution is based on the strategic position of the MYS to coordinate the youth sector, the recent experience of LACE in the implementation of a number of productive public works, enterprise support and skills training programs, and the mandate of the MGCSP to implement the cash transfer program.