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Education and Youth

Enhancing the quality of education and linking it to people’s futures
Chemonics’ global network of over 4,000 specialists is driven by a stubborn insistence that tomorrow’s world must be better than today’s, which is why our work with youth is so central to who we are. With more than half of the world’s population under 30 years of age, it is critical that we empower young people as tomorrow’s leaders. We see youth as both beneficiaries and stakeholders, and we create economic opportunities for young people to drive meaningful change around the world. So our work takes us to Jordan, where we work with private sector partners to jumpstart careers in hospitality. We are in Uganda where we promote inclusive, cost-effective agriculture opportunities for young people, especially girls, driven by market demand. And we are in Indonesia, raising the standards of higher education. Because we believe that all young people — without exception — have the right to lead productive, engaged, and healthy lives.

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Education Systems Strengthening and Policy Reform: We provide a wide variety of policy reform assistance to orient education systems toward improving learning outcomes, particularly in early-grade reading and math. This includes improving data-driven decision-making through education management and information system assessment and development; refining decentralization policies to bring decision-making closer to parents, students, and communities; altering school funding formulas to equitably distribute resources to urban and rural schools; and aligning institutional incentives with educational outcomes through modern human and capital resource management policies.
Primary Education: We support the improvement of reading and math skills in the early grades by addressing the multiple issues that affect student learning. Working with ministries of education at the national and district levels, we support improved approaches for teacher behavior change and professional development; introduce mentoring or coaching techniques into schools; develop and distribute age- and culture-appropriate reading and math materials; and train teachers and school leaders in areas such as curriculum development, school safety, gender-sensitive and inclusive instruction, formative/summative assessment, and improving time on task. We also work with communities to increase public support and parental engagement in schools, as well as improving home and school learning environments.
Youth Workforce Development: We prepare youth for the workforce through cross-sectoral programming to bridge the gaps between education opportunities, the labor force, and private sector needs. Our life skills training programs are tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable youth seeking fundamental soft skills to find and keep a job; entrepreneurship skills to launch their own careers, and hard skills in agriculture and other core sectors to pursue lucrative and sustainable livelihoods. Internship programs place graduates of our training in their first jobs and support employers in training and retaining interns. Our projects also engage private sector partners to ensure that youth in vocational, technical, and tertiary education programs are receiving skills and knowledge that are applicable to the current workforce demands.
Empowering Youth: Recognizing youth engagement as key to sustainable positive youth development, Chemonics engages youth to contribute to development efforts at the local, national, and global level. Through sector-specific interventions as well as integrated approaches across sectors, our projects work with diverse populations of youth in areas such as civic engagement, health, economic growth and entrepreneurship, civil society strengthening and conflict resolution. Through small grants to youth-led and youth-serving organizations, young people receive training in advocacy, civil society, leadership, conflict resolution, and other skills to help them make positive change in their communities.

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    Joseph RuddyAs a human resource development, education, and training specialist on Chemonics’ Jordan Tourism Development Project, Joseph Ruddy manages a series of nationally renowned youth vocational training centers that have provided tangible skills to thousands of young Jordanians, 70 percent of whom have found employment or gone on to continue their education. He has more than 20 years of experience heading higher education and vocational education institutions specializing in tourism management. Read more

    Andrew LewisPrior to leading Chemonics’ activities in education and youth, Andrew Lewis served as Chemonics’ senior vice president for both the South Asia, and Egypt, North Africa, and Yemen regions. As practice director, Mr. Lewis provides expertise in education, youth, and workforce development efforts. He also serves on the executive committee for the Alliance for International Youth Development. Mr. Lewis has led education projects in Egypt, Georgia, and Zambia. He began his international career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and has done graduate work at the George Washington University and Tulane University. Read more

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