FHI 360 has developed the Youth Programming Assessment Tool (YPAT) tool (hereafter referred to as YPAT), to help youth- serving civil society organizations (YSOs) reflect upon their own internal programming and institutional practices and identify areas for improvement. To develop the YPAT, FHI360 reviewed over 20 youth program assessment tools, held consultations with experts and stakeholders in the field, and pilot tested it with 3 youth-serving organizations in Jordan and 6 youth-serving organizations in Jamaica. The tool sets standards of best practice and provides concrete steps and examples for how a YSO can operationalize Positive Youth Development (PYD) with the ultimate goal of improving programming to enhance developmental outcomes for youth.
The tool’s primary goals are:
- To promote reflection among key program staff and youth participants on programming practices.
- To generate data to inform program improvement. The tool does not provide specific action items, but the results will help an organization prioritize areas requiring programmatic improvements.
- To gain youth perspective on program services.
Organizations that piloted the YPAT found that it helped them consider meaningful improvements to help their youth, including: improving skills instruction, developing youth councils, and building organizational capacity with an eye towards youth.
The tool is comprised of 4 documents:
1. The Assessment Form: The Assessment Form is the main scoring rubric. The standards are broken down by category, or domain, of the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework, and will be evaluated by a Self-Assessment Committee of 5-8 members, including at least 2 or 3 youth beneficiaries.
2. Youth Feedback Form: The YPAT uses a two-stage two-stage process for youth engagement to ensure youth feel prepared and empowered to share their opinions: 1) completion of Youth Feedback Form in Youth Reflection Groups, followed by 2) participation of selected youth representatives in the Self-Assessment Committee. In the first stage, one or more groups of youth will convene to fill out a separate assessment tool, the Youth Feedback Form, which captures youth experiences and perceptions of key standards. This process provides the Self-Assessment Committee with input from a larger pool of youth beneficiaries on how they view the programming, as well as provides time for the youth beneficiaries to consider each question and brainstorm examples of how they see the benchmarks happening in practice to prepare them for the full assessment
3. Implementation Guide: The Implementation Guide includes the research behind the tool, and provides step-by-step instructions on how to implement the YPAT.
4. Facilitator Guide: The Facilitator Guide is very similar to the Implementation Guide, but provides additional information on how to tailor the tool based on the YSO’s needs, and facilitate the discussion to ensure all members of the committee are comfortable sharing their opinions.