IREX releases annual Impact Report: The Urgency of Inclusion

IREX releases annual Impact Report: The Urgency of Inclusion


The IREX Impact Report: The Urgency of Inclusion

At a time when poverty persists for too many people, youth populations are bulging, and both terrorism and repression are on the rise, the need for greater inclusion and opportunity is urgent. IREX President and CEO Kristin M. Lord

At IREX, we strive to reduce barriers to opportunity on many dimensions. In 2016 alone, along with our partners we touched the lives of almost 9 million people in 118 countries.

The IREX Impact Report: The Urgency of Inclusion highlights just a few examples of our work, including supporting young African leaders who are creating change in their communities, providing youth in Tunisia opportunities to enter the workforce, and helping Ukrainians discern fact from fiction in media.



Our impact: By the numbers

Our work touched the lives of 8,518,230 people; countries reached: 118; leaders trained: 9,537; institutions assisted: 2,402; people who benefited from IREX-trained leaders: 143,393; people who benefited from community initiatives led by IREX-trained youth: 367,925


Empowering youth: Participants in the Tech Age Girls Program led projects that benefited more than 11,250 people through 2017; Cultivating leaders: Young African leaders trained by IREX served 35 million people in Africa


Strengthening institutions: In 2016, IREX directly assisted 265 higher education institutions, 387 libraries, and more than 162 news outlets; Extending access to quality education and information: 359 IREX-trained teachers taught, reaching 60,000 students in 2016

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Success Stories

Youth help youth gain employment skills

89% of Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program alumni who graduated with a tertiary degree are employed versus 38% of youth with a tertiary degree nationally, based on a 2016 survey of alumni who completed the program in 2014 and 2015

In Tunisia, almost 60% of young people with tertiary degrees lack the soft skills—problem-solving, time management, teamwork—and experience that employers seek. To help their peers meet employers’ needs, three alumni of IREX’s Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program drew on their newly acquired skills to develop online platforms to bridge the gap between what students learn in school and what employers seek. By using these platforms, youth not only gain key technical and soft skills, but also help their communities and local economies thrive.

Social entrepreneur saves women’s lives in Nigeria

84% of Mandela Washington Fellows said their internships made them more effective leaders, based on a 2015 alumni survey

Adepeju Jaiyeoba, a participant in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, founded a company that manufactures and distributes affordable, lifesaving birth supplies to women in rural Nigeria. IREX helped Adepeju secure an internship in the United States with the United Nations Foundation, further enhancing her knowledge of the global health field. Her experience as a Fellow not only helped her improve her company, but also prepared her to enable women to become agents of change in their communities.

Helping universities prepare students for jobs

400 Iraqi university faculty received curriculum training that equips them to prepare students for real-world employment, based on a 2016 survey

Inspired by his time in IREX’s Iraq University Linkages Program, Samer Mobarak established the University of Baghdad’s Career Development Center, which offers students a path of opportunity in Iraq’s economy by building skills that connect them to meaningful employment. Since its inception, the University of Baghdad has hosted two annual job fairs, featuring 40 companies offering a total of 450 jobs in media, telecommunications, engineering, and finance. The Career Center also offers training that builds students’ skills and augments their technical knowledge, connecting them with relevant opportunities in the workforce.

Helping Ukrainians discern fact from fiction in media

24% increase in Ukrainians ability to distinguish trustworthy news from false news; 91% of participants shared their new knowledge and skills with an average of 6 friends, relatives, or colleagues each, reaching over 80,000 Ukrainians, based on a survey of Learn to Discern participants in 2016

In Ukraine, citizens are subject to surging levels of misinformation at a critical time of political reform, conflict, and economic stagnation. In response, IREX developed Learn to Discern, a customized skill-building and awareness-raising initiative to help people detect misinformation and discern fact from fiction. Its unique approach provides practical media literacy skills to citizens of all ages through videos, games, and other interactive learning experiences. More than 15,000 Ukrainians participated in the workshops and demonstrated a 24% increase in their ability to distinguish trustworthy news from false news.

Program expenditures by region

Global Programs: 15%; Sub-Saharan Africa: 34%; Middle East and North Africa: 23%; Asia: 12%; Europe: 14%; Central and South America: 2%

With an annual portfolio of $80 million and 400 staff worldwide, IREX works with partners in 100+ countries to empower youth, cultivate leaders, strengthen institutions, and extend access to quality education and information.

Download the full report »