Promoting Youth Well-Being Along Their Learning to Earning Journeys

Promoting Youth Well-Being Along Their Learning to Earning Journeys


Two women smiling

What role does well-being play in young people’s experiences when they transition from school to work? And how can the global development community offer holistic, relevant, and timely support to youth in order to improve outcomes as youth enter the labor market and continue their careers?

At IREX, we set out to answer these questions alongside 14 youth researchers in Kenya, Malawi, and Ukraine. Building upon prior research conducted in 2022 which highlighted youth’s increasingly complex and uncertain transitions from education into the world of work, we took a deeper dive into how youth well-being impacts and is affected by youth’s learning to earning journeys.

What did we learn?

With the support of IREX staff, three local youth researcher teams conducted 15 focus groups with 111 participants in Kenya, Malawi, and Ukraine, employing a protocol that included open-ended questions and interactive activities. From this research, we learned that youth well-being and employment experiences are intertwined and shaped by youth’s identities and their surrounding context. Youth’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes surrounding these experiences—including the ways in which they navigate challenges and seek support within their community networks—guided us in identifying programmatic and funding recommendations that can help the development community be more in tune with youth needs.

At IREX, we believe that creating development programming with multisectoral, holistic approaches that center well-being can ensure more relevant, timely, and effective workforce solutions for youth.

To make this knowledge as useful and practical as possible, we have compiled it into a comprehensive report and country-specific spotlights.