Case Study

Measuring the Quantitative Impact of Investing in Youth Development and Employment Programs


Retail bank in an African country


Our client needed an advantage in a very competitive environment. The country had received a lot of international attention and it was envisaged that competition from new entrants would have an impact on the company’s reputation, profitability and customer retention. 

The company decided to focus specifically on the youth to create and protect future client markets, develop new products and services aimed at the youth and enhance relationships with government.

They also wanted to invest in an initiative that would be possible to be scaled and be replicated in other African markets. In addition, the company wanted to enter into partnerships with other large multinational companies or investors and development agencies. 


The client wanted a signature or flagship initiative that would capture the hearts and minds of their existing customers, attract prospective new customers (especially the youth), strengthen their relationship with a number of African governments and that would allow them to enter into global partnerships that would leverage their investment.

In addition, this initiative had to inspire their employees, business partners and academic institutions across Africa, and provide them with increased brand recognition and awareness.

What we did

  • We designed the investment thesis and strategy. This was supported by a theory of practice, a Theory of Change and a logic model framework. 
  • Through the impact management process a competitive analysis was undertaken. Extensive benchmarking research informed the strategy and an investment portfolio was created with supporting themes & focus areas. 
  • Through engagement and research, potential partners, investors, implementors & service providers were identified, and the impact investment strategy was confirmed. 
  • Through the impact measurement process a baseline was created and indicators were identified. A performance management framework, supporting performance management toolkit and reporting guideline/standard were created. This guided the implementation of the intervention.
  • After two years, an impact assessment and analysis were conducted. Impact and return on investment were validated, calculated, verified, and then the impact report was shared with both internal & external stakeholders. 

Quantitative Impact

Although there were several impact areas and objectives such as skills development, job creation, enterprise development and entrepreneurship development, the following section focuses only on the quantitative job-related impacts of the youth employment portfolio. This section includes job access, job creation, job quality and employment. 

1. Quantitative impact – Individuals:

  • Number of project beneficiaries placed into jobs (number)
  • Number of project beneficiaries benefiting from short-term employment (number)
  • Employment rate among project beneficiaries (percentage)
  • Share of employed project beneficiaries (percentage)
  • Unemployment rate among project beneficiaries (percentage)
  • Increase in employment rate among project beneficiaries (percentage point)
  • Increase in share of employed project beneficiaries (percentage point)
  • Decrease in unemployment rate among project beneficiaries (percentage point)

2. Job creation impacts:

  • Number of jobs created by new or existing firms (beyond the entrepreneurs)
  • Number of youths becoming self-employed
  • Number of additional jobs created by entrepreneurs and the number of entrepreneurs whose businesses grew to be SMEs

3. Job quality impacts:

  • These impacts are related to increases in the productivity and earnings associated with the jobs that youth attained, improved working conditions, and expansion of access to social insurance
  • Changes in earnings or incomes
  • The number of youths being placed in decent jobs, the hours worked by youth, whether they received a promotion, whether the jobs beneficiaries attained provided pensions, and worker productivity statistics

4. Job access impacts:

  • Focusing specifically on excluded youth groups, including women, minorities, refugees, and other traditionally disadvantaged groups in the labour markets. This impact dimension focused on indirect impact and was measured quantitatively by age, gender and geographic location.

5. Economic impacts: 

  • Cost savings of the private sector were identified as well as direct & indirect benefits of the income generated
  • The percentage reduction of reliance on external funding was considered by tracking program participants increases in revenue, reduction of costs, as well as productivity increases