Program Design Guide

Introduction

NDI’s Unified Theory of Change for Youth Political Participation Programs (TOC) is designed to be adaptable to programs across different functional areas and regional contexts. However, attempts to put the theory of change into practice for a new program can raise a variety of questions.

  • How can I design a program to create changes in youth agency and the enabling environment?
  • What exactly do changes in the enabling environment look like, and how can they be measured?
  • To what extent can activities to support youth agency also contribute to the enabling environment, and vice versa?
  • How do I reflect all of this in my program’s logical framework, theory of change and monitoring and evaluation plan?

In response to these questions, the guidance presented here is meant to further support NDI staff in designing more effective youth political participation programs. The guidance demonstrates how the key components of the ToC -- youth agency and the enabling environment -- can be operationalized in key stages of the program design process. These stages include:

  1. Context, stakeholder and problem analysis
  2. Designing a logic model
  3. Developing a program-specific theory of change
  4. Selecting indicators to measure deliverables and outcomes

These steps are based on the Logical Framework Approach, which is an objective-oriented program planning approach that is useful for designing programs that lend themselves to evaluation.

The guidance presented here features examples from NDI youth programs in Niger and Malawi in order to demonstrate how the youth theory of change can be applied in the design of different types of programs across varied contexts. The Malawi example shows how the theory of change can be used in the design of youth political leadership programs, which are commonly implemented by NDI. The Niger example, which is focused on addressing governance-related vulnerabilities to violent extremism, exemplifies how the theory of change can be applied when a youth component is included within a broader program. It is important to note that the design elements of these examples are not meant to be copy-and-pasted into other program proposals. Rather, they are meant to inspire NDI staff as they think about the design and evaluation of programs in their specific program contexts.

The contents of this guide are as follows. The first section discusses how to operationalize the core elements – youth agency and enabling environment – of the unified theory of change. This section is followed by guidance on conducting context, stakeholder and problem analysis in the early stages of designing new youth programs. The rest of the guide covers the remaining key steps in the program design process, including logic model development, elaborating narrative theories of change that are tailored to the target context, formulating indicators to track program progress, and establishing an overall plan for monitoring, evaluation & learning. All sections feature concise written guidance followed by examples from Malawi and Niger.


Operationalizing the Unified Theory of Change

As elaborated in the previous sections of this guide, the unified theory of change envisions that NDI programs seeking to advance meaningful youth political participation and leadership must create changes in two key domains: youth agency and the enabling environment. Over time, changes in youth agency and the enabling environment can erode sociocultural and institutional barriers to youth participation and lead to the establishment of more youth-inclusive political practices. These two constructs thus provide the core framework for thinking about the design of programs to support youth political participation.

Although the concepts of youth agency and the enabling environment may seem clear in theory, work needs to be done to determine how to apply them in the design, monitoring, evaluation and learning of a given program. It is important at the program design stage to determine what precise changes in youth agency and the enabling environment your program intends to achieve and how these changes can be measured. This section discusses how to think about applying these concepts throughout the program design process.

Operationalizing Youth Agency

As described earlier in this youth guide, youth agency refers to the willingness and capacity of young people to act individually and collectively. More specifically, agency entails a blend of knowledge, skills and attitudes that develop and are reinforced - in large part - through direct political action. The recommended types of activities for developing the political agency of young people includes four principal elements:

  • meet youth where they are, recognizing that diversity determines different starting points and needs based on identity, location, cultural and other contextual circumstances;
  • build their assets through experiential forms of learning that increase knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal or “soft” skills, and practical political know-how;
  • foster youth-led collective action to address self-selected issues and causes that motivate their political participation; and
  • expand engagement across various political entry points so that youth are actively occupying available space and seen as playing multiple political roles.

Thus, in the context of NDI programs, outcomes in youth agency usually result from efforts to build young people’s skills and support them in organizing themselves to take strategic political action. As a result, changes in youth agency as an outcome can take various forms, including changes in technical skills like advocacy, soft skills like perceived self-efficacy in influencing political processes, changed behaviors, or combinations of these various types of outcomes. The specific form that a change in youth agency can take depends on the program scope, objective(s) and timeframe. These anticipated outcomes must also be tailored to a particular population of young people and address differences in starting points among different groups of youth. For example, programs must account for differential needs among traditionally marginalized populations, such as women, ethnic minority youth, young people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) youth, that may prevent them from fully engaging in and benefitting from program activities alongside other young people. The desired type of change in youth agency must therefore be grounded in context, stakeholder and problem analysis, as is demonstrated in the following section of this guide.

Operationalizing the Enabling Environment

An enabling environment refers to political avenues and opportunities that encourage young people to express themselves, engage power holders and demonstrate their competence and contributions. Most programs face situations where politics is either closed to young people, particular young people of diverse identities, or there is only token support for their participation. The lack of support severely limits participation, even in situations where some amount of agency exists. To change this reality, a profoundly political strategy is required, which relies on relationship building. This involves interactions where understanding, trust, respect and appreciation can emerge, along with space for participation in policy discussions and decision making and collaboration between youth- and adult-led organizations. The recommended activities for fostering an enabling environment includes the following elements:

  • recognize and address structural inequities that disadvantage young people based on their gender and other identities;
  • create spaces for young people to interact with power holders and build relationships;
  • establish the value of youth participation through demonstrations of leadership and constructive engagement; and
  • strengthen intergenerational relationships through collaboration.

Achieving and detecting changes in the enabling environment is more complex and difficult than youth agency. These types of outcomes are inextricably linked to issues of power that often prevent older political leaders from providing meaningful space for young people as political leaders and decision makers. Despite the challenges associated with creating change in the enabling environment, the unified theory of change envisions that these shifts can take place as a result of both direct efforts by NDI to create space for young people in political processes, as well as indirect efforts to support young people to drive changes in the enabling environment by supporting their political agency. For example, NDI may consult with political and civic leaders on how and why youth political inclusion can be beneficial for them, while also assisting young people to develop and demonstrate the value of innovative skills and knowledge that they can bring to the table. While changes in the enabling environment take time, they can include changes in behavior by those who hold political power (such as promoting youth to leadership positions in their party or organization), collaborative relationships established between young people and older leaders, or self-reported value and commitment among senior leaders for youth participation. Similar to youth agency, the specific type of change in the enabling environment that may be desired and feasible depends on the context and scope of the particular program. It is also critical to consider the different and often multiple and intersecting environmental barriers facing young women and young people from other groups that are traditionally marginalized. The next section discusses how to approach front-end analysis (context, stakeholder and problem analysis) for youth programs, with a particular focus on youth agency and the enabling environment.


Context, Stakeholder & Problem Analysis for Youth Political Participation Programs

An important first step in designing a new youth program is conducting a context, stakeholder and problem analysis with a focus on dynamics related to youth agency and the enabling environment in the target context. This step helps ensure that the program is designed and planned in response to the social, political, economic and other relevant factors in the target country or countries. It also helps ensure that the program responds to a core problem(s) of interest, and sets the stage for the program team to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and plan to detect changes in that core problem of interest as a result of program implementation. The context, stakeholder and problem analysis should always include conversations with young people of diverse identities and backgrounds as the primary stakeholders in the program. As appropriate, young people can also assume a leadership role in gathering information for the analysis.

NDI has general tools and guidance for front-end analysis on the Global Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Team’s page on the NDI Portal. This section presents tailored guiding questions that can be used for the design of youth programs.

Guiding questions for the context analysis include:

  • What social, economic and political factors influence youth development and political participation in the target context?
  • How have these factors changed over time?
  • How does the impact of those factors differ for young women and men, and for other identity groups, including but not limited to young people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ youth, ethnic and religious minority youth, and Indigenous youth?
  • What challenges and opportunities exist for strengthening youth political participation in the current social, political and economic environment?

Guiding questions for the stakeholder analysis include:

  • Which actors are supporting youth political participation in the target context?
  • Which actors are working in opposition to youth political participation in the target context?
  • Which actors could be activated as allies for youth political participation?
  • How much power do the above-described actors have?
  • How much influence do the above-described actors have?

Guiding questions for problem analysis include:

  • What is the core problem(s) in youth agency that the program seeks to address?
  • What is the core problem in the enabling environment that the program seeks to address?
  • If the program is not solely focused on youth, how might components of the core problem(s) be conceptualized in terms of youth agency? The enabling environment?
  • What are the root causes of the problem(s)?
  • What are the negative effects of the problem(s)?

The problem analysis is an essential step, as it provides a basis for the development of the program’s logic model and theory of change. In order to demonstrate how a problem analysis can be conducted, this section presents examples from youth programs in Malawi and Niger. The Malawi example demonstrates a problem analysis for a youth leadership program engaging young people from both civil society and political parties. The Niger program has focuses on improving community resilience to violence and insecurity, which integrates youth-focused work within a broader initiative. Each example includes both a narrative problem analysis as well as a visual model that can aid in differentiating between the core problem, root causes, and negative effects.

Developing a Logic Model

The next step in the program design process is to develop a logic model and theory of change that respond to the front-end analysis presented during the previous section. The logic model and theory of change are complementary; while the logic model lays out the specific results (outputs, intermediate outcomes, and objectives) as they are anticipated to occur along an envisioned pathway of change resulting from the program, the theory of change is a narrative explaining how and why the program is expected to achieve the results included in the logic model.

Although the theory of change and logic model can be developed simultaneously, it is important to craft a logic model that directly responds to the problem analysis conducted in the previous step. The logic model should be crafted so that the objectives correspond to the core problems identified, and the intermediate outcomes respond to the root causes. Since the logic model provides the basis for developing indicators for program monitoring, developing the logic model in this way ensures that program evaluations can assess the extent to which the program created change in the core problem(s) of interest. The TOC continues to be useful in this step, as root causes associated with youth agency and the enabling environment, respectively, can inform corresponding program components in the logic model. Examples from Malawi and Niger, presented below, demonstrate how a logic model can be constructed in response to a problem analysis, incorporating the concepts of youth agency and the enabling environment.

Malawi: Strengthening Youth Leadership in Civil Society and Political Parties
Visual Logic Model

Malawi Visual Logic Model

As can be seen by comparing this logic model to the problem analysis, there are two objectives corresponding to the two core problems identified, and four intermediate outcomes that are designed to address the root causes. In some cases, the program team chose to focus on particular root causes, but not others, due to limits in the scope of NDI’s program. Most importantly, the logic model includes anticipated outcomes focused on both youth agency and the enabling environment.

The logic model presented above may seem large and complex. This results from the effort to explicitly address both youth agency and the enabling environment. As explained in the section on the operationalization of these two key concepts, while NDI’s activities tend to focus on direct engagement with young people, those activities are designed to support young people to indirectly drive changes in the enabling environment by establishing working relationships with older leaders, countering stereotypes of youth as apathetic or trouble-makers, and establishing the value that young people can bring to political leadership and decision making. As a result, many NDI youth programs only intentionally design, monitor and evaluate youth agency, but not the enabling environment. To address this problem, the logic model presented above includes activities, deliverables and envisioned results specific to the enabling environment, which in many places are closely related to program components focused on youth agency. For example, while Output 1.1.4 is associated with support for youth to conduct programs to address issues in their communities (youth agency), Output 1.2.3 refers to young people’s presentation of their community program work to older community leaders in an effort to demonstrate the value of their work (enabling environment). While this results in a logic model that seems large given the scope of the program, documenting these two closely interrelated activities and their intended results provides a framework for monitoring and evaluating changes in youth agency and the enabling environment.

In addition to highlighting whether components are focused on youth agency or the enabling environment, the activities and outputs reflect the recommended program approaches from the TOC (building assets, supporting collective action, demonstrating the value of youth leadership, building intergenerational relationships, etc). This allows the program team to further think through the ways in which their initiative can contribute to changes in youth agency or the enabling environment. It is important to note that not all sub-components of the TOC are reflected in this program; different contexts and objectives require different blends of assistance. Youth agency-related activities in this program focus on building youth assets and supporting them to take collective political action. Activities targeting the enabling environment are focused on creating spaces for youth to engage with older leaders, demonstrate their value as political leaders and decision-makers, and build intergenerational relationships. One activity captures efforts to address structural inequities by ensuring equal numbers of women and men are recruited to participate in program activities.

A logic model for the Niger program is displayed in the figure below. The components that are not specific to youth are highlighted in gray, while the youth-focused components are in color.

Niger: Supporting Pluralistic and Inclusive Community-Led Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
Visual Logic Model

Niger Visual Logic Model

Comparison of the image above with the original problem analysis demonstrates that this logic model includes one objective corresponding to the core problem and several intermediate outcomes addressing root causes. Youth agency components include activities to support experienced young leaders to engage in community development processes alongside a complementary set of pilot activities engaging youth from rural, ethnic minority communities. The latter activities are designed to provide opportunities for young people from more marginalized communities with less experience in civic and political participation to reflect on and identify their priority community development concerns. The program includes separate activities with both groups of youth, as well as opportunities for inter-cultural youth collaboration and relationship-building. Enabling environment components include both efforts to support young women and men from rural, cultural and linguistic minority communities to engage in the program alongside their more experienced peers, as well as other activities for youth to occupy political spaces and demonstrate their value and competence to older political leaders in their communities.


Tailoring the Unified Theory of Change

The narrative theory of change accompanies the logic model by explaining how and why the program should result in the changes outlined in the logic model. For example:

  • How will support for youth to take collective action lead to changes in youth agency? What are the considerations for young women and young people of diverse identities and backgrounds?
  • How might opportunities for youth to interact with older political leaders affect the perceived value of youth political participation and leadership? How is this different for young women or young people with disabilities?
  • What is the interrelationship between youth agency-related activities and enabling environment-related activities?
  • How do those activities interact to contribute to long-term changes in young people’s ability to meaningfully participate in politics as leaders and decision-makers?

Explaining these relationships between activities, outputs and outcomes can be done by applying the TOC to the particularities of the target context and program. The examples for Malawi and Niger below demonstrate how the TOC can be tailored to a particular target context. Each theory of change is followed by a series of critical assumptions that must hold true in order for the program to reach its objectives.

Malawi: Strengthening Youth Leadership in Civil Society and Political Parties

Theory of Change

The theoretical framework for the Strengthening Youth Leadership in Civil Society and Political Parties program is informed by NDI’s Unified Theory of Change for Youth Political Participation, which posits that strengthening meaningful youth participation requires investment in youth agency and fostering an enabling environment for youth leadership. The program envisions that if youth in political parties and civil society develop key leadership and technical skills and work together to take strategic political action to address barriers to youth political participation and other issues of importance to them, they can strengthen collaborative peer relationships and demonstrate their value as leaders to older members of civil society and political parties. Further, if youth have access to spaces to interact with leaders in their parties and organizations, demonstrate their skills and expertise as valuable leaders prepared to advance the goals and interests of their organizations, and build intergenerational relationships, they can increase will among older civil society and political leaders to create an environment that better enables meaningful youth participation and leadership. Technical support for political parties to develop their structures and strategies to be more inclusive can lead to increased avenues for youth to get involved in meaningful roles. The program overall envisions that, if youth in civil society and political parties further develop and exercise their agency as civic and political leaders while political parties and civic organizations become more inclusive and enabling of meaningful youth participation, it will encourage more young people over time to become actively engaged in civic and political life.

This theory of change relies on several critical assumptions, including:

  • Will exists among at least some civil society and political party leaders to create space for meaningful youth participation and leadership;
  • Youth in civil society and political parties are willing and interested to devote time to build their political skills;
  • Youth in civil society and political parties have the will and time to lead advocacy and other community programs with support from NDI;
  • Entrenched political leaders will not intimidate youth to prevent them from participating in program activities.
Niger: Supporting Pluralistic and Inclusive Community-Led Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

Theory of Change

The envisioned process of change for the Supporting Pluralistic and Inclusive Community-Led Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism program is informed by recent research on youth engagement in P/CVE as well as NDI’s Unified Theory of Change for Youth Political Participation. Recent research has found that effective P/CVE work must directly engage the conflict itself and seek to improve the community’s relationship to the state -- in the case of Niger, local government and security forces. Research has also identified the need for effective P/CVE work to directly engage youth who, based on socioeconomic class or other identities, are at the greatest risk for violent extremism and are therefore already being targeted for VEO recruitment. In order to reduce the vulnerability of these youth to violent extremist recruitment, it is necessary to engage them in community and governance processes, with a focus on efforts to address young people’s precarious conditions due to poverty and other factors. Intergenerational dialogue and collaboration are also key to bring youth into constructive collaboration with local government and reduce their potential to be influenced by violent extremist organizations. Notably, however, simply increasing contact and engagement between citizens and local institutions if the latter are not prepared to become more accountable and responsive may fail to resolve -- or potentially even worsen -- citizens’ grievances. It is therefore necessary for this program to take a “supply-and-demand” approach, supporting diverse citizens to engage in local development and security decision making while providing local government and security force officials with capacity development support as needed to enable them to effectively cooperate with citizens and demonstrate improved accountability in managing violence and development problems. In Niger, this citizen-government cooperation must include some level of engagement at the national level, where much security policy is crafted and governed. Further, according to recent research on community-level P/CVE efforts, there is a need for increased engagement of political parties, which often serve as both a source of violent extremism risk and as a potential bridging actor between citizens and government. This program will seize the ongoing process of establishing community development plans as an opportunity for increasing meaningful citizen participation in local affairs in concert with local officials, political parties, and security force representatives

Designing Indicators for Project Monitoring

After the logic model is developed, the next step is to develop indicators to track the delivery of program activities (outputs) and, most importantly, the achievement of program results (outcomes and objectives). Data collected using these indicators can provide the basis for ongoing reflection, learning and adaptation throughout program implementation. This data also will be useful in the case of a midterm or final evaluation of the program.

Although indicators should be designed based on the specific results statements included in the logic model, it can also be useful to utilize standard indicators that are commonly used across the youth development sector. Drawing on these resources can create synergies between NDI and the broader youth development community and enable learning across implementing organizations. USAID’s YouthPower Learning Project has produced several resources, including indicator lists and guidance for measuring Positive Youth Development constructs, for measuring changes in youth development, engagement and participation, including a Technical Brief on Measuring Youth Engagement and the Positive Youth Development Measurement Toolkit. While these guides address a broader set of youth development outcomes that may not be relevant for the objectives and age groups targeted by NDI programs, they can provide some initial indicators and inspire further ideas about how to measure changes in youth agency and the enabling environment. The table below provides some suggested indicators, adapted from YouthPower Learning’s resources.

Youth Agency Enabling Environment
  • Number/proportion of youth who demonstrate strengthened political leadership and/or organizing skills.
  • Number/proportion of youth who report or demonstrate increased self-efficacy to engage in effective political action.
  • Number/proportion of youth who developed plans for collective political action.
  • Number/proportion of youth who implemented plans for collective political action.
  • Number/proportion of youth who report increased positive beliefs about the ability to affect political change after participating in the program.

  • Number/proportion of youth who attain leadership roles within their organizations, political parties, or government.
  • Number/proportion of youth who establish new collaborative relationships with older leaders in their organizations, political parties or government.
  • Number/proportion of youth who report positive value and/or recognition by older people in their sector at the end of the program. Number of national- or local-level laws and policies adopted to support increased youth political participation and leadership.
  • Number of national- or local-level laws and policies adopted to increase youth participation and leadership that address gender inequities and promote balanced and fair gender norms.
  • Number of internal organizational or political party policies adopted to increase meaningful youth participation and leadership.
  • Number of internal organizational or political party policies adopted to increase meaningful youth participation and leadership that address gender inequities and promote balanced and fair gender norms.

Although these illustrative indicators can inspire thinking about how to monitor and evaluate youth political participation programs, there is always a need for additional work to develop custom indicators for a given program. Specific program objectives, contextual factors, and level of resources available for monitoring and evaluation determine what types of change can and should be measured. After considering a list of standard indicators, such as the illustrative indicators listed above, the program team should closely review the logic model and engage in a facilitated discussion about how to effectively measure each results statement (output, outcome and objective). It is often ideal to settle on one indicator for each result, but additional indicators can be included if sufficient resources exist to gather and manage additional data.

To ensure that program indicators are useful, they should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). When designing an indicator for a particular results statement, consider the following questions:

  • What will be the observable effects of achieving this deliverable or result (output, outcome, objective)? How can those effects be measured?
  • If the effects of achieving the result cannot be directly measured, what is a reasonable proxy measure that could be used to measure achievement of this result?
  • Does the program have sufficient resources to collect and analyze data for this particular measure?
  • Is it feasible to expect change on this indicator within the time period of the program?
  • If a strong direct or indirect measure cannot be established, how can the result statement be reframed or refined to ensure that it is measurable?

The Malawi program demonstrates how indicators can be developed to measure changes in youth agency and the enabling environment based on the logic model presented in the previous section. The table below summarizes the indicators developed for the Malawi program.

Malawi: Strengthening Youth Leadership in Civil Society and Political Parties
Indicator Summary Table
Result Statements Indicator(s)
Objective 1: Strengthen meaningful youth leadership and decision making in Malawian civil society organizations Number of policy changes achieved as a result of youth-led policy advocacy campaigns
Outcome 1.1 [AGENCY]: Youth demonstrate improved abilities to serve as leaders within civil society organizations Number of trainings implemented by youth for their peers based on new skills learned from NDI

Number of policy advocacy campaigns implemented by youth fellows on community issues

Output 1.1.1 [ASSETS]: Youth have improved skills in research, policy analysis and development, program design, and organizational leadership and management Number of civil society youth who participate in the youth leaders academy
Output 1.1.2 [ASSETS]: Youth have the skills to train other young staff and volunteers on topics from the youth leadership academy Number of youth who participate in the TOT
Output 1.1.3 [ASSETS, ACTION]: Youth fellows develop good quality proposals for community programs Number of youth fellows’ program proposals approved by NDI for implementation
Output 1.1.4 [ACTION]: Youth receive support for the implementation of community programs Number of NDI consultations with youth fellows to support them in the implementation of their policy advocacy campaigns

Number of policy briefs developed by youth fellows

Output 1.1.5 [ACTION]: CSO youth have relationships for future collaboration with other youth on shared priorities Number of CSO youth participating in networking activities
Outcome 1.2 [ENVIRO]: Increased value among older civil society leaders for meaningful youth leadership Number of leadership responsibilities newly delegated by older CSO leaders to young staff or members
Output 1.2.1 [SPACES, VALUE]: CSO Executive Directors are aware of inclusion challenges in their organizations, and provide buy-in for the program Number of priorities for increasing intra-organizational youth inclusion identified during workshops and consultations with CSO Executive Directors
Output 1.2.2 [INTERGEN]: Youth have mentorship relationships with older community leaders to extend beyond the life of the program. Number of youth paired with mentors
Output 1.2.3 [VALUE]: Youth present their policy advocacy work to older community leaders. Number of community leaders who attend presentations of young people’s advocacy work
Output 1.2.4 [VALUE]: Parliamentarians witness CSO youth providing input on legislation in Parliament Number of parliamentarians present during meetings where youth provide input on legislation
Output 1.2.5 [VALUE]: Academy content designed to address CSOs’ needs, ensuring there will be demand and value for skills youth learn Number of adaptations to the academy curriculum based on feedback from CSO youth and Executive Directors
Objective 2: Support the ability of political party youth to expand space within their parties for youth participation Number of changes to party constitutions or bylaws to increase meaningful youth leadership/decision making
Outcome 2.1 [AGENCY]: Youth have improved abilities to take on leadership roles within their political parties Number of internal party advocacy campaigns implemented by political party youth
Output 2.1.1 [ASSETS]: Youth have improved knowledge and skills related to political party structures, campaign management and electoral systems, political research, and manifesto development Number of political party youth who participate in the Youth Leaders’ Academy
Output 2.1.2 [ASSETS]: Youth produce policy recommendations to inform internal party advocacy campaigns Number of policy recommendations designed by youth for internal party advocacy campaigns
Output 2.1.3 [ACTION]: Youth receive support to lead advocacy campaigns on their self-selected priorities Number of consultations with political party youth to provide guidance on the implementation of advocacy campaigns
Output 2.1.4 [ACTION]: Youth take action to raise public awareness of their issue priorities Number of public awareness activities conducted by youth
Output 2.2.1 [SPACES, VALUE]: Youth present recommendations to party leaders for improving inclusion and meaningful participation of youth within their parties Number of recommendations presented by youth to party leaders to improve the inclusion and meaningful participation of youth within their parties
Output 2.2.2 [SPACES]: Older party leaders identify ways to increase inclusion of youth within their parties Number of priorities identified by older party leaders for increasing inclusion of youth within their parties
Outcome 2.3 [ENVIRO]: Increased value among political party leaders for meaningful youth participation and leadership Number of party leadership responsibilities newly delegated by older party leaders to young members
Output 2.3.1 [VALUE]: Youth leaders academy content tailored to the capacity needs of political parties, ensuring there will be demand and value for the skills youth learn Number of adaptations to the youth leaders academy curriculum based on feedback from party leaders and/or young members
Output 2.3.2 [INEQUITIES]: Equal numbers of women and men nominated to participate in program opportunities Proportion of women who participate in program activities

Similarly, the table below presents an example of indicators for the Niger program.

 
Niger: Supporting Pluralistic and Inclusive Community-Led Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
Indicator Summary Table
Result Statements Indicator(s)
Objective 1: Reduced governance-related vulnerabilities to violent extremist recruitment in Nigerien communities Reported level of trust among participating community members in local government and security forces
Outcome 1.1: Increased efforts by community leaders to demonstrate accountability to citizens Number of decisions made by community leaders in relation to the implementation of action plans to address development and security challenges
Output 1.1.1: CDCs established in Nigerien communities Number of CDCs established or reactivated with NDI assistance under this program
Output 1.1.2: CDC managers develop action plans to address development and security challenges Number of action plans developed by CDC managers
Output 1.1.3: Political parties have increased capacity to engage community members in developing solutions to local security challenges Number of political party representatives who participate in capacity-development interventions
Outcome 1.2: Local government demonstrates improved ability to respond to local security and development challenges Number of strategies or initiatives implemented by local officials to improve local security and development
Output 1.2.1: Newly elected officials trained to manage violence and identify and address development challenges Number of elected officials trained to manage violence and identify and address development challenges
Output 1.2.2: Policy recommendations shared with national-level decision makers Number of policy recommendations shared with national-level decision makers
Outcome 1.3 [AGENCY]: Youth more effectively engage in community development Number of community programs implemented by youth
Output 1.3.1 [ASSETS]: Youth have strengthened skills in leadership, negotiation, public speaking and planning community action Number of youth who demonstrate improved leadership, negotiation, public speaking and planning community action skills as a result of NDI support
Output 1.3.2 [ACTION]: Youth receive support to conduct community activities Number of youth who receive technical support to implement community program
Outcome 1.4 [AGENCY]: Community development plans reflect interests and participation of ethnically diverse youth Number of priorities identified by rural, culturally and linguistically diverse youth that are integrated into community development plans
Output 1.4.1 [ASSETS, MEET]: Youth better understand community development plans and provide input on their priorities Number of youth from rural areas and minority ethnic communities who participate in workshops on community development plans and priorities
Output 1.4.2 [ASSETS, MEET]: Ethnically diverse youth identify resiliences and vulnerabilities of young people and shared community develop priorities Number of youth from rural areas and culturally and linguistically diverse communities who participate in workshops to identify resilience and vulnerabilities of young people and shared community development priorities
Outcome 1.5 [ENABLING ENVIRONMENT]: Increased support for diverse youth participation in community development Number of actions taken by culturally and linguistically diverse groups of youth to address shared community development priorities
Output 1.5.1 [SPACES, INTERGEN]: Youth participate in CDC efforts to address development and security challenges Number of youth who participate in CDC efforts (meetings) to address development and security challenges
Output 1.5.2 [VALUE]: Youth demonstrate policy expertise to national decision makers Number of youth who present policy recommendations to national leaders
Output 1.5.3 [INEQUITIES]: Urban engaged youth trained on mentoring, leadership and active listening skills Number of urban youth who are already politically engaged who receive training on mentoring, leadership and active listening skills

Planning MEL for Youth Projects

The various elements described above should be incorporated into an overall plan for program monitoring, evaluation and learning. The overall plan provides a narrative describing how the program will be monitored and evaluated, including how indicator data will be collected and managed, how MEL roles and responsibilities will be distributed, and the types of evaluation and learning activities that will be conducted. The scope of the overall MEL plan depends on the program design and resources available for MEL.