ADMF joined the Kenya Youth Employment Peer Learning Network this year.
The Youth Employment Peer Learning Network (PLN) is a safe space for individuals who are working in youth employment to discuss challenges, share failures and learnings, and collaborate around experiments that can drive our collective work forward.
Umsizi Fund supports this network through monthly calls where we learn with and from one another, through connections to experts and partners, and through tailored support to members based on where they are in their specific journey.
As ADMF we have already attended several of the many in-person events that were organised for the month of March. First, a sundowner dinner was held in a beautiful Nairobi private garden, for an informal networking session and ‘getting-to-know-you’.
This was an opportunity to have a relaxed chat with members of the network, and those leading it, and find out what each person is working on, whilst not being too ‘official’. Having this set up around a table also made it much easier for the conversation to happen organically instead of having to interrupt grip conversations, or leave people feeling left out of the conversation.
Next up was a showcase and Q&A with inspiring education and youth employment organization Educate! On an exciting new youth employment project of theirs focusing on boda boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers. All participants were able to troubleshoot some of their challenges together, around retention, payment and subscription management, and monitoring and evaluation, issues which almost all youth employment organizations grapple with on the daily!
The next day there was a workshop on ‘how to nudge’. Before you picture jostling someone with your elbow to get their attention, let us define nudge, according to how it was explored in this workshop. A nudge is a method of positive reinforcement, and indirectly influencing people to make a decision that is good for them but they otherwise might not make, without a ‘nudge’.
For example, Airbnb sending their hosts an email about how much they could be making from hosting guests over a public holiday weekend could ‘nudge’ many into making their rooms available and bringing down the price to remain competitive.
A supermarket texting you about the special offers they’re having on fruits, and suggesting you come and take advantage before the offer expires and including a voucher code, is another example of a nudge. All these things will benefit the individual in question, but they might need a ‘nudge’ or an incentive before they make the decision.
In this interactive workshop organised by the PLN, we explored the theory, and then applied it to some of our own challenges as organizations involved in youth employment.
Many were concerning attrition or engagement, and usually, the proposed ‘nudges’ involved SMS campaigns detailing what they stand to gain from taking certain beneficial actions and citing examples of people who have made the same decision before then and benefited. For example, ‘Bob signed up for this course and is now earning $1000 a month doing what he loves. Be like Bob, sign up now’.
Though the concept isn’t new to many of us, the workshop presented it in a clear and systematic way and also showed how to approach it from an academic, iterative point of view, to draw maximum benefit and learnings.
Thanks to the Youth Employment PLN for putting these sessions together, and we look forward to many more!