What is the Work in Progress! project?

The Work in Progress! project is enhancing the skills of young men and women in Nigeria, Egypt and Somaliland to help them secure decent employment today and for the future. The project also accelerates startups and offers business development services to impact-driven small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so that they can employ more young people while deepening their social and environmental impact.

WiP’s efforts go further by collaborating with governments, private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to enhance the enabling environment by changing policies, laws, practices, attitudes and beliefs concerning youth and work.

WiP is generously funded by LEAD (Local Employment for African Development) initiative of the Department for Sustainable Economic Development (DDE) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Our Partners in progress

Together with our Alliance and project partners, we are pushing through the frontiers to ensure that young people are equipped with skills for today and the future to find paid jobs and set up their businesses in an environment that thrives. Below is a brief description of each partner with links to additional information.

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In Nigeria, the project partner Poise works on advancing employability skills training and manages the Bits Schools, Ekobits and Edobits. These are both digital design schools. Poise Nigeria also works on gender influencing campaigns and offers trainings on Futures Literacy.  

She Leads Africa (SLA) is a startup accelerator focusing exclusively on women-founded startups through its High Growth Coaching Program. This is a digital program offering intensive training in business and operational skills for aspiring startups.

Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) provides business development support services for impact-driven SMEs. A key component of their core trainings and advisory services includes circular business practices. EDC is also involved in improving the enabling environment for SMEs and youth in Nigeria.

VC4A ensures that startups improve their operations and have access to business networks, knowledge and finance. They do this via their online Startup Academy, establish connections with startup incubators and accelerators, and by implementing the Mentor Driven Capital (MDC) programme in all three countries.

Butterfly Works is an Amsterdam-based social design studio pioneering the use of co-creation and design thinking in international development. It also an Alliance partner of WiP! Butterfly Works supports several TVET centers in Nigeria and Somaliland to improve their curricula including the introduction of the Digital Labs component and design thinking for startups.

Hanze University of Applied Sciences has been working on the basic foundations of Futures Literacy, particularly in Nigeria through WiP partner, Poise. The purpose is to implement FL in the regular training curricula of Poise and foster the mindset of FL within students and other stakeholders.

In Somaliland, Shaqodoon, is the partner that manages the Bits digital design school Hargabits, in Hargeisa.

In Boroma, the Somaliland Skills Training Association, SOSTA, is offering a range of vocational and technical skills trainings including soft employability skills. The start-up accelerator is Innovate Ventures, supported by VC4A and focused on tech start-ups. The project partners with Shuraako for Business Development Services and with Havoyoco for creating an enabling environment.

In Egypt, Icealex implements start-up support initiatives in Alexandria. Ahead of the Curve is the Business Development Service partner, and The Community Hub is focused on gender issues, wellbeing of youth, inclusion and entrepreneurship.

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Explore our annual reports

2016   2017   2018   2016 - 2019

2020   2021    2022

Explore our robust resources

We paused to evaluate - internally, with our partners and with the youth we work with. Guided by our Theory of Change and policy brief, we learned through the journey and reported our findings. Like to learn more - explore our robust resources. 

Following the WiP’s motto “Nothing about Youth Without Youth”, a youth-led Mid Term Review (MTR) was commissioned to evaluate the project’s both process and outcomes. Young people, aged 18 to 35, were recruited from project countries to design and implement the MTR, analyze and report findings, while leading the entire review process by themselves. 

The objective of the MTR was to assess if the project was on track to deliver its intended results and to provide actionable recommendations for improving project design and implementation. All findings, conclusions and recommendations are captured in the MTR report.  

Why to include Youth in Evaluation?  

  • Youth Empowerment and Participation: Engaging youth in evaluations empowers them to actively contribute to decision-making, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility. By this, we acknowledge their expertise, perspectives, and innovative solutions. 
  • Contextual Relevance and Responsiveness: Youth-led evaluations ensure that the evaluation process and questions are relevant to the experiences and aspirations of their fellow young people, capturing the unique insights of the youth and adapt interventions to better address their needs.  
  • Accountability and Transparency: Involving young people as evaluators encourages open dialogue, critical thinking, and constructive feedback, creating a culture of transparency and continuous improvement. This can also enhance the credibility and legitimacy of our programs. 
  • Learning and Capacity Development: Youth-led evaluation provides a valuable opportunity for young people to develop essential skills in data collection, analysis, critical thinking, and decision-making. This allows young people to acquire practical experience and knowledge for future leadership roles.  

To hear directly from the youth evaluators about their experiences, see the video linked below. 

The Youth-led Evaluation Guide provides a comprehensive, yet practical, step-by-step manual for managing evaluations that are led by young people with no former evaluation experience. We believe this guide can greatly benefit others who are interested to include youth in their evaluation processes. Feel free to use this guide or share it with anyone that might be benefit from it. The guide was revised and updated as part of the 2nd phase of the Work in Progress! Project.



Connecting the dots

Learn all about WiP! by connecting the dots in our interactive tool...
(click on the image below)

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