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Webinar 12: USAID YouthPower Tools for Positive Youth Development and Peacebuilding
September 5, 2017

Webinar Date and Time: September 20, 2017 at 3:00 EST. Click here to view the recording.

Webinar Description: Positive Youth Development is a guiding principle of USAID’s Youth in Development Policy. Both a philosophy and an approach, it emphasizes the importance of young people having the knowledge and skills they need, the opportunity to harness those skills, and a supportive environment in order to thrive as adults. YouthPower uses a positive youth development (PYD) approach to implement programs across sectors and seeks to improve the capacity of youth-led and youth-serving institutions to achieve sustainable cross-sectoral outcomes in health, workforce development and democracy and governance. During this one-hour webinar, participants learned about PYD features and tools, as well as how these tools can be applied in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

You can access their presentations by clicking on the links below.

  1. YouthPower – Positive Youth Development
  2. YouthPower Learning Tools for Positive Youth Development and Peacebuilding
  3. Key Soft Skills for Cross-Sectoral Youth Development Outcomes

Speaker Bios: 

Kristin Brady: For more than twenty five years, Kristin Brady has specialized in international development as a youth and education expert, project manager and policy maker.  She serves as Project Director for YouthPower Action and as Director of FHI 360’s Youth Department.  She has served as Co-Chair of the Advocacy working group of the Alliance for International Youth Development and currently serves as Co-Chair of the SID Working Group on Youth.   She has worked in Latin America and Africa, speaks Spanish and Portuguese and published studies on public private partnerships in Latin America.  Earlier in her career, she served as senior staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  She has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Sarah Gates is a Technical Officer in the Social & Economic Development Division at FHI 360, where she provides research and technical support to the YouthPower Action activity on youth soft skills development and measurement and to the task order on Countering Violent Extremism in the Middle East and North Africa. She was a lead author on the review Key Soft Skills for Cross-Sectoral Youth Outcomes. Previously, she provided research and data visualization support to FHI 360’s Education Policy Data Center, where she also researched national learning assessments in developing countries. She has fieldwork experience in Kenya and Uganda, as well as experience coordinating youth development programs in a youth workforce center and a university-based civic engagement program. She earned a Masters in International Development from the University of Denver, where she researched youth political participation and education in conflict-affected countries.

Cassandra Jesse serves as the Director of YouthPower Learning, a USAID-sponsored program managed by Making Cents International, which provides research and evaluation of youth programming. Cassandra has extensive experience managing evaluations and implementing international development programs for USAID, UNICEF and other donors, including field experiences as Deputy Chief of Party and Acting Chief of Party Her M&E and management experiences span education, health and nutrition in schools, social protection, community development, workforce development, and agriculture. Cassandra holds a MA in Applied Economics with a specialization in International Economic Development from John’s Hopkins University.

Ramon Balestino is a Technical Director at Management Systems International and a performance improvement specialist with decades of experience leading teams and facilitating client-driven transformations to maximize impact. In both the public and commercial sectors, has been highly effective in utilizing results-based, collaborative approaches to manage large projects, enable change in challenging environments, facilitate scale, and generate new business. Functional competencies include: results based project design and management, strategic planning, scaling-up, strategic communication, executive coaching, mixed method research and analytics, performance monitoring and evaluation, business process re-engineering, facilitation and training. These competencies have allowed successful experience and contributions in a range of technical areas that include: change management and organizational development, policy design and implementation, global health, value chains, youth development, workforce development, small and medium enterprise development, rule of law, local governance, primary and secondary education, and public-private partnerships.

Mr. Balestino has demonstrated success in supporting a wide range of development partners development partners to obtain results, including: host-country governments, US Agency for International Development, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation, United Nations, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Labor, Federal Emergency Management Agency, non-governmental organizations, and private sector companies. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Mr. Balestino holds an M.A. in Economic Development, is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) and a certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner.

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