During entra21’s first phase of activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, from 2001 to 2007, the program left a positive and lasting imprint on many of its local implementing organizations—including entra21’s partner in Panama, Consejo del Sector Privado para la Asistencia Educacional (CoSPAE). During its work with entra21 from 2003 to 2005, CoSPAE expanded and strengthened its capacity for working effectively with disadvantaged youth in the area of employability training. More than 500 youth gained job-related skills as a result. In addition, after entra21 funding ended, CoSPAE was able to build on its experience to address the country’s rising demand for effective youth job training programs.

Adapting a Successful Model to Meet Growing Demands: Lessons from an entra21 Project in Panama tells the story of how CoSPAE took what it learned from entra21 to develop and implement a new youth initiative and expand its geographic base. This new effort, called el Instituto de Competividad Juvenil Dominador Kaiser Bazan (ICJ), has scaled up the original program by facilitating similar initiatives with the private sector and implementing its own projects. Launched in 2008, the ICJ Institute now offers a range of support services to help young people get jobs.

The study—the next installment in IYF’s Latin America and Caribbean Learning Series—shows how entra21 helped CoSPAE strengthen its relationships with local businesses, civil society organizations, educational institutions and trade unions—and then leverage those relationships to build its new youth initiative. It describes as well how CoSPAE’s ability to provide employers and unions with “tailor-made” training focused on a specific area of customer services helped grow the program.

Download the Panama study in English and in Spanish.