To improve the long-term job prospects of young Palestinians, the Youth Entrepreneurship Development (YED) initiative is implementing a range of training activities to strengthen the capacity of local organizations to design and implement effective employment, entrepreneurship, and service learning programs that integrate international best practices. In order to support and encourage participation in the trainings, YED is issuing grants to seven new partner organizations, totaling $13,000, to cover partial salary support and transportation cost reimbursements for staff directly engaged in the workshops. Grant recipients include schools and universities, local and global NGOs, vocational training institutes, and trade associations.

Says Dr. Mohammed AlMbaid, Chief of Party for the YED Program: “We are very pleased to be able to contribute to improving the quality of services that Palestinian youth receive by sharing with our Palestinian partners international best practices and lessons learned from other countries.”

YED is a four-year US$15 million initiative, supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF), to improve employment, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement opportunities for young Palestinians, ages 14 to 29. Through grants issued in conjunction with its organizational capacity-building activities, YED is expected to benefit 10,000 young people through employability and entrepreneurships skills training, practical on-the-job internships, youth-led service training activities, and support for start up enterprises.

The Capacity Strengthening Process (CSP) begins with an in-depth participatory assessment of each organization’s existing capacity to ensure the training activities are effective and tailored to address relevant organizational needs. In addition to the inter-active training workshops, participants will also benefit from site visits to YED-funded and other youth development programs, attendance at technical clinics to explore specific topics of interest, guest speakers, and one-on-one coaching sessions. After completing the process, participating organizations are invited to submit proposals for youth-focused activities to be funded by YED. Those organizations awarded grants receive ongoing support as they apply the skills and knowledge they have gained through the CSP process.

YED implemented the first round of CSP in 2011. Organizations participating in the current training workshops include: Al Quds Open University, Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCE-1), Friends Boys’ School, Injaz-Palestine, Palestinian Food Industries Association, TVET League, and YMCA-East Jerusalem.

Khaled Shanaa, a current CSP participant and Director of the Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCE-I) at Al Ahliya College, describes the benefits of the training: “Attending the CSP II workshops and being part of this process has already given me a great deal of knowledge and tools to design and implement high quality projects using best practices.”