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IDB and YouthBuild International sign violence prevention agreement for The Bahamas and El Salvador

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the YouthBuild International (YBI) signed an agreement to apply the YouthBuild model for at-risk youth in The Bahamas and El Salvador

The YouthBuild model provides a pathway out of violence and social exclusion for at-risk youth in the beneficiary communities by combining education, technical skills training, leadership development, counseling support and placement of graduates in jobs, self-employment, or continuing education or training opportunities. Young people in YouthBuild programs build tangible community assets such as housing, community centers schools and clinics, as they advance their education, leadership and livelihood goals.

The work will include the design, pilot, and evaluation of the YouthBuild model in El Salvador and The Bahamas that will have approximately 200 total beneficiaries. It will also build a rigorous evidence base and learning agenda for North-South and South-South cooperation in efforts to strengthen socio-economic inclusion of at-risk youth.

The initiative will be financed by a US$735.000 technical cooperation grant.

YBI has existed for 35 years and is currently running programs in urban and rural locations in 45 US States and 15 countries. YBI is one of the most widely researched and awarded non-profit organizations in this sector. YBI is already undergoing a rigorous Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of 77 YouthBuild sites in the United States, including 4,600 participants, funded by the US Department of Labor and conducted by MDRC (lead), Mathematical Policy Research, and Social Policy Research Associates (SPR).

The work to be developed in El Salvador and The Bahamas is one of the priority areas for the IDB in Citizen Security and Justice, which seeks to provide access to comprehensive, effective social prevention for at-risk youths and women.

Since 1998 the IDB has been supporting the Latin American and Caribbean countries to reduce crime and violence by providing technical support with loan operations and grants for more than US$900 million. It has also been facilitating dialogue among countries and producing knowledge and evidence on what works to reduce crime and violence.