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FHI 360's presence at the Making Cents conference

September 30, 2015

FHI 360 joins peers from around the world for the 9th annual Making Cents International Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit October 6–8, 2015, in Washington, DC. This year’s theme, “Scale in Practice,” will be emphasized across five technical tracks, providing global development stakeholders with an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to increase economic opportunities for young people.

Key FHI 360 sessions include the following.


4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Applying Systems Thinking to Workforce Development: Social Network Analysis in Morocco and Nicaragua


Systems thinking and a systems approach to development have gained considerable attention recently but can be difficult to put into practice. Additionally, systems work requires a fresh analytical approach. In this collaborative session, a number of different systems approaches and how they fit into a broader framework of program design, implementation, and evaluation tools will be explored. Panelists will introduce concrete examples of the application of social and organizational network analysis of the workforce development context, and the facilitator will guide attendees through a participatory systems mapping exercise.

FHI 360 Presenter

Yousra Elhatib, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist


10:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m.
Soft Skills: Frontiers of Learning


Hear conclusive evidence about how key elements of character — long considered fixed personality traits — are in fact teachable skills. Moreover, programs that develop such skills among children and adolescents have generated impressive economic and social returns. The presentation will explore implications for international youth development programs.

The audience will learn about five key soft skills that prepare youth for success in the workforce: higher order thinking, communication, social skills, self-control and positive self-concept. Key findings will be shared from a new white paper “Key Soft Skills that Foster Youth Workforce Success,” authored by research center Child Trends under the Workforce Connections project managed by FHI 360 and funded by USAID. The paper draws from an exhaustive review of empirical evidence, consensus projects, employer literature and consultation with key stakeholders, including participants at last year’s Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit.

FHI 360 Moderator

Lara Goldmark, Technical Director, Private Sector Innovations

10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Getting Serious about Soft Skills Development in Youth Programs


What does it really take to develop soft skills? Leading research suggests that the combination of mentoring and workplace-based learning is a proven way to develop soft skills and can lead to higher wages and other beneficial long-term outcomes. This session breaks down the forms that effective mentoring can take, including continuous feedback on performance as well as self-reflection. It offers concrete examples from leading programs about how mentoring and workplace-based learning are being combined for effective results and how mentorship of new employees can continue on the job.

FHI 360 Moderator

Kristin Brady, Director, Youth Department


To learn more about our youth programs, visit us at: