Authors: Sruti Bandyopadhyay

This delivery note was prepared by Sruti Bandyopadhyay based on an original case study from the Brookings Institution. Please click on the following link for the full case study: 

Case Study in brief: This case study explores how INJAZ—an independent Jordanian nonprofit organization founded in 1999 and specializing in youth empowerment—links the public, private, and civil society sectors to bridge the skills gap between the educational system and the changing needs of the labor market. INJAZ’s demand-driven programs serve youth from grade 7 to university level and after graduation with relevant and unique content and activities that improve students’ financial literacy, communication skills, interpersonal skills, ethical leadership, teamwork, and creative thinking skills. The programs’ learning and adaptation hinge on the volunteer-driven approach, on independent curriculum that better meets the needs of local students and local businesses, and on reflective monitoring and evaluation practices.

Development challenge: Youth population with limited job opportunities

Delivery challenges: Stakeholder engagement, skilled manpower, project finance, project design, and objectives backed by evaluation data

Lessons learned: 1) During the period of piloting and expanding its programs (2000–02), INJAZ adopted a unique approach to training students by forming partnerships with private sector companies and engaging their qualified staff members as unpaid trainers or "volunteers" to teach INJAZ programs at schools and universities. 2) The INJAZ Volunteering Unit focuses on institutionalizing volunteerism within the corporate social responsibility programs of many of its more than 300 private and public sector partners. 3) Orienting monitoring and evaluation functions toward programmatic and strategic questions, rather than reporting, increases the analytical capacity of teams. 4) A significant element of INJAZ’s programming is its grounding in experiential learning—learning by doing.