In 2019, Uganda imposed Africa’s strictest lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, closing businesses and schools, and banning sales of non-food items at open markets, public gatherings, and the use of vehicles for non-essential purposes. This work builds on two previously implemented RCTs of the Educate! Experience and Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program and will shed light on the impacts of COVID-19 on young people in Uganda.
Educate! Experience and Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) are two distinct yet complementary youth leadership and entrepreneurship programs that feature different combinations/intensities of soft and hard skills training. The original interventions were implemented in Uganda during the 2012-2013 school years with youth in their last two years of secondary education. The medium run follow-ups for the two intervention showed that the programs had strong and meaningful impacts on youth's skills and economic outcomes. Furthermore, the Educate! 4- year follow-up also documented strong gender-related impacts.
The follow up survey planned to start in September 2021 will offer a first glimpse into whether the SEED/Educate! programs translated into better coping strategies and improved ability to navigate the labor market and economic challenges during the ongoing pandemic. The study participants of the two RCTs are a nationally representative sample of over 6,000 Ugandan youth in their mid/late-20’s and spanning over 3,000 businesses. The Fall 2021 survey round, supported by IPA's WWES initiative, will focus on business and labor market outcomes. The research team also plans on conducting additional data collections in 2022 which will focus on noneconomic outcomes such as gender norms, IPV, mental health, family formation and fertility and household dynamics/decision making.