Youth & Transferable Skills Evidence Gap Map

The purpose of the Youth and Transferable Skills evidence gap map (EGM) is to provide easy access to the best available evidence on the outcomes of transferable skills programming for youth in low- and middle-income countries and to highlight where there are important gaps in this evidence base. Transferable skills, often referred to as soft, non-cognitive or life skills, provide youth with the tools and confidence to succeed in term of employment, health and personal well-being.

Interventions were mapped in seven thematic areas including formal education, extra-curricular activities, pedagogy, skills training, work placement, alternative learning pathways and financial support. Outcomes of these interventions were categorized into individual learning and behaviour outcomes, academics, employment, livelihoods and demography outcomes and institutional outcomes. Other considerations were mapped, including whether interventions measured long-term outcomes or those specifically on early school leavers, or whether the studies conducted gender-specific analysis or cost-effectiveness analysis.

The EGM identifies clusters of evidence assessing the effects of skills courses at school on individual knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, measured transferable skills and health and safety behaviours. Smaller clusters of evidence were also identified pertaining to experimental and participatory learning, transferable skills training particularly with TVET, community centres and civil society groups and peer-to-peer learning.

This map also highlights gaps in the primary evidence base on interventions conducted through the formal education system and learner-centred teaching methods, as well as for outcomes surrounding criminality, academic and school outcomes and institutional-level outcomes.

The EGM is based on a comprehensive search for systematic reviews and impact evaluations. It allows users to explore the findings of 98 impact evaluations (8 ongoing and 90 complete) through links to user friendly summaries on the 3ie Impact Evaluation Repository. The related systematic reviews are described in detail in the accompanying scoping paper.


The EGM was prepared by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) as part of a project funded by the MasterCard Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. Details of methods and more extensive analyses are provided in an accompanying scoping paper and evidence gap map report.