Mastercard Foundation: Enabling Feedback and Amplifying Youth Voices through SMS

AVF is designing engagement platforms to connect Mastercard with Kenyan youth

Mastercard Foundation: Enabling Feedback and Amplifying Youth Voices through SMS

AVF, together with Spatial Collective, is working with Mastercard Foundation to create an SMS-based engagement platform to amplify the voices of African youth and place them at the heart of Mastercard Foundation’s programmes.

Mastercard Foundation’s new multi-year strategy  focuses on tackling the youth employment challenge facing countries across Africa. Youth experiences and knowledge are key to designing, implementing and improving their strategy. To surface these insights, Mastercard Foundation requires a replicable, scalable and efficient channel to engage youth communities and produce robust insights that it can act upon to deliver relevant, impactful and accountable interventions.


AVF will design, test, refine and deploy an SMS-based platform to be used by Mastercard Foundation’s youth beneficiaries. The platform will be used for diagnostic research of youth needs, as a channel for feedback for programme adaptation and accountability and for evaluating Mastercard Foundation’s programme impact.

AVF’s work will generate unfiltered qualitative and quantitative insights from youth communities. By aligning this to a methodological framework, the data we collect will generate timely, credible and actionable evidence for Mastercard Foundation programmes.

Working with Nairobi-based Spatial Collective, we are developing a pilot to develop an effective channel for SMS-based youth engagement. To design, test and demonstrate an SMS platform capable of sustaining engagement with Kenyan youth AVF and Spatial Collective are co-creating a youth employment-focused event. Project participants will collaborate on the event’s development, providing feedback on their experience with the event and its outcomes. This will allow us to refine the platform before launch across other Mastercard Foundation programmes, while also generating rich data that will be analysed as part of the overall project.

Through a citizen engagement and evidence innovation that directly connects Mastercard Foundation with beneficiaries, the platform we develop will empower both groups. African youth will be able to feedback, stimulating programme adjustments and evaluating impact according to their priorities. Mastercard Foundation will benefit as the provision of more effective and accountable services to youth will pivot their continental strategy to be truly youth-centred.

The pilot project is expected to take eight months to complete.  

Project Team: Sharath Srinivasan (Co-Project Lead), Rita Zagoni (Co-Project Lead), Partha Moman (Project Advisor), Anowa Quarcoo (Project Research Intern)