An Engagement Platform to Amplify Youth Voices (Mastercard Foundation)

We're piloting a youth engagement platform for Young Africa Works

An Engagement Platform to Amplify Youth Voices (Mastercard Foundation)

AVF, together with Spatial Collective, is working with Mastercard Foundation to pilot 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 Young Africa Works 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 is looking for a replicable, scalable and efficient channel to engage youth communities and produce robust insights that it can act upon to deliver relevant and impactful interventions.


AVF will design, test, refine and deploy an SMS-based platform to be used by Mastercard Foundation’s youth participants. The platform will be used for diagnostic research of youth needs, as a channel for feedback for programme adaptation 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 will design and pilot an effective channel for youth engagement. To do this, AVF and Spatial Collective are co-creating a youth employment-focused event that the platform prototype will support. 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 proposing it as a solution for other Mastercard Foundation programmes. The ‘live’ test will also generate rich data on youth perspectives that will be analysed as part of the overall project.

Through this AVF ‘engagement into evidence’ innovation that directly connects Mastercard Foundation with youth participants in its programmes, our platform will empower both groups. African youth will be able to give feedback and share ideas, stimulating programme adjustments and evaluating impact according to their priorities. Mastercard Foundation will benefit as the provision of services that youth shape and value will pivot their continental strategy to be truly youth-centred.

Timeframe: August 2018 to March 2019.  

Project Team: Sharath Srinivasan (Co-Project Lead), Rita Zagoni (Co-Project Lead), Luke Church (Senior Data & Technology Advisor)