YouthStart’s theory of change lies on the premise that: “When accessing the right combination of financial and non-financial services, youth - young women and girls in particular- are better equipped to make more informed financial decisions, build financial (e.g. savings), social (e.g. social networks) and human assets (e.g. skills and knowledge) for their futures and create sustainable livelihoods.”
In order to test this hypothesis, UNCDF undertook an extensive research study to deepen its understanding on the current knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors of youth that have been accessing financial and non-financial services, and how their participation in the programme has led or not to small changes that could become the foundation for greater impact in the future. Through the financial diaries methodology, the study followed the savings and spending patterns of youth by conducting weekly interviews with them over a six-month span. This paper provides a high-level synopsis of the findings from the study of two YouthStart Partners involved in the study: FUCEC in Togo and ACSI in Ethiopia.