Youth Practice Area

Positive Youth Development

Our Approach

NCBA CLUSA’s international work fosters healthy, productive and engaged youth through a positive youth development approach that builds youth assets, agency, contribution, engagement, and enabling environments. NCBA CLUSA primarily defines youth as aged 15 to 35, although we include an expanded definition to include children 10-14 for certain programs.

Our expertise in entrepreneurship and enterprise development, improving livelihoods, agricultural value chains, access to finance, and cooperative development is applied with a youth lens to transform youth’s lives. We create economic opportunities for youth and strengthen communities’ resilience. In our current work, we promote:

  • Youth leadership and engagement in civil society and local governance
  • Youth employment and income generation
  • Youth participation in cooperatives

Our community-led development approach engages youth, their families, and their communities by creating a positive environment in which youth can thrive. Our programs empower youth and build their agency by providing leadership training and encouraging participation in local governance and community organizations such as cooperatives, associations, and producer organizations (POs).

NCBA CLUSA prepares youth for work and self-employment by building life and entrepreneurship skills through training and hands-on learning. We strengthen youth economic opportunities through financial literacy education, training for youth to establish their own savings and credit associations and cooperatives, and by enabling youth participation along value chains.

Spotlight: Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture (YETA) Project


In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, NCBA CLUSA implemented the five-year, $11 million Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture (YETA) project in the Ugandan districts of Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kole and Dokolo. YETA empowered youth ages 15-24 to develop sustainable commercial enterprises through on- and off -farm agricultural businesses. During the project, NCBA CLUSA worked with a consortium of several partners including Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), Youth Alive Uganda, Afl atoun, Making Cents International and a number of local fi nancial partners. NCBA CLUSA also coordinated closely with the Youth Forward Learning Partnership, which included the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Development Research and Training (DRT).

Read the final report


The YETA effectiveness study assesses the effectiveness of the Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture (YETA) project to enhance youth engagement in agricultural enterprises.

Read the study