The YPAT helps Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs) understand the extent to which effective youth program practices are being implemented as part of their program offerings and identify areas that need strengthening or further development. It provides concrete steps and examples for how a YSO can operationalize Positive Youth Development (PYD) with the ultimate goal of improving programming to enhance developmental outcomes for youth.

The YPAT was primarily informed by USAID’s YouthPower’s Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework and approach to youth programming, in addition to a detailed review of PYD evidence, existing tools, receiving stakeholder feedback and then refinements in collaboration with youth-serving organizations in Jordan and Jamaica. Below you will find standards [gray boxes] for each of the categories (Domains) under the PYD framework: Assets, Agency, Contribution, and Enabling Environment, as well as a section for PYD principles applied to Organizational Capacity. These standards will be evaluated individually, and then as a group. When scoring, remember that the goal of the Assessment is to reflect on program practices that can ultimately lead to improved programming and youth outcomes.

The organization can choose to score one of the following ways:

  • Focus on only one program offering
  • Score each standard by program and obtain a YPAT score for each program
  • Average program scores for each standard
  • Use the lowest score of the programs to emphasize the need to improve that standard

In the following sections, you will look at different sections of the full assessment form. Each section is focused on an element of PYD, such as Assets and Agency, Contribution, and Enabling Environment, and contribute to your organization designing and implementing strong youth programs. During the assessment, you may chose to complete all sections, or focus on one section at a time. The Assessment Committee should first individually score the section(s), and then convene a meeting where the committee discusses their individual scores and decides on a group score.

Individual scoring – To complete the tool, follow these steps:

  • Read each domain and the key program features that describe it.
  • Read each standard and reflect on how it is operationalized within each program. Use your own knowledge and experience with the program to record evidence and/or anecdotes that describe the extent to which the standard is implemented in practice. Be honest in your reflection to ensure the final scores represent the program reality.
  • Rate each item using a scale comprising the following levels: “Not yet developed;” “Beginning;” “Developing;” or “Competent,” basing your score on the evidence and/or anecdotes described in the previous step.

Consensus scoring – Once all members of the Assessment Committee have individually completed the Assessment Form, the facilitator will convene a committee meeting. Any standard with

  • The committee jointly reviews item by item, discusses, and reaches a consensus on the final score.
  • The facilitator will ask for participants’ evidence and anecdotes to guide a discussion on each item.
  • These scores will then be used to determine the overall score for each Domain.

The YPAT form is available in English and Spanish.