Who should use the YPAT?
The tool is applicable to any YSO with program(s) targeting youth ages 10–29.
The YPAT is designed to facilitate assessment of youth program offering(s) and youth-related organizational and management practices. It does not provide an assessment of the overall organizational capacity, which can be conducted using tools such as the Organizational Capacity Assessment (Tool), or the Organizational Performance Index (OPI).
Organizations can administer the tool for one or more specific program offerings1 or across all programs if they are relatively homogenous. If the organization has multiple heterogeneous programs it should score each program separately.
Who should participate in the assessment?
We recommend that the Assessment Form be completed in a participatory manner by an Assessment Committee comprising 5-8 members. The participatory assessment approach is aimed at combining multiple perspectives. The committee members should represent the program’s: leadership, management staff, program staff involved in program delivery, and at least two participants from the Youth Reflection Groups (described below). We consider program staff as anyone who is involved in program design, planning, delivery, or facilitation. Program staff may refer to trainers, facilitators, supervisors, teachers, coaches, mentors, volunteers, or others. Participant youth include youth who are currently participating in or recently finished a youth program.
Each organization should identify a facilitator to lead the assessment process. Where possible, the organization should try to identify an external facilitator since an external facilitator may provide a more neutral lens to the assessment process. External facilitators may be volunteers, consultants, or trainers. If an organization is unable to secure an external facilitator, it should select an internal facilitator who is NOT directly involved in the program offering(s) under assessment.
How should we engage youth in the assessment process?
The YPAT uses a two-stage process for youth engagement to ensure youth feel prepared and empowered to share their opinions. This includes: 1) Youth Reflection Groups in which one or more groups of youth will convene to fill out a separate assessment tool, Youth Feedback Form, which captures youth experiences and perceptions of key standards, and 2) participation of selected youth representatives in the Assessment Committee.
The YPAT can be applied across a variety of program offerings, such as:
- Work readiness programs
- Community service projects
- Entrepreneurship programs
- Outdoor adventure