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The 7-STEP process in the Youth Opportunities Project

The Youth Opportunities (YOU) project aims to reduce child labour and financially empower unemployed rural youth. To achieve these aims, young people in rural areas receive skills-training to help them become self-employed or find employment. The 7-STEPS approach was embedded strongly within the project, to link the training as tightly as possible to labour market demand. This proved to be a challenging process…

Key words:

  • Poultry farming
  • Process
  • Policy plan
  • Strategy
  • SWOT analysis

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The 7-STEPS and the YOU project

The Youth Opportunities (YOU) project aims to reduce child labour and financially empower unemployed rural youth. To achieve these aims, rural youth receive skills-training to help them become self-employed or find employment.

Edukans and SII agreed on an advisory trajectory to implement the 7-STEPS. The 7-STEPS approach has far-reaching implications for organizations that are committed to using it effectively. The 7-STEPS should be embedded in a training policy framework, consisting of:

  • A training policy plan;
  • A strategy;
  • Internal and external developments, and;
  • A SWOT analysis.

Three Edukans advisory missions took place in 2015. The first mission focused on the 7-STEPS and the training policy framework.

A. The training policy plan

Most of the issues had already been addressed in the organization’s strategic plan, but there was a need to align them further within the context of the Learn4Work project.

In the case of SII, we had revised our strategic plan after the Edukans organizational assessment, but we recognized that we needed to adjust the plan further in order to accommodate the YOU project fully in our work. We realized that if we wished to deliver the training effectively, SII would need to adjust its work processes, management, financing, organization and human resources.

During the workshop, SII came up with a vision, mission and activity statement for the project. We also agreed on general aims and specific objectives related to the project. We defined our target group and partner involvement as well as financing and sustainability issues.

B. Strategy

The 7-STEPS model is largely managerial in that it provides management with structured insights at the organizational and project levels. When using the 7-STEPS, it is critical that an organization analyse its work processes, operational processes and supporting processes at both of these levels.

When we did this, we realized that the YOU project has had a considerable impact on our strategic plan in terms of our work processes, management, financing, organization and human resources. This has led to the creation of new processes (e.g., information management flows, new positions, a satellite office in Nyeri, etc.) that were not anticipated in our initial strategic plan.

Although the YOU project is fairly new, SII has already made several strategic decisions and adopted approaches that are relevant to the 7-STEPS, although these have not been recorded in writing. Gaps have been discussed, and the additional information required to complete this section will be sourced to finalize the input.

C. Internal and external developments

In this section, it is important for SII to be aware of and highlight the most critical gaps in our strategy. Internal and external factors are likely to affect our organization and the YOU project in particular. In this regard, certain issues (socio-economic, labour market, demographic, educational and governmental) must be identified, along with their relevance to/impact on the project.

D. Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis:

A SWOT analysis is an analysis undertaken by an organization to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. Annual updates of a SWOT-analysis, preferably by key staff of the organization, can help in improving strategy and systems.


  • Edukans:
    • Skills model development/specialization includes:
      • Introduction to Edukans, future ambitions, skills development, 7-STEPS.
      • Interim debriefings and reflection on 7-STEPS, skills model and advisory process.
      • Documentation and skills model development.
      • Joint mission(s) to Kenya.
  • Consultant on training and facilitating the 7-STEPS.
    • LEC Kenya:
    • Consultant on training and facilitating the 7-STEPS.
  • LogisticsSupport for field missions.


  • The international consultancy fees
  • international travel costs and communications costs
  • The accommodation costs of the consultant and the skills specialist
  • Local mission costs


SII’s skills-training activities have been strengthened and the 7-STEPS tool has been implemented in a sustainable way.

Lessons learned

SII has learned that organizations need to adjust some of their internal processes in order to implement the 7-STEPS tool effectively. This was a fairly straightforward process for SII, because we are training organization, and this made it easy to integrate the 7-STEPS into our work.


Organizations might need technical expertise to be able to implement some of the steps. In our case, we sought professional and technical advice and succeeded in implementing all of the steps.

Project data sheet

Download the project data sheet.


The Youth Opportunities Uncovered (Y.O.U.) project offers education for empowerment to vulnerable Kenyan youth. It combines professional training in poultry farming with small income generating activities and helps to protect orphans against child labour. Y.O.U. provides them with the opportunity to become educated, skilled and financially independent.

Short facts
Sector: Agriculture
Lead partner: Social Impact Institute (SII)
Overall budget for the project: € 514,500
Learn4Work contribution: € 174,930
Partner contribution: € 339,570
Implementation period: July 2014- December 2016

Vulnerable youth

This project focuses on the improvement of the lives of both children who are a victim of child labour and unemployed youth.

Alcohol and drug abuse among parents are two major social problems in Kenya. As a consequence many children have to take care of themselves and their siblings and drop out of primary school. They have to work and raise money. Many HIV/AIDS orphans face the same problem: they are not attending school because they are the head of their household and need to earn an income. Child labour is on the rise and the number of unschooled and unemployed youth is growing.

The Y.O.U. project endeavours to reduce child labour and to enable children to go back to school while still making money with light income generating activities.

The majority of unemployed youth has had no vocational- or professional skills training. The Y.O.U. project has developed a special programme that allows the vulnerable youth to learn a profession and earn money for a living.

Learning and earning

The Y.O.U. project supports vulnerable children and youth, aged 13-25 years, in Nyeri County by offering them tailored education that will leave them sufficient time to run a small business. The under aged children focus on learning, while the education of young adults is focused on earning. Now they can learn and earn at the same time. This will prevent youth from being forced into child labour. It allows them to learn a profession whilst taking care of themselves and their family.

Poultry enterprises

The diet of many Kenyans in rural communities is monotonous and low on animal proteins. Poultry proteins are especially important for pregnant women and infants. The poultry industry in Kenya is an important source of nutritious food, employment and income.

The Y.O.U. project provides formal secondary education for children and they also learn how to rear chicken, while the youth receive in-depth training in poultry farming. The project educates and facilitates the youth that want to start a profitable poultry business. It provides business- and technical skills training, apprenticeships, and establishes a marketing cooperative to sell products and to meet the demand of poultry meat and eggs.

Public Private Partnership

The Y.O.U. project is being implemented in partnership with organizations from the national public- and private sector and a Dutch University (still to be found). The Social Impact Institute (SII), a national knowledge institute, has the lead in this project. It invests in youth empowerment because it believes that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The Wambugu Agricultural Training Centre is a Technical and Vocational Training institute in Nyeri town. It provides practical training on the theory and practice of agricultural technology. Bradegate Poultry Industries is a mayor player in the Kenyan poultry industry. It has its own poultry breeding farm, hatchery plant, and chicken-en feed processing plant. Bradegate supports entrepreneurs and farmers who want to start their own poultry business. The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) is a local government initiative that provides credit and enterprise services to reduce youth unemployment in Kenya.

Other Contributing Partners:

Local Expertise Center Kenya (LEC); the Department of Children’s Services of the Kenyan Ministry of Labour, Social Security & Services.

Want to know more about this project and partnership? Contact them at:


P.O. Box 28405
00100 Nairobi
Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Wanjiru Gathira

Local Expertise Centre Kenya  – LEC

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Sitati Makhandia

Youth Enterprise Development Fund

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mrs Catherine Nyamwea

Women Enterprise Fund

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Samuel Wainaina


Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Mathenge