This study identifies what interventions work for reengagement of at-risk and out-of-school adolescents and youth based on effect sizes and systematic evidence. Two core interventions are found: mentoring and psychosocial support. How these can be made effective for addressing the specific needs of at-risk and out-of-school youth further points to enabling interventions: awareness building and outreach work, individualized case management along with integrated support services such as housing, healthcare, money management, assessments and referrals, and financial incentives. Vast literature in substantive fields of science (neuro-science, cognitive theory, behavioral economics, resilience, etc.) provide the underlying logic of why the above core and enabling interventions contribute to the outcome of interest: school reengagement. In chapter 1, the study identifies and characterizes the risks youth face, explains their association with developmental outcomes, and develops an integrative model of risk, resilience, and positive youth development. Chapter 2 conceptually unpacks the causal relationship between education (dis-)engagement and outcomes and, building on the integrative model in the previous chapter, develops a hypothesis on the mechanism of education reengagement. The purpose, outcomes, and benefits of reengagement are discussed. In chapter 3, a methodological framework is developed to identify the factors that can influence reengagement outcomes. This framework embraces more complex explanations of the reengagement process for whom, in what context, what interventions, how, and why and is used to analyze the research findings on reengagement, including program evaluations. For this purpose, the study reviews research from a mix of methods and disciplines. In chapter 4, in addition to identifying interventions with statistically significant effect sizes, we offer further insights about how each of these interventions can shape program outcomes. The study then delves deeper into some of the science that can explain why these interventions work and clarifies for whom and in what context the identified interventions can have impact. In chapter 5, embracing the complex nature of the reengagement phenomena leads to an analysis of evidence from multi-component programs to develop best practices. We include an initial attempt to identify some underlying generalizable mechanisms across core and enabling reengagement interventions that canguide program design. Chapter 6 provides some initial guidance on how to use a more complexreview of the available literature on re-engaging at-risk adolescents and youth into education by drawing out the interlinkages between the interventions, the stakeholders, and the context for the construction of ‘theories of change’ for education reengagement. Chapter 7 offers a brief conclusion on the overall findings of the study.
SOURCE: Rajasekaran, Subhashini; Reyes, Joel E. 2019. Back to School : Pathways for Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth in Education (English). Internaltional Development in Focus. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group, May 2019.
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