Students working with robotics at Ashesi University in Ghana

Institutional Change-Making to Advance Equitable Outcomes for and with Youth

Insights and Examples from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program’s vision is a transformative network of young people and institutions driving inclusive and equitable socio-economic change in Africa. Its goal is to ignite the exceptional and exponential potential of young people in Africa by working with institutions, ecosystem actors, and Scholars to create the conditions that will enable young people to attain inclusive and relevant education, transition smoothly into dignified and fulfilling work, and lead transformative lives. Achieving this vision and goal requires a transformation of partner institutions to be more inclusive of non-traditional students and more relevant and better placed to prepare young people for work and life. It involves changing policies and practices within institutions themselves.

In the case study Institutional Change-Making to Advance Equitable Outcomes for and with Youth we present two concrete examples of institutional change led or inspired by the Scholars Program in partner institutions, Ashesi University and Carnegie Mellon University. While the cases have many features in common, the descriptions focus on different aspects to provide a sense of the range of institutional change possibilities. In both cases, the situation posing a need or opportunity to advance programmatic goals for impact at scale is described, followed by a summary of the program’s role in promoting change, the conditions that encouraged the change, the challenges impeding the efforts, and considerations for practitioners and leaders trying to influence institutional change as well as for their funders.

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