How to decrease survey and programme attrition in development initiatives

Briefing papers
December 2017

Programme and survey attrition – where enrolled participants drop out before completion or do not engage with the follow-up survey – are both common for youth-focused development initiatives. This most often leads to decreased programme effectiveness and cost efficiencies, since participants do not receive the full set of skills on offer and since there is limited understanding of what programme features are working and what can be improved.

Using the literature and experiences of the Youth Forward initiative programme staff, this briefing note provides practical suggestions for decreasing both survey and programme attrition in an effort to make youth training programmes more effective and viable.

This briefing note is published by the Youth Forward Learning Partnership, led by the ODI's Research and Policy in Development programme. Youth Forward supports young people in Ghana and Uganda to get jobs, grow their businesses and access finance to expand opportunities available to them. The Learning Partnership works to develop an evidence-informed understanding of the needs of young people and how the initiative can best meet those needs.