United Nations              
Non-contributory Social Protection Programmes Database
Latin America and the Caribbean
Youth in Action (Jóvenes en Acción) (2001-)



Date: 2001-
Web: Official website of the programme
Description: Jóvenes en Acción is a national government program that seeks to encourage and strengthen the formation of human capital of the young population living in poverty and vulnerability, through two structuring components: ▪ Delivery of monetary incentives, which favor access to and permanence in higher education. ▪ Life skills and opportunity management, a component that seeks to develop and strengthen cross-cutting competencies in the participants of the Program and the articulation with public and private entities to generate and disseminate employment, entrepreneurship and education opportunities for the population of Jóvenes en Acción. It is expected that, by strengthening the human capital and living conditions of the participants, it will contribute in the medium and long term to overcoming poverty and improving skills and opportunities to generate income.


Target population: The Program begins its operation with the process of territorial and population targeting of high school graduates in a situation of poverty and vulnerability between 14 and 28 years of age, who meet the criteria established by the program. Young people who want to join the Jóvenes en Acción Program must meet the following requirements prior to the pre-registration process: - Be between 14 and 28 years old. - Be a vocational high school graduate (11th grade). - Not have a professional university degree - Be included in at least one of the databases used for the Program's population targeting that certify their poverty or vulnerability situation: ICBF census lists, indigenous census lists or current SISBEN.
Area of intervention: Technical and professional training
Geographic scale: National
Targeting method: 1) Geographic. The targeting and prioritization of the country's municipalities is carried out according to the following criteria: - Municipalities with the highest incidence of multidimensional poverty. - Municipalities with the highest incidence of monetary poverty. - Municipalities with a permanent offer of professional training at the technical, technological and professional levels. at the technical, technological and professional university levels, through SENA and higher education institutions, in classroom, traditional distance or virtual modalities. - Municipalities with the highest percentage of potential target population participating in the Youth in Action Program. 2) Population. This operational process is executed taking into account the certified information from the following administrative records or targeting bases: ✓ ICBF census lists for young people with protection or adoption measures. ✓ Indigenous census lists. ✓ Current SISBEN, according to the groups/subgroups established in the Operational Guide for Territorial Targeting. Operational Guide for Territorial and Population Targeting and the current Enrollment Operational Guide. With the exception of potential participants registered in the SISBEN, there are no cut-off groups/subgroups, determined for those youth who are registered in the Indigenous Census Lists and ICBF Census Lists.
Instrument of selection: Administrative Registry of the Familias en Acción Programme (high school graduates)
SISBEN III, with the specified scores according to the area of residence
Single Registry of Victims - RUV
Census lists of indigenous youth
Census lists for young people with ICBF adoptability measure
Registry of recipients: SIJO - Information System of Jóvenes en Acción
Exit strategies or criteria: Expiration of the maximum lenght of stay in the Programme
The suspension/postponement of studies for a time greater than one year
Due to omission or inconsistency in the information for verification of commitments that is reported by educational institutions (SENA and IES)
Breach of responsabilities
The request for the withdrawal (free and voluntary resignation) for any reason


Legal framework: Resolution No. 1970 (2012)
Resolution No. 0262 (2013)
Resolution 01214/2015
Responsible organization(s): Administrative Department for Social Prosperity (Departamento Administrativo para la Prosperidad Social)
Executing organization(s): Administrative Department for Social Prosperity (Departamento Administrativo para la Prosperidad Social), National Learning Service (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, SENA) or in Institutions of Higher Education (Instituciones de Educación Superior, IES)
Source of funding: Government of Colombia

1) Life skills (Habilidades para la vida)

Recipient(s): Participants of the programme
Mode of delivery: Participación de los Jóvenes en Acción en cada uno de los módulos pedagógicos del proceso de habilidades para la vida
Recipient of the transfer: Direct participant
Description: "En este componente se busca desarrollar actividades complementarias a la entrega de trasferencias monetarias condicionadas que propenden por la consolidación de un proceso de intervención integral de la población, encaminado hacia el fortalecimiento de sus trayectorias de vida, la generación de capacidades de desarrollo y gestión de oportunidades coherentes con sus necesidades y contextos. Este componente cuenta con dos líneas de intervención claramente definidas: • Procesos pedagógicos para la promoción, fortalecimiento y desarrollo de las competencias transversales (habilidades para la vida) en los participantes del Programa. • La gestión y articulación con entidades públicas y privadas para generar y difundir oportunidades de empleo, emprendimiento y educación para los Jóvenes en Acción."


3) Rural intervention strategy (JeAR) (Resolution 01214/2015)

Recipient(s): Recipients of the programme residing in the intervention municipalities, namely: El Bagre, Antioquia; Saravena, Arauca; San Jacinto, Bolívar; Santander de Quilichao, Cauca; and Ciénaga, Magdalena.
Periodicity of delivery: Monthly
Description: This component is proposed as an option that seeks to encourage continuity, access and permanence in higher education for young people living in poverty and vulnerability in rural areas of the country, helping to break down the various barriers to access to technical and technological education and to provide better and more opportunities for formal employability and autonomous generation of income.
Amount : COP $245,000


Informe de la evaluación de impacto del Programa Jóvenes en Acción

Author: Unión Temporal Econometría - SEI
Date: 2017
Publication info: Realizar el diseño y ejecución de la Evaluación de Impacto del Programa de Jóvenes en Acción Producto 6-, DPS
Link: See Webpage
Topic: Impact evaluation


Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia

Author: Attanasio, O. et al.
Date: 2015
Publication info: Working Paper No. 21390 de National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Link: See Webpage
Topic: Impact evaluation


Subsidizing Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

Author: Attanasio, O. et al.
Date: 2011
Publication info: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3
Link: See Webpage
Topic: Impact evaluation


Subsidizing Vocational Trianing for Disadvantaged Youth in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

Author: Attanadio, Kugler and Meghir
Date: 2009
Publication info: Iza Discussion Paper No. 4255
Topic: Impact evaluation


Subprograma Jóvenes en Acción: Consultoría para la evaluación de impacto del Subprograma Jóvenes en Acción

Author: Departamento para la Prosperidad Social DNP
Date: 2008
Publication info: DNP
Topic: Impact evaluation


Consultoría para la Evaluación de Impacto del Subprograma Jóvenes en Acción

Author: Kugler (dir)
Date: 2004
Publication info: DNP
Topic: Impact evaluation




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