NEPI was established in 2000 by Klubosumo Johnson Borh and two other colleagues in response to the 14-year civil war in Liberia that conscripted thousands of youth as combatants. NEPI has since served more than 30,000 ex-combatants and 14,000 youth in Liberia through work and support from donors and implementing partners, organizations and institutions such as ERIS Carter Center-UK, Global Community, IRC International, Landmine Action, Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB), Stanford University, the UNDP, the UNHCR, and now Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

Since its inception, the Network for Empowerment & Progressive Initiative (NEPI) has been providing a highly effective, evidence-based program to hard-core street youth with the goal of mainstreaming them back into society. NEPI identifies these youth living on the fringes of society and rehabilitates them using therapy and counseling to foster character skills such as self-control and a noncriminal self-image as well as providing cash support.

NEPI targets the hardest to reach, most vulnerable and poor youth with a tested and proven intervention, the sustainable transformation of youth in Liberia (STYL) program, to address youth crime and violence which establishes our vision, our goals and the targets we aim to achieve.   



The Network for Empowerment and Progressive Initiatives (NEPI Inc.) is a charitable nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status (EIN # 81-3844173) under the Nonprofit Corporation Act of the State of New York since 2016.



STYL is an 8-week behavior change and cash transfer intervention that bolsters hard-core street youth’s cognitive and social skills necessary for entrepreneurial self-help raises youth’s aspirations and equips them to reach their goals. STYL has three components: (1) role models show at-risk youth how they have been able to change their lives for the better; (2) youth learn practical steps to changing their lives, learning to adopt normal, non-criminal dress, behavior, and lifestyles; and (3) through a series of assignments, youth practice improving their self-control and discipline. It combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and a cash transfer. Through these interventions, STYL aims to reduce anti-social behaviors by changing noncognitive skills and preferences; and to shift hard-core street youth living within a present-oriented framework to more future-oriented goals and behavior.

The precursor to STYL was first developed in 2000 and it evolved over the course of nine years. The program has been adapted to particular populations (e.g. former fighters, and war-affected youth) and also includes our own lessons and learning. We have conducted several versions of the STYL program. The program represented here has been specifically adapted to an urban street youth population.

Targeting: STYL targets the hardest to reach, most vulnerable youth with a tested and proven intervention to address the issues of extreme poverty, crime, and violence by focusing on transforming behavior. Most psychosocial training in Liberia targets specific conditions or psychological disorders, and therefore centers around crisis management, focusing on issues like substance abuse, PTSD, child abuse, and domestic violence. Rather than individually addressing these acute problems, STYL attempts to engage high-risk street youth who are vulnerable and lack opportunities for socioeconomic survival and empowerment, ‘transforming’ them from excluded individuals living at the fringes of society to those working and living within the social and economic mainstream.

Methodology: STYL was one of two CBT-inspired programs (the other being in Chicago) that were rigorously tested with RCTs as a method to reduce violence and crime among youth. The results of these evaluations have led to replications and scale-ups around the world.
We know of programs in Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico that are replicating STYL’s methodology. Recently, The Economist covered how the city of Chicago is also replicating STYL in an article titled “Applying lessons from war-torn Africa to Chicago” (May 4, 2019).
STYL is therefore at the forefront of interventions to reduce youth crime and violence 


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