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Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm

2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.4. Identification of relevant policy frameworks and development of appropriate actions

Recommendation: 4. Note that drawing upon developed countries’ existing models as an inspiration for new labour market policies in developing countries is not optimal. Rather, follow a precise strategy to:

  • Make existing models clear to stakeholders but explain that it is usually not relevant to copy them.
  • Request participating countries to reflect on their challenges and explain how their own systems and models work
  • Determine if any of the developed country models have relevant components that might be relevant to transfer or adapt.
  • Design a programme of new concepts, changes or adjustments
  • Pilot the changes, evaluate and, where relevant, scale up and replicate.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: In its ITP programme, SIDA relied on the Swedish model as an inspiration and demonstration of highly advanced active labour market policy in practice. However, for a wide range of reasons, the model was not directly applicable for the majority of participating countries. Recognising the limitations, SIDA has set out a 5 points strategy to be drawn upon for future projects:

1. Explain the Swedish model but recognise that it is not relevant in most cases to copy it;

2. Request participating countries to reflect over their challenges and explain how their own systems and models work;

3. Develop a process where participating countries identify what parts or elements of the Swedish model or approach might be relevant to transfer or adapt;

4. Design a programme of changes or adjustments;

5. Pilot the changes evaluate and where relevant scale up and replicate.

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2.1.11 Coordination and sustainability planning

Recommendation7. Ensure that projects design an explicit exit strategy which is further elaborated during project inception period. The exit strategy should identify the major risks to sustaining the project outcome and impact as well as sequencing of the measures to be taken. (1.8.2/10) Thus, include in project design clear post project transition strategy to government (or other implementers). Such a transition strategy goes beyond the usual short statements on sustainability in project documents and should include a summary of:

  • The underlying theory of change that is targeted for sustainability post project
  • Expected roles and responsibilities for service delivery
  • Expected types of training to be provided to acquire the needed capacities for transition (1.8.1/3)

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: all the projects assessed in the evaluation showed weakness in monitoring and shortcomings for their replication. At the project level the design of the project, particularly in later programme cycles is often results-orientated but the format and organisation of the programme does not seem to allow a rigorous follow up and monitoring that could help in adjusting the approach or bringing in extra resources or launching follow up projects to ensure a cumulative effect. Project reports rarely report on or use the indicators or monitoring tools that are available as part of their design.

The prospects or opportunities for replication and scaling up (e.g. by linking to wider longer term efforts) are not considered during design or implementation. There are some initiatives where the potential for replication was identified through “project stories” and although useful this has not been sufficiently promoted or led to scaling up of activities.

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2.1.11 Coordination and sustainability planning

Recommendation10. Ensure that projects are linked to reform initiatives and take other concrete steps to ensure that positive changes on the IE are more useful and sustainable. Efforts towards sustainability should be specific and well integrated into project activities, e.g.:

  • Take actions to support reform legal and policy frameworks
  • Support research to inform development of appropriate legal and policy frameworks. Include establishment of systems for continuous use of labour market information to adjust national strategies.
  • Establish post-project systems for self-financing of activities.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: the evaluation covers a selection of projects and actions initially promoted through SIDA’s International Training Program (ITP) that show good prospects for sustainability:

- Kenya: Youth Entrepreneurship training where the ITP has contributed to a new employment bill which has good prospects of being sustained if implemented:

- Mozambique: tackling youth employment challenges where the ITP supported research paper contributed to the National Youth Employment Policy.

- Vietnam: Labour market information where the new data and information sources will continue to provide better information on the labour market and allow adjustment in national strategies.

- Tanzania: Establishment of incubation centres where the centre intends to apply a levy to ensure continued funding of the incubation activities

- South Africa: Career guidance for cooperatives where systems, brochures and materials were used to provide systematic career guidance to small businesses.

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2.1.11 Coordination and sustainability planning

Recommendation17. Include indicators and monitoring tools that are clearly and directly aimed at ensuring replication and scaling-up of implemented projects. Implement rigorous monitoring and adjust approaches during implementation as findings from monitoring indicate. A systems approach where what is learned is fed back into the project to improve it is recommended. Note: projects too often monitor but do not use collected information to improve project implementation during the project.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: all the projects assessed in the evaluation showed weakness in monitoring and shortcomings for their replication. At the project level the design of the project, particularly in later programme cycles is often results-orientated but the format and organisation of the programme does not seem to allow a rigorous follow up and monitoring that could help in adjusting the approach or bringing in extra resources or launching follow up projects to ensure a cumulative effect. Project reports rarely report on or use the indicators or monitoring tools that are available as part of their design.

The prospects or opportunities for replication and scaling up (e.g. by linking to wider longer term efforts) are not considered during design or implementation. There are some initiatives where the potential for replication was identified through “project stories” and although useful this has not been sufficiently promoted or led to scaling up of activities.

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2.2 DECENT WORK AND ENTERPRISE GROWTH

2.2.1 Promotion and implementation of decent work

Recommendation:2. Stress awareness raising of the importance of labour market information systems and social dialogue in projects/programmes with people dependent on the IE.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: The evaluation indicated that participants from all countries found SIDA’s ITP Programme highly useful for individual development. This led to new approaches in their work. Through the use of interviews and surveys, the evaluation found that:

  • Participants gained an increased understanding of the importance of well-developed labour market information systems.
  • Participants gained an increased understanding of the importance of active labour market measures.
  • Participants gained an increased understanding of the importance of coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders within the country to achieve common goals. This is in particular noticeable when it comes to social dialogue.

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2.2 DECENT WORK AND ENTERPRISE GROWTH

2.2.1 Promotion and implementation of decent work

Recommendation: 6. Involve project community members directly to implement active labour policies.

References: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Sample evidence: Evaluation concludes that there were a number of projects, which are clearly in line with the overall national policy, and which are embedded in existing (public) structures which increases the possibilities of long-term funding and replication. A good example of this is the business incubators currently being established on three of the 27 existing training institutions of the state training organisation VETA in Tanzania. The project has secured internal funding of more than 100, 000 USD, and has a good chance to become sustainable and be replicated to other training institutions in this system. Another example is the project in South Africa which contributed to rolling out a career guidance service for small businesses in support of national policies.
In some cases the projects have gone beyond knowledge of active labour policies and involved the participants in applying active labour policies. Successful hands-on projects addressing a specific labour market measure have a potential to positively influence the employment situation if they are picked up and replicated. An example of this is the training in Kenya through the NGO “Youth in Action” (CP4) of 30 unemployed young persons in technical skills (making of fuel bricks from solid waste) and on how to open their own business. The training took place in 2012; 85% of the participants opened up their own business, and a majority of these businesses still exist today. Since this particular project also falls under “green economy” a replication in Kenya and other countries could be of high interest.
Last but not least, evaluation found that a number of projects have led to active labour policies that were developed and approved. Projects, which were developed in the form of strategies, have on some occasions had an impact on new legislation and bills. The clearest example comes from Kenya, where Mr Caleb Okolo from the Ministry of Labour through his participation in the International Training Programme managed to influence the New Employment Bill, which was approved by the Parliament last week of June 2015. The contribution of Mr Okolo concerned possibilities for tax exemption and wage support to employers when hiring new staff from certain vulnerable groups. Evaluation found that 30 Kenyan unemployed young persons were trained by the NGO “Youth in Action” in 2012 on how to make fuel bricks from solid waste and how to open his own business. Three years after, 85% of participants opened up their businesses and still exist.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.2 Entrepreneurship: Capacity strengthening on economic activities

Recommendation: 6. Ensure that projects and activities to support IE operators and workers are:

  • Clearly oriented to their specific needs and not too general
  • Do not try to cover too many different aspects and consequently lose focus
  • Ensure a wider demonstration effect of projects
  • Managers/supervisors of trainees in micro finance institutions fully accept and support the training of their staff.

References: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: The evaluation found that most projects were relevant but, in some cases, their design was not realistic given the time frame, budget constraints and institutional context. 
An example is the “Democratic workers' participation and employment standards in the role of poverty alleviation” project in Tanzania, where too many issues were being considered including social dialogue, wages, work relations and social services. Participating institutions and the individual participants persistently noted that the course was too general with insufficient tailoring. The demand of many of the highly-qualified participants for more specific, specialised content was not met.
The projects that were not well designed were often those that involved single organisations - often NGOs actively engaged in providing skills to youth and others in entrepreneurship. Many of these projects were potentially very relevant but the design often missed a wider demonstration effect or a solid embedding in the longer operations of the organisation itself.
Furthermore, participants pointed out that the programme format did not engage strongly enough with the managers in the parent institutions. In many cases the managers of the institutions from which the participants are selected did not have a full understanding of the objectives of the training programme and were not willing to commit their organisation to fully support the participants during the elaboration and implementation of the projects. A test of the credibility and realism of the stated support from the institutions was not made – it seems it was accepted at face value and on the basis that the participants would be released for the course and in some cases the airfares would be paid for. As a result, projects were developed that were not realistic as they required funding from the parent institution that was not available.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.6. Vocational education/skills training

Recommendation: 6) Ensure the TVET and training is sufficiently tailored to local contexts and the needs of participants so that participants can implement what they learned easily in the local situation.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: the evaluation noted two persistent weaknesses: the TVET course was too general with insufficient tailoring and; the course contents was not easy to adapt to the local context. The programme was perceived as very broad and covered not only active labour market policies, but also prerequisites for an efficient active labour market policy, for example systems for labour market information and labour market forecasting and systems for a regular social dialogue. As a consequence many participants mentioned during interviews that they lacked a more in-depth study of their specific field.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.1 Social dialogue and IE

Recommendation: 1) Promote and facilitate social dialogue between a range of stakeholders as this contributes to appropriate content, capacity strengthening through knowledge sharing, speedier decision-making and ownership.   Dialogue may include rural/or community members, local/regional/national government, civil society and academia representatives, workers and employers organisations.

References: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: the evaluation found that the programme succeeded in attracting a balanced group of participants representing policy makers, employers, trade unions and others. The balance between different categories of participants was consistent with around 17-18 participants from the public sector, and the rest from employer organisations, trade unions, and NGOs. The second programme cycle is an exception: for this programme cycle half of the participants (13 persons) represented trade unions. In Kenya the balance in the category of participants enabled a project on youth training based at the employment centre of the Ministry Labour, Social Security and Service to benefit and make use of the efforts in youth training arising from another project based at a NGO. In Mozambique, a project of the Ministry of Planning and Development was based on a project of a previous participant from the same Ministry.

The participants’ final assessment reports and the interviews undertaken show that collaboration within countries and in some cases also between countries has increased. There is also evidence from the projects in Mozambique related to social dialogue that show in- creased collaboration among the parties on the labour market.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.1 Social dialogue and IE

Recommendation: 13) After stimulating social dialogue among social partners through IE projects, ensure that clear well organised strategies are in place for strengthened networks to be self-sustainable.

References: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: the evaluation noted that networks among public institutions, social partners and other organisations were formed but on an ad-hoc basis. From interviews undertaken and from observations made during the field mission, in particular during the results seminar in Tanzania in May 2015, it is evident that the programme has contributed to network creation. This has seemingly not been done in an organised way, but simply by the fact that representatives from different organisations were given a chance to meet and start networking during the course of the programme. So far, networking at a national level is dependent on individual initiatives.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.5. Strengthening IE with attention to gender issues

Recommendation: 11) Advocate for decentralised institutional strengthening on gender issues including as it relates to women’s IE work issues. This may include assigning staff positions at Ministry of Labour decentralised level and ensuring that such persons are provided with capacities on IE related issues.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: in Mozambique a project on increased gender awareness among the staff of the Ministry of Labour led to the creation of a gender unit and gender focal points in each province. Subsequently the ministry was re-organised and the function of gender mainstreaming is likely to be continued. One concrete organisational change is that the Ministry and provinces funded staff positions for gender mainstreaming functions and covered necessary travel costs.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.5. Strengthening IE with attention to gender issues

Recommendation: 35) In projects where the goal is to establish both individual and group enterprises—such as those that can help finance own women’s group functioning—note that project design needs to include comprehensive support to cover both individual and sustainable group enterprises.

Reference: Buhl-Nielsen Eric, Oskarsson Bertil, 2015, Evaluation of Swedish International Training Programme (ITP) 288, “The Role of Labour Market Policies in Poverty Alleviation” 2009-2015, Final evaluation, SIDA, Stockholm, Covered countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Evidence sample: the evaluation team is of the opinion that the TVET course has rather compromised its effectiveness regarding gender. This is because training and provision of equipment for women were effective to improve their livelihoods but weak to develop sustainable micro and small enterprises related to the Village Committees and job opportunities about agro processing activities.

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18 May 2018

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