In 2012, MEDA, in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), received a grant to administer an impact evaluation (IE) of one of our youth employability interventions, 100 Hours to Success, a training program we developed on the YouthInvest project. Our donor, 3ie, conducts rigorous evaluations of initiatives across the development spectrum.100 Hours to Success - a training of 100 hours, covering soft skills, entrepreneurship and financial education - was a key component of MEDA’s YouthInvest project in Morocco. The training provided youth between 15 and 25 years old with the necessary skills to facilitate their transition to either paid- or self-employment. Between 2009 and 2013, MEDA and its local partners trained over 23,000 young people from under-served regions of Morocco on 100 Hours to Success.
This regional conjecture on the heels of the Arab Spring, provided the inertia for the ILO and an international team of researchers to work with MEDA in creating a robust methodology to evaluate the impact of the 100 Hours to Success training in hopes of replicating this initiative around the region.
Setting up our Impact Evaluation
This evaluation follows the gold standard in IEs by implementing a randomised control trial methodology. The purpose of this is to eliminate the bias between individuals by randomly assigning them to either the group that receives the training – called the treatment group - or the group that does not receive training during the duration of the study – the control group. (Of course, upon the completion of the IE, the control group participants are invited to take part in the initiative). This paves the way for the true ‘impact’ of the training to be measured by comparing the youth in treatment and control groups according to a certain set of indicators, most importantly those reflecting the labour outcomes.
Because of the sample size, 1800 strong, we expect the results of the evaluation to be robust enough to be extrapolated and applied to other regions. For instance, if this program is judged to have succeeded in the Oriental Region of Morocco where the evaluation took place, the sample size will allow the research team to hypothesise with confidence that this program could also succeed in regions with similar economic conditions.
The evaluation will build on the findings of a baseline survey (conducted in the fall of 2012), a tracer survey (conducted in 2013) and a follow up survey (conducted in the summer of 2015).
The results of the IE (projected to be available in March of 2016) will provide an assessment of the effect of the 100 Hours to Success training on the ability of youth to find and keep employment, start their own business, keep a savings account etc. In all, this evaluation will speak to the effectiveness of the training program in terms of labour outcomes for youth as well as providing feedback to MEDA on program design, thereby allowing MEDA to refine this already successful program in order to roll it out in other countries with similar youth unemployment challenges.
Figure 1: Measuring Impact
1. The World Bank. (2015). "Toward Solutions for Youth Employment."