Morocco, Egypt | Impact Evaluation of YouthInvest’s 100 Hours to Success Training

MEDA, in 2012, 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. morocco youth training session

100 Hours to Success - a training of 100 hours equally split up between modules on soft-skills, entrepreneurship and financial education - was a key component of MEDA’s YouthInvest project in Morocco. The training aimed to provide youth aged 15 to 25 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 youths from under-served regions of Morocco on 100 Hours to Success.In light of the staggering youth unemployment in the Middle East andNorth African region - as high as 40% of young people under 25 are unemployed – there is significant interest in (and need for) evaluating the impact of soft-skills training initiatives on labour market outcomes of the region’s youth.

This regional conjecture on the heels of the Arab Spring, provided the impetus 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.

Project Quick Facts:

This evaluation follows the gold standard in IEs by implementing a randomized control trial methodology, thereby eliminating the bias between individuals by randomly assigning them to either the group that receives the training - treatment group - or the group that does not receive it during the duration of the study - 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, the results of the evaluation should be robust enough to be extrapolated and applied to other regions. For instance, if this program will be deemed to have succeeded in the Oriental Region of Morocco where the evaluation took place, the sample size will allow the research team to hypothesize 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 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, and other outcomes related to employability and entrepreneurship. 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 polish up this already successful program in order to roll it out in other countries with similar challenges in terms of youth unemployment.

Reaching: 1800 young women and men (900 who were part of the 100 Hours program and 900 in a control group). YouthInvest reached over 58,000 youth in Morocco and Egypt with financial and non-financial services.

Funding: 3ie an organization devoted to conducting rigorous evaluations of initiatives across the development spectrum

Project length: 2012 – 2015