Job Booster: promoting employment services in LIMCs

Development Policy,Employment & Income,Woord en Daad knowledge trajectories06 Nov 2017Frank van Kesteren

This August The Broker collaborated with Dutch NGO Woord en Daad to stimulate evidence-based policies for youth employment in low and middle income countries. Woord en Daad is launching its new programme, ‘Job Booster’, in 2017. This programme aims to improve the linkage between supply and demand in the job market.

For this, Woord en Daad is setting up social enterprises to connect job seekers and private sector employers. The Broker has investigated how these actors can best be connected by synthesizing existing knowledge on employment services programmes. The report that followed, titled ‘Job Booster: promoting employment services in low and middle income countries’, looks at employment services programmes in 15 countries and presents the lessons learnt from these.

Based on the analysis of interventions such as job matching, employment intermediation, career guidance, transport subsidies and counselling, the report makes conclusions regarding the cost-effectiveness of employment services programmes, their design, stakeholder engagement and how best to target them. The main conclusion is that combining multiple interventions is most cost-effective. Programmes that combine employment services with skills training or entrepreneurship show particularly promising results in terms of job creation.

Because of the small number of employment services programmes in low and middle income countries, the evidence checks on expected outcomes provide few clear results. Yet, the report provides several sets of considerations for inclusion by NGOs in their project design. For instance, programmes using databases to match job seekers to vacancies generally have larger impact in terms of the number of jobs provided, but require high maintenance and are not always able to identify the tacit skills of job seekers as well as face-to-face counselling does. Moreover, programmes providing ‘aftercare’, such as banking, insurance and the facilitation of remittances after a job seeker has been placed, have been proven to have more long-term results. However, this aftercare is generally considered expensive. The report, thus, provides a useful list of considerations for organizations with scarce resources and specific objectives.

Investigating assumptions

The Broker cooperates with NGOs like Woord en Daad to investigate the assumptions underlying the Theories of Change of their programmes. Through concise meta-reviews, we help organizations to make well-informed decisions to strengthen the implementation of their programmes. Feel free to approach one of our team members to find out more about this service.