Evaluation of MCC's Vocational Education and Training Activity in Namibia: Findings from Analysis of the First Round of Qualitative Data

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 15, 2015
Authors
Arif Mamun, Luke Heinkel, Evan Borkum, and Kristen Velyvis

Key Findings:

  • The VTGF grants largely were implemented as planned, but the process for identifying market demand was unclear.
  • The Namibia Training Authority (NTF) gained valuable experience in managing grants through the VTGF.
  • Early signs of employer registration and levy payment for the NTF were encouraging, but a fully functioning levy distribution system had not been developed and there were some concerns about barriers to the NTF using levy funds effectively.
  • The construction and renovation of the COSDECs largely was implemented as designed, but the retooling of COSDECs was less successful; some aspects of technical assistance were delivered as designed and well received, but there was need for additional support in some areas—especially formal registration and accreditation of the COSDECs.
Mathematica is conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC’s) vocational training activity in Namibia. This activity included competitive grants for training in high-priority skills areas through the Vocational Training Grant Fund (VTGF); technical assistance to establish a National Training Fund (NTF) for vocational training, funded through an employer levy; and improvement of Community Skills and Development Centers (COSDECs) through infrastructure construction, supply of new tools and equipment, and technical assistance. As part of our evaluation, we collected qualitative data in October and November 2014, soon after the end of the MCC compact. The goal of this first round of data collection was to answer some of the key research questions related to implementation and lay the groundwork for future analyses related to the effects of the interventions and their sustainability. Working closely with our Namibian data collection partner, we collected these data from a variety of sources through in-depth interviews, focus groups, observations, and reviews of documents provided by stakeholders. The final evaluation of the activity interventions will build on these initial findings, drawing on additional qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts.