C4EDC4ED

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Turkey | Refugees integration

Background

C4ED supported a KfW-spearhead project in Turkey on refugees’ integration into the labor market.

Conflicts result in massive displacements of population within and outside the conflict-afflicted countries. Such displacements raise numerous challenges in terms of human rights, integration, and infrastructures, among others. Currently, Turkey hosts the world’s largest community of Syrian refugees displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria. A recent survey indicated that about 97 percent of female Syrians living in host communities have not been able to earn an income, and almost 80 percent of respondents neither have sufficient food nor the financial resources to purchase food for the upcoming seven days (AFAD 2014). Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of refugees have insufficient vocational education and language skills resulting in inadequate job opportunities.

Evaluation

C4ED conducted research on potential policy instruments for the integration of Syrian refugees into the Turkish labor market. Finding and implementing effective measures for the integration of Syrian refugees into the Turkish labor market, complemented by rigorous impact evaluations, will be essential for their long-term integration into Turkish society.

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Africa, Asia and Latin America | Microfinance for decent work

Background 

We have been selected by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to evaluate 16 microfinance innovations with respect to their social and financial impact. These microfinance interventions were implemented worldwide across Africa, Asia and Latin America as part of ILO’s Microfinance for Decent Work (MF4DW) scheme.

Lack of access to capital is an important factor that causes the poor to remain trapped in poverty. Microfinance institutions have been springing up as a result since the 1990s. They intend to provide the poorest with access to credit that will help them break out of the cycle of poverty. However, the existing evidence shows mixed results with regard to the social impacts of microfinance and credit products. Overall, more research and evaluation are needed to determine which product packages are most efficient in achieving a social impact.

Evaluation 

The microfinance interventions mostly consisted of new credit and insurance products to small entrepreneurs and households that were piloted in several countries. Some new products directly catered to small and medium enterprises (e.g. new leasing products), others to the informal entrepreneurs. While several interventions were in the form of new products, others featured training programs, for example on entrepreneurship, financial education, risk management, and workplace safety. Finally, two interventions focused on how to induce small informal firms to become formalized. The innovations took place in Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Honduras, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Uganda and Vietnam.

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South Africa | High school entrepreneurship education

Background 

In cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) South Africa, we conducted an impact assessment of the entrepreneurship education program in high schools of the Free State Province, South Africa.

Youth unemployment is a major concern in many countries. Globally, the youth unemployment rate was 13.1 percent in 2013 with 74.5 million youth (aged 15-24) being unemployed according to the International Labour Organization (2014 figures). In South Africa, youth unemployment figures exceed 30 percent and even reached nearly 50 percent in the Free State province (South African SME Observatory, 2013). Only 1 percent of the youth in South Africa are formal entrepreneurs, which is significantly lower than in most other African countries. In countries where youth unemployment is so high, entrepreneurship education is increasingly considered as an important strategy towards tackling the unemployment challenge.

Evaluation

StartUP&go, an innovative entrepreneurship education program implemented by the International Labour Organization South Africa, was introduced in the business studies course for students in grade 10, 11 and 12 in high schools in Free State Province. Its overall objective was to foster a more entrepreneurial mindset among young men and women. The desired outcomes of the project encompassed: a) improved attitudes towards the merits of entrepreneurship, b) increased entrepreneurial intentions and c) more young people starting formal enterprises, i.e. higher levels of entrepreneurial activity among youth. The new program was based on experiential learning methodologies, such as entrepreneurship games and business simulation exercises, which had been fully aligned with South African curricula for business studies.

Based on panel data collected among 16,000 students, the entrepreneurship education module was evaluated with regard to its impact on school performance, attitudes towards entrepreneurship and employment status. A quasi-experimental approach (difference-in-difference estimation) was taken, since the 60 treatment schools were not permitted to be randomly selected. The evaluation was based on a type of quadruple differences approach; exploiting the fact that treatment was only introduced in some classes of 10th cohort, whereas the other classes, the 11th and 12th graders as well as the 10 control schools serve as control schools, thereby also permitting various types of pseudo-treatment tests/placebo treatment tests, coupled with an analysis of sample selection to ensure the robustness of results. The short-term results of the impact evaluation indicated an increase in the number of students wanting to start their own business after completing high school and in the number of students thinking that starting their own business would be a good career choice for them.

Africa, Asia and Latin America | Microfinance for decent work
South Africa | High school entrepreneurship education