Evaluation of MCC's Investments in Community Skills Development Centers in Namibia: Final Report

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Apr 19, 2017
Authors
Evan Borkum, Kristen Velyvis, Arif Mamun, Malik Khan Mubeen, Anca Dumitrescu, and Ananya Khan

A lack of skilled workers and the limitations of the education system are impeding Namibia’s economic diversification and broad-based growth.

To tackle this issue, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a compact with the government of the Republic of Namibia in 2009 that included an education improvement project. Vocational training was the largest activity under the education project, and focused on expanding the availability, quality, and relevance of vocational education and skills training in Namibia. The vocational training activity included improvements to Namibia’s network of Community Skills and Development Centers (COSDECs), which are community-based institutions that provide basic levels of vocational training to clients from disadvantaged backgrounds—including out-of-school youth and low-skilled adults.

Mathematica conducted a mixed-methods performance evaluation of these improvements to COSDECs’ infrastructure, equipment, and technical capacity. Key stakeholders reported that the infrastructure components largely were successful, although some additional infrastructure improvements were still required. We also found that COSDECs had successfully incorporated many new management practices included in the technical capacity support into their operations. The analysis of outcomes from a survey with COSDEC enrollees showed that almost 9 in 10 enrollees in our sample completed their COSDEC training, but few had enrolled in further training despite high levels of interest in doing so. In addition, we found that the majority of COSDEC enrollees were not employed one year after the end of the training, and few were employed in a job related to their vocational training.