Evaluation of MCC's Investments in the National Training Fund in Namibia: Findings from Second Round of Qualitative Data

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Mar 30, 2017
Authors
Kristen Velyvis, Arif Mamun, Anca Dumitrescu, Luke Heinkel, 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 technical assistance to establish a National Training Fund (NTF), which was intended to provide a sustainable source of funding for vocational training programs through a payroll levy on eligible employers. 

We evaluated the establishment of the NTF through a qualitative performance evaluation, seeking to understand whether the NTF was established as planned, how the levy was operating in practice, and what stakeholder perceptions of its future sustainability were. We found that the NTF succeeded in registering employers and collecting levy payments for expanding the availability of vocational training programs. In fact, levy collection exceeded targets in the first two years of collection, and key stakeholders regarded registration and levy collection as very successful. However, it was a challenge to manage levy funds and disburse them to support training in high-priority skills. Key barriers include a small number of qualified training providers and training programs within Namibia, a cumbersome approval process for new providers and programs, and technical difficulties with the electronic system used to manage levy funds. Most stakeholders were optimistic about the NTF’s sustainability, but reserved their final judgement about whether the promised benefits would accrue.