Evaluation of the Vocational Training Grant Fund in Namibia: Final Report

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Mar 29, 2017
Authors
Evan Borkum, Arif Mamun, and Malik Khan Mubeen

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 a Vocational Training Grant Fund (VTGF), which provided scholarships to Namibian youth to attend vocational training.

Mathematica conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impacts of the VTGF on scholarship applicants. Our evaluation found that the offer of a VTGF scholarship significantly increased the probability of participation in vocational training, especially for female applicants. However, the large positive impacts of the VTGF scholarship offer on training participation did not translate into positive impacts on employment one year after the training ended. A few scholarship recipients engaged in more training as an alternative to employment, but the scholarship had no significant net impact overall on productive engagement (defined as employment or engagement in further training).