IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Vijaya Development Resource Center (VDRC)
GRANT AMOUNT: $134,132
THEMES: Social Saftey Nets
In 2011 and 2012, over 385,000 people left Nepal seeking better employment opportunities. Their remittances officially amounted to one quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). More than 75% of migrant workers from Nepal are unskilled workers, leading to low remittance levels per migrant. Enhancing the skill levels of migrant workers can be a strategy for diversifying the nation’s economic growth.
The enhanced vocational education and training (EVENT) project trains a roster of professionals who can in turn train workers or assess worker skills in key trades. The objective is to improve the skill levels of workers in Nepal and provide better job opportunities emigrating workers. The Department of Education (DOE), which is responsible for implementing EVENT, has sub-contracted project activities to two Nepali organizations: the training institute for technical instruction (TITI) and the national skill testing board (NSTB).
The CARTA sub-project was primarily focused on third party monitoring (TPM). The main objective was to monitor and verify the outputs and activities related to the various World Bank indicators of success. This involved input-tracking of training schedules, compiling trainee lists (with trainee profiles, including photographs), obtaining training records, evaluating training completion reports, direct observation of the training program and interviews with trainees and graduates. The sub-project also assessed the quality of the training and determined the frequency of individual training sessions from the participant’s perspective via satisfaction surveys. These monitoring activities were carried on with the approval and knowledge of the Department of Education (DOE), which requested that the training of trainers, skills test assessors and managers be sampled from 2012-13 and 2013-14 training sessions.
The sub-project produced a monitoring and verification report, which included the results of the beneficiary satisfaction survey. The report made recommendations related to EVENT-type training programs and introducing third party monitoring (TPM) more broadly.
Observations, interviews and the beneficiary survey indicated that participants and trainers believed the presence of third-party monitors led to improvements in the quality of the training. In addition, they considered TPM to be a good practice and believed it should continue. The survey showed that 96% of the respondents from all five EVENT programs responded positively to the question of whether TPM was needed to improve the quality of training. In interviews, both trainees and instructors stated that being aware of somebody watching caused them to perform better. Hence, the verification process had a bonus outcome of enhanced quality of the service delivery.
The primary beneficiaries of the EVENT program appreciated the changes that independent third party monitoring (TPM) produced and expressed their enthusiasm for the extension of TPM. Nevertheless, there is no indication, as of yet, that independent TPM will continue.
Many development projects strive to have an inclusive social outreach and deliver better outcomes to the most vulnerable sectors of the population. However, development projects are often experiencing difficulties reaching their target beneficiaries. The survey indicated that, across all five types of programs, 32% of the trainees were women, 4% were Dalit and 30% were Janajati. Although there was no fixed target for the inclusion of different ethnic groups in the trainings, inclusiveness was one of the objectives of EVENT. Consequently, the sub-project recommendations not only underscored the need for a more transparent and accountable trainee selection process but also the need for social inclusiveness to fully realize the EVENT objectives.