During the second week of March, a team from GlobalCAD travelled to Kampala, Uganda, to start the field work of the project “Action research on change processes and lessons learned of the implementation of the pilot Skills Development Fund (SDF)”. The preparation activities are done together with the Ugandan organization Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
The field work started with a training workshop delivered at the premises of EPRC to prepare field enumerators to conduct interviews and focus group discussions with key informants and beneficiaries in the regions where the SDF operates.
In addition, the teams met with several national-level stakeholders from the government, the private sector, the civil society and the donor community involved in the implementation of the SDF to better understand their roles and perceptions regarding the management of the fund and the results that it has generated so far, as well as possible challenges and opportunities for improvement.
The SDF is implemented by the Belgian Development Agency ENABEL, with contributions from the EU Trust Fund and Irish Aid. Its overall objective is to create an environment that encourages training providers to supply the skills that society and the economy need and to facilitate collaborative public-private partnerships. It operates in three different regions of the country, covering a total of 15 districts where it finances specific initiatives introduced by training providers and their partners from the private sector through calls for proposals. The main aim of the Fund is to stimulate bottom-up initiatives and partnerships between training institutions (public or private not-for-profit training providers) and the private sector, in order to provide flexible, qualitative and demand-driven, i.e. labour market relevant, training and inspire change in skills development. Through the supported initiatives, the Fund aims to facilitate the transition from the world of school (training institutions) to the world of work.
The research will be conducted by GlobalCAD and EPRC until mid-2020 and includes two rounds of data collection that will produce mostly qualitative information on which approaches work best for inclusive and high-quality skills development. The results will be presented in a final research paper highlighting best practices and key lessons learned. These will form the basis to produce policy advice for decision makers.