Research Support to the Special Initiative Training and Employment (RéUsSITE)

Apl. Prof. Dr. Jann Lay
2019 - 2022
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)



Project Description:

With the African population expected to double to 2.5 billion people by 2050, 20 million new jobs are needed annually in order to offer Africa's youth a perspective. The increasing importance of employment creation led the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to establish a new Special Initiative "Training and Employment" (short: SI Jobs) in mid-2018. The SI Jobs contributes to the implementation of recent policy initiatives geared towards fostering private investment, such as the Marshall Plan with Africa and the G20 Compact with Africa. Activities are concentrated in six African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia), and the objective is to create up to 100,000 permanent jobs, train up to 30,000 persons, and to improve incomes and working conditions.
The research project intends to support the BMZ and the implementing institutions by investigating the effects of important representative approaches used in the SI Jobs, and in providing research-backed recommendations geared towards optimising the various policy measures over the course of the project if necessary.

Research Questions:

  • How effective are the policy measures of the SI Jobs in creating training opportunities and permanent jobs, and in improving incomes and working conditions?
  • How exactly do these measures work, which (project- or context-specific) factors reduce or promote these effects? Could a better interaction between the various instruments of the SI Jobs increase its impact?
  • Which recommendations can be derived from the research results for the BMZ, the implementing institutions, other development cooperation organisations as well as national governments and other organisations on the ground?

Contribution to International Research:

The RéUsSITE project will advance international research in multiple ways. First, it will contribute to a growing body of rigorous evidence on the employment effects of different types of labour market interventions, which is scarce especially in African contexts. Second, it will improve the data basis on foreign direct investment in selected African countries and associated investment promotion measures, thereby enabling research on the effectiveness of these measures. Third, it will provide evidence on the effectiveness of policy approaches combining private investment with training and employment.

Research Design and Methods:

Two work packages (WP) examine the impact of the SI Jobs measures (1) on labour market outcomes of beneficiaries, and (2) on the level of investment projects.

Work Package 1: Rigorous measurement of the impact of SI Jobs measures on labour market outcomes of beneficiaries
In this work package, the employment effects of at least one strategically relevant measure of the SI Jobs, in particular in the areas of vocational training, employment-effective higher education and entrepreneurship, are to be analysed by means of a rigorous impact evaluation. The focus will be on a measure for which there is insufficient evidence so far. The first step will be to systematically integrate the existing evidence for this type of intervention, which may consist of (impact) evaluations and studies as well as systematic reviews. In order to increase external validity, the measure should be examined in two different (country) contexts, if possible. Research is needed, for example, on the question of the extent to which the quantitative and qualitative employment effects of initial and continuing vocational training increase if investors and companies participate, or whether the probability of business start-ups by graduates increases after internships and study projects with companies. Statements on the quality of the employment and training relationships created are also important, e.g. are the employment relationships permanent (if at all to be assessed in view of the duration of the research project), and are labour standards observed? Against the backdrop of such possible gaps in knowledge, the measure suitable for impact evaluation should be discussed and identified together with the SI Jobs and the DOs.

Work Package 2: Assessment of the effects of SI Jobs support measures at the level of investment projects
In the second work package, the effects of the SI Jobs measures on the success of investment projects will be examined with regard to (1) their actual implementation, (2) the mobilisation of foreign and domestic capital, (3) the creation of employment and its quality, as well as (4) the links to the local economy, if applicable. The work package applies a mixed-methods approach: On the one hand, the connections between investment promotion measures and project success are to be quantitatively examined on the basis of a database on investment projects to be created. On the other hand, these quantitative studies are supplemented by qualitative case studies of individual funding measures or investment projects. Both approaches serve to compare the effectiveness of different investment promotion approaches in different contexts (countries, regions or even sectors). In this work package, particular importance is attached to the question of a counterfactual scenario, which cannot be so easily established by a randomized experiment: If an investment project had not existed, would it have been implemented just as quickly, to the same extent and in the same form? In other words: (How) did the measure contribute to the implementation of the investment project in this way? The planned analyses are also based on a written review of the available evidence.

Research Team

Research Programme