Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People project co-hosts the fourth Egyptian Forum for Youth Employment Promotion

The roundtable discussion and workshop on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) brought together representatives of government institutions, the international community, civil society organizations and academic institutions to discuss M&E mechanisms to improve youth employment programmes in Egypt.

The ILO’s Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People (DJEP) project and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Employment Promotion Programme have co-organized a roundtable discussion and workshop on ‘Enhancing Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms: Towards Tangible Impact of Youth Employment Promotion Interventions’.

The workshop was held in Cairo on 23 April 2015, and was the fourth in a series of events carried out under the Egyptian Forum for Youth Employment Promotion (Egypt-YEP). The workshop brought together various key Egyptian government representatives, including H.E. Dr. Mohamed Yousef, the Minister of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Ms. Ghada Labib, the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, Dr. Nihal El Magharbel the First Assistant to the Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform (MOPMAR), and Mr. Mohamed Abdel Rahman, General Manager at the Ministry of Manpower and Migration (MoMM), and representatives of the international community, civil society organizations and academic institutions.

The roundtable discussion served as a platform for participants to identify and discuss the different components and actors in existing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems for youth employment programmes in the country.

Participants also viewed presentations and engaged in dialogue that focused on the immediate need of improving short, medium and long-term M&E mechanisms to achieve sustainable job creation for Egyptian youth.

Drew Gardiner, Evaluation Specialist of the ILO Youth Employment Programme gave of a presentation on the past achievements and future activities of the Taqeem Fund for Evaluation in Youth Employment in the region. Taqeem is a technical support programme of the International Labour Organization whose aim is to increase the effectiveness of youth employment and enterprise interventions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) through support to a group of small and medium sized youth employment organizations from the region to better monitor, measure and effectively report on their programmes’ impact to a broader community of policymakers, practitioners and funders. The Taqeem Fund pioneers new approaches and builds the capacity of organizations in the MENA region to measure and monitor the impact of national programmes through the use of cost-effective, mass-market technology-based tools.

In his presentation, Mr. Gardiner illustrated a three prong strategic approach to M&E and impact evaluations centered around evidence-based decisions that link impact research, capacity development and policy influence. He also outlined the various forms of M&E technical assistance available to programme managers and relevant stakeholders in the region, and identified various types of evaluations that can be used during the impact evaluation process highlighting how each one is uniquely suited to provide answers to specific evaluation questions and deliver a set of different learning objectives.

The forum also highlighted evidence reviews of selected M&E cases in Egypt and the MENA region, including the Taqeem Fund where Mr. Gardiner acted as discussant for the presentation of M&E case studies from the Ministry of Labour - Palestine, Industrial Training Council, the Ministry of TVET and J-PAL - Egypt. The in-depth discussions that followed emphasized the importance of implementing early integration of M&E mechanisms in projects in order to effectively contribute to results-orientated and viable best practices in youth employment. Effective M&E was also identified as vital for providing policy makers with informed evidence for future decisions on youth employment projects in Egypt.

It was the consensus among all participants that the implementation of enhanced M&E instruments and tools will help to identify proven youth employment programme models that are efficient and effective, as well as distinguish programmes that do not work and subsequently improve the quality of youth employment projects in the country.

With extremely high youth unemployment rates, the Egyptian Forum for Youth Employment Promotion was launched in early 2014 with the objective of taking collective and pragmatic actions to address the pressing unemployment challenge. The first event identified three key policy priorities in the promotion of jobs for Egyptian youth through (i) providing labour market information (ii) career guidance from an early stage and (iii) enhancing the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of interventions.

To date, Egypt-YEP has organized three previous events: in March 2014 the kick-off of the Egyptian Forum for Youth Employment Promotion was held; in June 2014 an event on Guiding Egyptian Youth towards Employment and; in November 2014, a forum on Moving Towards a Better Labour Market Information System for Education and Employment.