Building Capacity for Evidence-based Policy through Virtual Learning in Morocco
As the world recovers from pandemic-related policy failures and encounters new policy problems, evidence-informed policy decisions are more important than ever. Capacity building is a key activity of the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL)’s work to create a culture of evidence-based policymaking in Morocco. MEL has begun to deliver EPoD’s Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) trainings in Morocco, beginning at the university level. These trainings build on the BCURE Training of Trainers held in March 2021, in which over 50 local instructors were trained to teach BCURE content.
On July 6th and 7th, EPoD and the University of Ibn-Tofail (UIT) in Kenitra, Morocco launched a BCURE training designed to equip policymakers with the knowledge and skills to use research and evidence in designing public policy. Over 40 participants from the UIT doctoral program at the Laboratory for Economic Research and Public Policy came together virtually in an engaging two-day training. Lechheb Houda, Mariem Liouaeddine and Aziz Bensbahou, experts in economics and professors at UIT, taught synchronous virtual sessions on Impact Evaluations and Descriptive Evidence.
The instructors incorporated local examples into the curriculum to tailor the course for the Moroccan context. For example, the session on impact evaluations looked at the efficacy of an early alert system in managing natural disaster response and preparedness. The descriptive evidence session explored data on income distributions in Morocco. Using local experiences to learn how to form policy responses to data and research will help participants apply these principles in their careers. As one participant said, the training “was relevant - we will need similar trainings that can address the gaps and needs of doctoral students in training.” 1
"It is a very informative course that provides enough skills to be able to both evaluate and analyze the effectiveness of a program and make important recommendations. 2 - PhD student training participant
For EPoD, the rollout of this course in Morocco brought challenges that were new to the BCURE curriculum. This was the first time that the content had been delivered completely in French, offering an opportunity to bolster program sustainability by relying even further on local instructors to lead on content development. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with students calling the sessions “riche en informations et bien détaillée et expliquée.” (“Information-rich training that is well detailed and explained.” )
EPoD and UIT hope that the success of these sessions bodes well for those continuing September through November. This fall, academics and future policymakers will join to continue the conversations started this week, focusing on the topic of “Evaluating Public Policy.” EPoD looks forward to supporting the work of UIT in strengthening the relationships between producers and consumers of information, with the goal of encouraging data and evidence use in Morocco’s public policies.