Evidence-based Policymaking in the Labor Market Sector

Evidence-based Policymaking in the Labor Market Sector

Senior Leadership Training webinar: October 5 & 6, 2020 

Smart Policy Design and Implementation webinar: October 13, 2020 

Location: Zoom webinars 

Partners: MCA Morocco / Policy Center for the New South

This first training events led by the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) with senior officials, policymakers, and academics from key labor market institutions.

The Morocco Employment Lab held its first two capacity building events in October 2020. The objective of the events was to plant the seeds of the culture change that evidence-based policymaking requires. The Leading Evidence-based Policy Workshop for senior level officials introduced the Lab and gauged interest from primary stakeholders to collaborate in impact evaluations. The Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI) Workshop introduced evaluation frameworks to academics and policymakers who will be working on evaluations, discussed priority evaluation objectives, and introduced the SPDI framework to guide evaluation project development.

The trainings contribute to the broader objective of the Morocco Employment Lab: creating a culture of evidence-based policy and ensuring that labor market programs are informed by evidence in Morocco. The events laid the groundwork for relevant impact evaluation proposals through (1) understanding priorities and gaining buy-in from senior policymakers and (2) grounding meetings in the SPDI problem-driven framework to ensure that projects can address the true underlying causes of pressing policy problems. 

Leading Evidence-based Policy Workshop for Senior Level Officials

Screenshot from webinar

Designed for senior officials and policymakers in the public, private, and labor market sectors, the training took place on October 5 & 6. During each 2 hour-session, a dozen senior level officials from various institutions such as such as the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, the unemployment agency (ANAPEC), the Ministry of Finance, the National Human Development Initiative (INDH), the agency for vocational training (OFPPT), and the Ministry of Industry,  were in attendance. The training aimed at illustrating how rigorous evaluations can be used to identify cost-effective programs to improve labor market outcomes.

The training included lectures by Professor Rema Hanna, Faculty Director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) and Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor Bruno Crépon, Professor at ENSAE and Ecole Polytechnique, alongside interactive Q&A sessions and breakout discussions. The lecture topics were: “Why and when a rigorous evaluation of social impact is needed”; “Key components of high-quality, rigorous evaluations”; “Overview of existing evidence in the labor market sector”, and how to apply these results in Morocco.

Participants showed genuine interest in the MEL approach to integrate evaluations within their work through evaluations that will be selected and carried out by researchers in close collaboration with participant institutions.

Smart Policy Design and Implementation

During the Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI) webinar on October 13, Professors Bruno Crépon and Rema Hanna delivered two lectures to introduce the SPDI framework - a problem-driven approach to analyzing policy challenges and designing solutions in a systematic, evidence-based manner -  and practical examples of how it has been used to inform policymaking in other countries. 

Highlighting examples of policy-research collaborations and evaluations from Indonesia, Egypt and other contexts, the event described the approach the Lab will take in Morocco to develop impact evaluation projects and ensure they align with policymaking The two and a half hour workshop gathered close to 100 participants, representing over 20 organizations from the Moroccan public sector, NGOs, and academia.

Following the SPDI workshop, the Morocco Employment Lab team is organizing meetings between policymakers who attended the training and academic researchers to incubate impact evaluation projects aligned with policymaker priorities. The evaluations will be grounded in the SPDI framework, with a focus on establishing accurate and thorough problem diagnosis before project design takes place. Staff facilitators from the Employment Lab will guide teams in the matchmaking meetings through some formal activities and discussion questions. Academic researchers will be able to apply to a competitive research fund with their evaluation projects.

  • Moderator: Florencia Devoto, Director of Morocco Employment Lab

  • Speakers: Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard Kennedy School; Bruno Crépon, Professor of Economics, ENSAE Paris, Ecole Polytechnique