Determining Institutional Roles and Responsibilities

AGI Lessons Learned

Where possible, the government should play a leading role in the overall project coordination and standardization. Too often skills interventions are fragmented and plagued by duplication, poor quality, and inefficiencies. Given their authority to set policy and their mandate to provide policy oversight, government teams may be best postitioned to play a central coordination role for the project and coordinate with other programs. Government leadership and ownership are also very important to ensure project sustainability.

NGOs and private skills providers can create healthy competition for skills delivery. Private providers can introduce new ideas and ways of doing things and build capacity in areas where the public sector may need support (for example, expertise in particular market-driven skills and trades, as well as in life skills or entrepreneurial skills).

Plan for pathways to scale and sustainability in the implementation arangements. There are important tradeoffs in terms of weighing immediate implementation capacities against the capacity and political will to sustain the project in the longer-term. Think about how to balance these two priorities in the implementation arrangements.

Engaging the private sector in the design or the delivery of skills training can improve the market relevance and the overall effectiveness. Determine an approach to private sector engagement that makes sense given the local labor market conditions. At a minimum, consult with the private sector on the skill deficits that they perceive in the workforce.

To determine the appropriate implementation arrangements, projects should make informed decisions based on local capacities and the project's long-term goals. When deciding whether to deliver skills training either through the government or through private providers or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), it is important to consider the flexibility and responsiveness of institutions and their potential for achieving scale, as detailed in the table below:

Comparative Advantage of Public and Private Providers
  Public Providers Private Providers and NGOs
Market Flexibility and Responsiveness Government skills training agencies may have less ability to quickly adapt national curriculum to emerging market demands. If it is appropriate and feasible to deliver through government services, it may be useful to bring in nongovernment partners to build public capacities in new areas (for example, non-traditional trades, life skills training, entrepreneurial skills, and so on).

Private providers and NGOs may be able to tailor services more readily and respond to local market demands more rapidly than large government agencies. Private providers and NGOs can be encouraged to be innovative and market-driven through financial incentives (see Implementing Results-Based Contracts). With private providers or NGOs engaged in service delivery, the government can play the key role of coordinating actors, standardizing delivery, monitoring implementation quality, and measuring outcomes.

Potential for Scale The potential for scale-up may be greater in contexts where the government is generating (or supplementing) the supply of skills training. The potential to scale the project may be limited by supply-side constraints in places where skills delivery is entirely dependent on private providers or NGOs.

Several AGI pilots conducted institutional assessments to gauge the strengths, weaknesses, and capacity-building needs of governmental and quasi-governmental institutions that were potential partners for the project execution, as well as to scope out the private sector training supply.

Assessing Institutional Capacities
Strategy Tool
Capacity issues can be dynamic and politically sensitive. An independent assessment can help gather timely and unbiased information to inform the most appropriate project implementation arrangements. Tool icon Liberia Institutional Assessment ToR

If the project is working in a fragile or post-conflict setting where public services have been weakened or are extremely limited, it is particularly important to have capable private sector or NGO providers on the ground. In such settings it may not be possible to implement AGI-like projects until a local supply of training providers has been (re)established. For example, the AGI in Liberia launched more than six years after the conflict ended, when local capacities had begun to recover. The World Bank executed the Haiti AGI only one year after the earthquake when local capacity constraints remained severe. AGI pilots can be grouped into five basic types of implementation arrangements, as follows:

AGI Implementation Arrangements
  Leadership and Coordination Service Delivery Resources
Recipient-Executed Government Government and Private Provider Resource icon Rwanda Implementation Arrangements
Government INGOs and NGOs

Resource icon Liberia Implementation Arrangements

Resource icon Afghanistan Implementation Arrangements

INGO Private Providers Resource icon Nepal Implementation Arrangements
Bank-Executed Bank Team and Consultants Private Providers and NGOs Resource icon Haiti AGI Presentation
INGO INGO Resource icon South Sudan Implementation Arrangements

Involving the private sector can improve the market relevance and the overall effectiveness of skills training. Determine a private sector engagement approach that makes sense given the local labor market conditions.

AGI pilots engaged the private sector in implementation in a variety of ways, as detailed below:

Partnering with the Private Sector in the Project Implementation Arrangements
Strategy Rationale Resources and Tools
Partner with local business associations to design and deliver the project. In Laos PDR, for instance, the project is implemented in partnership with a local business association for young people—the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Laos (YEAL). This partnering strategy may be appropriate if there is a strong existing business association in the project setting. Resource icon Laos AGI Results Note
Hire private companies to provide trainings that are tailored to the specific needs of the firm or sector. In Rwanda, for example, a private sector company is contracted to provide technical training in a specific sector (export-oriented arts and crafts) in the Government Vocational Training Centers.

This hiring strategy can be a good option if:

(i) there is a public interest in encouraging the private sector to train potential workers who have an atypical employee profile (for example, more vulnerable populations)

(ii) the particular firm(s) belongs to a large or burgeoning sector of the economy where there is predicted to be substantial growth in labor demand

(iii) the skills mismatch between private sector demand and labor supply is so severe that there is a case for public policy to play a role

Resource icon Rwanda Description of Services Delivered by the Private Sector
Hire private sector training and employment service companies to deliver technical training and assist with job placement. For example, AGIs in Liberia, Haiti, and Nepal are contracting private sector training and employment service providers to deliver technical training and follow-up services in demand-driven fields. Oftentimes private sector training companies are the primary suppliers of skills, particularly in settings where the public supply of technical vocational education and training (TVET) is nascent or underdeveloped. Because they tend to be flexible and responsive to the market, private sector training and employment service providers can be particularly successful in assisting women into nontraditional demand-driven trades. Healthy competition from private sector providers can encourage public providers to build their capacity and increase their market relevance.

Tool icon Haiti Technical Training ToR

Tool icon Haiti Technical Proposal Template for Private Sector Training Providers (in French)

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