Impact Evaluation of a Labour Mobility Programme in Tunisia
The research offers an evidence-based evaluation of the effectiveness of a development project for employment promotion through qualification and labour market policy. The development project provides a demand-oriented and sustainable range of training programmes, adequate financing mechanisms as well as an effective labour market policy involving the social partners, with the aim of contributing towards improving the employment situation of the Tunisian population and fostering private-sector development. The findings will shed light on the effectiveness of specific labour market interventions and will help in designing targeted German development cooperation projects in the future.
DEval will fund a rigorous impact evaluation of a labour mobility programme in Tunisia as an interesting case study for restructuring programmes in partner countries of German development cooperation projects.
The economic situation in Tunisia is very tense. In 2021, the budget deficit amounted to 8.6% of GDP and public debt to 83.9% of GDP. To avert a sovereign default, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Tunisia agreed on a structural adjustment programme which includes reducing government spending on the salaries of state employees and reforming state-owned enterprises. This will ultimately result in employees from the public-sector and state-owned enterprises transitioning to the private sector. Unemployment is already very high in Tunisia at 18%. It is especially high among women, younger people and graduates. At the same time, the private sector is experiencing a shortage of qualified staff. In this context, there is a very high demand for targeted education and specialised training. The development project aims to provide a professional alternative to employees of state-owned enterprises who have been affected by restructuring. Moreover, the development project aims at supporting the political and social approval of the reforms.
Innovation & Method
The research project “Impact Evaluation of a Labour Mobility Programme in Tunisia” evaluates two interventions from the project “Labour Mobility and Targeted Training”. The first intervention is a voucher programme for targeted training of individuals who are transitioning from the public to the private sector. The second intervention will be incentives for private-sector firms to hire these former public-sector employees.
The evaluation design – an RCT – will detect a causal relationship between the two interventions by comparing the employment outcomes of individuals in the four groups. Groups will be formed using randomisation at the individual level. Group 1 will receive both treatments, group 2 will only receive treatment 1, group 3 will only receive treatment 2 and group 4 will serve as the control group. Through this process of cross-randomisation, we can analyse the effectiveness of treatment 1 and treatment 2 and we can also compare the effectiveness of both treatments.
Expected results/Research questions
The impact evaluation will answer the overall research question on whether and how certain types of active labour market policies generate private-sector employment for vulnerable populations. It will focus on how employment can be created for people who are transitioning from the public to the private sector.
The objectives of the research project are three-fold. First, it will be analysed what kind of interventions can be effective in supporting individuals to transition from public to private-sector jobs. Second, heterogeneity analyses will reveal what type of worker benefits from the intervention. Third, we will inform future restructurings of public-sector companies which may include downsizing the workforce on how to best design support programmes for staff to mitigate the negative social impact.