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Study Overview

Empowering youth through skills development in Togo
Study is 3ie funded:
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As in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Togolese labor market is characterized by relatively high youth unemployment and underemployment rates. A survey of 2,200 youth who graduated from technical schools or university in 2008 showed a 12.7% unemployment rate and a 40% under-employment rate. In addition, the youth surveyed spent on average 12.8 months looking for their first job opportunity. While youth have difficulties finding jobs, employers are hesitant to employ young graduates because they do not have the technical skills necessary to be operational immediately or they lack the necessary soft-skills to successfully integrate into a professional working environment. This study compares three types of interventions that aim to develop young graduates' skills to make them more competitive on the job market and facilitate their labor market insertion. The program Appui à l'Insertion et au Développement de l'Embauche (AIDE) offers internships, internships accompanied by training vouchers targeted to interns' specific needs, and a soft-skills training.
Additional Keywords:
Skills development, socio-emotional skills, soft-skills, internship, training, youth, youth employment
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Markus Goldstein
World Bank
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Intervention Overview

Unemployed youth, ages 18-40 and with vocational or higher education are eligible for the program AIDE, which pilots three types of interventions: 1. Internship in private or parastatal companies (approximately 900 beneficiaries). Youth receive a 6-month internship renewable once in a private or parastatal company. 2. Internship with training voucher (approximately 400 beneficiaries). In addition to the aforementioned internship, some youth also receive training vouchers for a weeklong training program adapted to the interns’ needs. 3. Soft-skills training (approximately 700 beneficiaries). Youth who do not receive internships may participate in a two-week soft-skills training program. The modules include: (i) Citizenship, business culture, and teamwork (ii) Meeting management (iii) Stress management (iv) Time management (v) Self-management and managing one’s professional image (vi) Employment contracts and professional obligations (vii) Interpersonal communication (viii) Administrative writing (ix) Writing a budget (x) Decision making and setting objectives (xi) The Togolese job market in your sector of activity (xii) Technology in your sector of activity
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
This study adopts a randomly controlled trial (RCT) evaluation design. Before the interventions, the team used stratified random selection at the individual level to divide applicants into three groups: internship, soft-skills training, and control. The selection was stratified by diploma, area of study, and region, and the number of youth selected from each strata was a function of the internship offers from companies. After placement of interns in companies, youth in the internship group were randomly assigned to the internship with training voucher treatment or to the simple internship treatment, and to ensure balance, the sample was further stratified on the take-up of the internship intervention. Because of the RCT design, this study will be able to clearly identify the causal impacts of each intervention. To identify the intention to treat effect, the team will use ANCOVA regressions for outcomes for which baseline data is available and post estimations for outcomes with no baseline data available. To estimate the treatment on treated effect, the team will instrument the participation in the training program with the random assignment to the treatment group.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The two primary outcomes of interest are youth's employment outcomes and employability. Secondary outcomes of interest include the impact on contractual arrangements, standard of living, ways of finding employment, psychological well-being, marital and fertility decisions, career expectations and gender attitudes. The study will also analyze the mechanisms of change and heterogeneous impacts. Notably, this study will focus on what is most effective for improving employment outcomes and skills of young women.
Unit of Analysis:
This study will test the following hypotheses: Hypothesis group A: Primary outcomes A1: The interventions will improve employment outcomes A2: The interventions will improve employability Hypothesis group B: Secondary outcomes B1: The interventions will improve contractual arrangements B2: The interventions will improve standard of living B3: The program may influence the way in which youth find employment B4: The interventions will improve psychological well-being B5: The interventions may influence marital and fertility decisions B6: The interventions may influence career expectations of participants B7: The interventions may influence gender attitudes of participants Hypothesis group C: Process and mechanisms of change C1: Participants have developed new skills C2: Program completion serves as a positive signal to employers C3: Youth develop expanded professional networks C4: Income earned during program provides resources to open/expand a business or to extend a job search Hypothesis group D: Heterogeneous impacts D1: Gender D2: Level of competition in sector D3: Education level D4: Years since graduation D5: Age D6: Years of experience
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Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
The random selection included: 941 internship, 941 internship with voucher, 928 soft-skills, 919 control . The discrepancies between the selected sample and the beneficiaries is due to take-up rates.

Supplementary Files

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Outcomes Data

This study will use 5 or 6 rounds of original survey data: 2 self-completed baseline surveys, 2 short phone surveys at mid-line, and 1 or 2 (depending on funding) face-to-face end-line surveys.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Restricted -- Access requires a formal approval process
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
The data is currently restricted to the impact evaluation team that is collecting it. It will be made publically available after the evaluation and de-identification.
Approval Status:
Yes-obtained approval and have received the data

Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 3: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team but analysis for this evaluation has not started

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped