Skills Development

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Helpdesk Query:

What empirical evidence is there that skills development programmes in developing countries have led to marketable skills and resulted in improved employment/self employment outcomes of graduates? In particular, have such programmes reached the poorest and most marginalised, including women? The review should consider both recently developed and developing countries.


Education lifts people out of poverty, but the quality and relevance of that education affect levels of progress. There is a large pool of evidence available that aims to analyse the economic benefits but what evidence is available on how skills development programmes have led to marketable skills and better employment rates?

There is a lack of empirical data looking at the outcomes of skills development initiatives. Skills development programmes may not necessarily be initially set up to produce the outcome of increased employability, so looking at the evidence of what works needs to be carefully contextualised for feeding into the design of new programmes.

Access for poor and marginalised groups to skills development is a big issue. Initiatives need to target these groups through providing opportunities to enter the informal employment sector as well as the formal economy.

This report gives an overview of the resources available in the following areas:

1. DFID-funded Resources: RECOUP RPC and Beyond the Basics Research Project
2. Working Groups
3. Resources from ILO: Skills for Youth Employment and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
4. Key Documents and Case Studies from IDB, Latin America


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