Towards Employability and Better Livelihood: An Evaluation of BRAC’s Skills Development Initiative



BRAC initiated ‘Skills Training for Advancing Resources (STAR)’ as a pilot project in 2012 with the aim of providing skill development opportunities to urban youth for securing better employment. Several rounds of quantitative and qualitative data were collected in the years 2012 and 2013 to assess whether the pilot project was able to achieve its goal and also to identify its strengths/weaknesses. Quantitative findings indicate strong positive impact of the project on the participants’ employment and earnings. In other words, the project appears highly successful in developing the skills of the participants leading to their involvement with different types of income generating activities (IGAs) in the post-intervention period, and consequently in increasing their earnings. Mentionable change has also occurred in the per capita annual income of the programme participants’ households, possibly as a result of the children’s successful participation in the project and consequent increase in earning. In 2012 (pre-intervention), the average annual per capita income of households from the comparison group was found to be about BDT 3,713 more than that of households from the treatment group. But the direction of the difference changed drastically in 2013 (post-intervention), with the average annual per capita income of households from the treatment group being about BDT 2,529 more than that of households from the comparison group. Similar change was observed in case of a few more indicators of households’ socioeconomic condition as well. Qualitative information collected from a smaller group of programme participants shortly after the training period revealed that all of them were involved in their respective trades in the post-intervention period, i.e. the trades on which they have received training under the STAR project. When asked in detail about their post intervention IGA involvement, most of them mentioned that the project personnel have been directly involved with their job placement process. Majority of them have been recruited by their former trainers (i.e. the master craft persons or the MCPs). One participant was even found to have started working independently on her respective trade. The programme participants also shared their dreams and future plans that they have developed following participation in the project. This enabling of the participants to have a dream for a better future and realistic plans to make that dream come true appears to be one of the greatest achievements of the STAR project.

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  • Writer Name: Anindita Bhattacharjee and Md. Kamruzzaman
  • Published Date: Monday, 28 November 2016
  • Country: Bangladesh