Tracer Study on Projects of BRAC’s Skills Development Programme

LightCastle Analytics Wing
June 30, 2024
Tracer Study on Projects of BRAC’s Skills Development Programme

The Opportunity

Bangladesh faces persistent challenges concerning youth unemployment and limited female participation in the workforce, exacerbated by skills mismatch. The youth labor pool, aged 15 and above, comprises 64.68% males and 35.32% females, totaling 73.41 million. Despite this sizable demographic, youth unemployment sits at 11.2%, highlighting a clear mismatch between education and job market requirements.

Many young individuals, particularly from marginalized communities, struggle to access government support and services. Alarmingly, only a small fraction (3.65%) of the workforce receives annual training, dropping to a mere 1.35% in specific sectors. Overall, there’s a notable 30% skills gap in the economy, with certain sectors like IT/ITes and large-scale electronics experiencing notably larger disparities.

Aligned with the National Skill Development Policy, with a special focus on women and marginalized groups, the BRAC Skills Development Programme (SDP) was launched to promote inclusive and sustainable market expansion.

LightCastle Partners conducted a tracer study to evaluate the post-training outcomes of projects within SDP, including STAR, PROSPER, BISD, and PROMISE. The main goal was to gauge the impact on employment, income, career progression, job security, technical capacity and business creation, in line with BRAC’s mission to cultivate a skilled and empowered workforce.

The Approach

LightCastle employed a Tracer Study framework tailored to the BRAC SDP Programme. The framework serves as a robust tool, providing a comprehensive overview from input to output levels. 

approach of the tracer study of BRAC SDP projects

Upon completion of secondary research, the study team adopted a mixed methodology approach to cover primary quantitative and qualitative responses from the field. To facilitate a comprehensive comparison, the assessment covered both program participants and non-participants. The participant-level assessment further included participants who successfully graduated and those who did not.

The quantitative instrument specifically targeted economic, social, digital, and lifestyle aspects that the program aimed to enhance. LightCastle conducted eight in-depth interviews (IDIs) with the training providers and employers and focus group discussions(FGDs) with the youth and entrepreneurs. These enabled the team to assess the nuances of pre- and post-training impact on the youth and entrepreneurs from a multifaceted approach.

The Future

The key findings provide insights into the effectiveness, challenges, and suggestions for improvement across different training programs. Based on the findings from the study, the LightCastle team summarized the key bottlenecks and recommendations for the BRAC SDP team divided across each specific program. The recommendations generated aimed to address issues regarding Participants’ Perception of the program, Effectiveness of Training, Gender Equity Effectiveness, and Bottlenecks. 

WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Analytics Wing

At LightCastle, we take a systemic and data-driven approach to create opportunities for growth and impact. We are an international management consulting firm which creates systemic and data-driven opportunities for growth and impact in emerging markets. By collaborating with development partners and leveraging the power of the private sector, we strive to boost economies, inspire businesses, and change lives at scale.

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