Student Reports

Spring 2013

Professors Douglas J. Besharov and Douglas Call

In Spring 2013, students worked with clients at Education for Employment and the World Bank. Students performed a wide variety of analyses, including cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, performance measure development, process evaluation, and meta-assessment.

The following are the final projects prepared by the students. They are listed in order of clients.

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International Organization

World Bank

1. Still Working Together? Sustainability and Effects of the "Partnerships for Poverty Reduction" Program. The literature on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) has largely focused on recommendations for how to develop and implement these alliances. Less is known, however, about their effects. These include both the direct results of a certain partnership on the policy issue for which it was adopted, and also the indirect effects in terms of trust and social capital between the organizations involved. This study seeks to address this scarcity of evidence by analyzing the results of the "Partnerships for Poverty Reduction" Program implemented in several Latin American & Caribbean countries in the late 1990's. The organizations and researchers who worked on these projects were surveyed to assess their perception of the projects' impacts on the reduction of poverty and the generation of social capital. Specific cases were studied in greater detail. Characteristics that may contribute to partnership success (both broader politico-institutional factors and partnership-specific features) were explored.

This report has only been able to reach tentative conclusions due to the low survey response rate obtained from participant organizations and researchers. Conclusions are not only tentative due to the limited available data, but also because these data lead to contradictory findings: the low response rate could be a proxy for project failure but, for the few projects that provided data, all respondents perceived favorable effects in terms of poverty reduction and social capital enhancement. With the available data, it is not possible to determine how generalizable these effects are to the other partnerships. Finally, this report shows that successful cases present highly heterogeneous features, meaning that these variables are less influential than expected on the alliance's performance.

Paper Presentation

Education for Employment

2. Building Business: An Examination of Entrepreneurship Promotion Programs in the MENA Region and an Outcomes Framework for Education for Employment. Unemployment throughout the Middle East and North Africa is high, particularly among women and youth. This has led to a large number of initiatives to improve employability and entrepreneurship skills to combat the problem variously funded and operated by governments, nonprofits, and private companies. However, particularly for entrepreneurship promotion programs, these initiatives have not been evaluated, studied, or even aggregated in many instances. This paper will examine numerous entrepreneurship promotion programs to better understand the variability of the programs' activities and outcome measures and then synthesize this information to create an outcomes framework for Education For Employment's programs in the region. This report recommends that Education For Employment clarify the goals and intended targets of their entrepreneurship promotion programs, adopt objective measures of entrepreneurial skills, and incorporate more evaluation criteria based on the participants' perception of social support for entrepreneurship.

Paper Presentation

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