As such, a phased approach could have been useful to take into account the limited technical capacity to formulate and implement skills standards, testing, and certification of trained workers. This could have been undertaken under a separate program prior to the project, covering a longer period of time and targeting priority employment areas.
At project completion, there was still a significant lack of qualified applicants to fill available teaching posts. These trainings lacked strategic direction. An institutionalized professional development program for TVET teachers could have been developed as part of project design instead of individualized and one-time training programs.
The institutional environment at that time was characterized by unclear mandates and overlapping roles and responsibilities and low staff absorption capacity for the planned activities. These led to uncoordinated and poorly planned trainings, improper sequencing of training programs, and duplication of efforts and use of resources. The complexity of the RMI’s TVET institutional environment required either a dedicated institution with a clear mandate on TVET or a streamlined institutional arrangement from the outset. Also, managerial, administrative, and technical capacity of concerned institutions and staff could have been considered from the start, especially the capacity to plan, implement, and evaluate various activities. The conduct of project preparatory TA could be a necessary condition before undertaking a lending operation for TVET to better understand the institutional context.
In particular, it is important to focus on the poor quality of education gained by students emerging from elementary and secondary levels. Before entering into any TVET project, it is essential to ensure quality basic education.
Key success factors are government buy-in and an appropriately designed program. The key factors that contributed to the success of the MDP were (i) the strong commitment of the government and support from stakeholders to develop the sector and achieve sustainable microfinance; and (ii) a well-designed program that appropriately addressed the key constraints, accompanied by TA to support the program objectives and a grant for capacity development.
The issuance of EO 558 initially threatened the foundation of the government’s market-based financing strategy for the sector. It did not have any significant adverse impact on the policy environment, as the market-oriented framework was already well established and institutionalized in the sector. Nonetheless, DOF-NCC needs to stay vigilant and continue to play a proactive role in preventing policy reversals that would threaten the market-oriented framework for microfinance.
Within the broad context of inclusive growth, the growth and commercialization of the microfinance sector increased access to financial services, created jobs, and increased financial literacy. However, outreach to households below the poverty line remains limited. In view of the program’s stated objective to improve household income, reduce poverty, and reduce the vulnerability of the poor, there is a need to improve the breadth and depth of outreach to the poor. Support for strengthening social performance of MFIs may be considered to improve outreach to the poor. The initiatives of BSP, People’s Credit and Finance Corporation and microfinance network organizations in promoting financial literacy and consumer protection should be continued, as these develop the capacity of the poor to increase access to and use financial services. Further, MFIs should take full advantage of BSP’s responsiveness to advances in technology through mobile banking and e-money, as these offer tremendous opportunity to deepen and expand outreach to the poor.
First, it entails enhancing the policy and regulatory environment. Second, it means developing the market infrastructure. In the case of the MDP, it was developing and adopting the performance standards for microfinance and drafting the bill for the credit information system that was successfully passed into law. Third, it means developing the capacity of MFIs for sound and sustainable microfinance operations. Fourth, it entails increasing the capacity of end-clients in accessing and using financial services through financial literacy, consumer protection, and BDS.
Nameplate capacity needs to be considered in the context of a plant’s capacity factor. No power plant runs 100% of the time, and power plants, like that of AKL, that run on auto diesel fuel will need to shut down routinely for scheduled maintenance. Routine maintenance combined with unscheduled shutdowns lower actual net capacity. Hence, to mitigate the risk of providing support to nonviable private sector power generation projects, it is necessary that ADB include scheduled shutdowns and the possibility of unscheduled shutdowns when calculating initial economic and financial rates of return.
This is important when technical problems arise that cause major shutdown of operations, as was the case of AKL due to a 2004 fire. Private sector insurance enables unforeseen technical problems to be fixed along with compensation to the insured for revenue loss due to the incident. Foreign investors can leverage important insurance that is often difficult for sovereign entities to acquire.
Alternative fuels consist of renewable energy sources and thermal fuels, including clean coal options. Private sector support to the power sector is optimized with a comparative analysis of real fuel options.
The flaw in the wording in one of the agreements could have been avoided. ADB needs to thoroughly review all legal documents, particularly those that could cause it financial or reputational harm.
The project clearly demonstrated the importance of strong and committed project sponsors to help ensure the success of a project. Telenor had the technical competence, managerial skills, and extensive telecommunications experience to run a world-class telecommunications operation in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank, for its part, had the brand recognition and distribution network to help market Grameenphone’s services in both urban and rural areas. Both companies have also observed high ethical standards. These are the types of sponsors that ADB should be looking for in future private sector projects.
For this project, such risks include weak and overlapping management of the vocational and technical education (VTE) system, detachment of training from industry needs, and poor social image of VTE. A streamlined system that is closely linked with the market will help ensure smooth school-to-work transition for students, which could then improve the perception of vocational training. Furthermore, the project should have focused on strengthening the administrative and management capacity of the executing agency and project implementation unit to avoid unnecessary delays.
The labor market information system was the first attempt of the vocational and technical education system to trace students after graduation and collect systematic information on enterprise demand. However, its complexity made the system costly and unsustainable. A more integrated and less complex system would be useful so that schools can have the resources and capacity to collect information. Schools should also be given incentives to carry out these types of survey.
Enterprises are a key beneficiary of skilled labor and hence have direct interest in skills training. Yet, they are often skeptical of the quality of training provided by public vocational and technical education institutions because of the disconnection between the two. Without good relations with employers, schools will find it difficult to provide students with job information or align their training to employers’ needs. Some employers are actually keen on providing their own training to ensure that the skills are relevant. Although firm-specific training may not replace general skill training, schools can collaborate with enterprises to organize in-house training or recruit their employees to be the trainers for some specific skills and modules. This can benefit both the schools and the enterprises, as teachers and students are updated with new technologies, and enterprises can partner with a school to certify and upgrade skills for their workers. Together with technical training, schools should also pay attention to enhancing students’ work ethics, knowledge about their rights and responsibilities, and labor laws, as such "soft" skills are valued by employers and beneficial for the students. Furthermore, linking schooling with work-based programs through apprenticeship has the potential to help students practice their learning and obtain practical problem-solving skills. Because apprenticeships often lead to employment, they can also motivate young people to stay in school and complete their education. Apprenticeship has proven particularly successful in some contexts. In Viet Nam, schools find apprenticeship to be very important for students to find jobs after graduation (Cooking and Hotel Business Vocational Secondary School). The German dual system, which combines structured training within a company and parttime classroom, has become a model for many countries. In France, going through an apprenticeship increases the likelihood of being employed 3 years after completion.
Governments in over 100 countries are designing, implementing, or considering national qualification frameworks or are involved with regional qualifications frameworks. The idea is that all qualifications can (and should) be expressed in terms of outcomes. Students can be tested based on their competency and certified accordingly, regardless of their learning pathways. This will help assure employers of the skills of their workers. At the same time, it will allow workers to move across sectors, as well as to other countries if the national qualification framework is aligned with regional and international frameworks. Workers can also move in and out of education to leverage on the knowledge they gain in the workplace.