[Journal:] IZA Journal of Labor Policy [ISSN:] 2193-9004 [Publisher:] Springer [Place:] Heidelberg [Volume:] 2 [Year:] 2013 [Pages:] 1-25
Given the labor market challenges that countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are facing (notably high unemployment, prevalence of skills mismatches, low labor market mobility, and lack of formal employment networks), Active Labor Market Programs (ALMPs) could be a relevant policy instrument to assist unemployed individuals find jobs. This study first introduces a conceptual framework for ALMPs and describes their overall impact on employment outcomes. The study then reviews the provision of ALMPs in a selected group of countries in the MENA region, with a focus on public provision through existing public employment agencies. The study also presents the results of some of the few available robust evaluations of AMLPs the region, in a context where information about program effectiveness and efficiency is largely lacking. Finally, the study identifies key challenges in the delivery of publicly provided ALMPs in MENA countries, namely poor administrative capacity, system fragmentation, lack of governance and accountability, regulation bottlenecks, and flaws in program design. To address these challenges, the study proposes a reform agenda based on a four-pillar policy framework: (i) develop results-based Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); (ii) promote systems and program integration; (iii) develop results-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks; and (iv) promote entrepreneurship/self-employment, on-the-job training and life skills training among job seekers.
Labor policy labor markets unemployment training labor regulation school-to-job transition