The Dissemination Workshop “Enhancing Youth Employment and Small Firms Growth” was organized by BRAC Uganda, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Stockholm University and the International Growth Centre, and was supported by the GLM|LIC programme of IZA and DFID.
The event took place in Kampala on July 18th, 2017, and brought together about 80 researchers, policy makers and practitioners working on skills training, youth labor markets, and small firm expansion. The day featured a number of presentations by researchers from various institutions in Uganda, Europe and the US, as well as talks by Ugandan government officials and NGO practitioners.
GLM|LIC investigators Vittorio Bassi (University of Southern California and IFS) and Aisha Nansamba (BRAC Uganda) of the project “Asymmetric Information on the Skills of Workers and Matching in the Labour Market: Evidence from Uganda” and Brian Kule (BRAC Uganda) have presented the paper “Information Frictions in the Labor Market Evidence from a Field Experiment in Uganda” in this workshop. The complete presentation can be found here.
The GLM|LIC investigators and Brian Kule show the important role of soft skills, e.g. creativity, communication skills, and trustworthiness, in Ugandan labour market through a field experiment. The preliminary findings from their study show that both small enterprise owners and young graduates recognize the importance of soft skills. In addition, their evaluation shows that certifying the soft skills of young talented workers improved their employment outcomes, by helping firm owners assess their skills during recruitment. Overall the study concludes that additional information (in the form of certificates, which is cost-effective) on soft skills improves labour market outcomes.
Please click here for a summary of the workshop from the International Growth Centre.
09:30-09:45 Welcome session and opening remarks
Robert Mpiira (Program Manager, Research and Evaluation Unit, BRAC Uganda)
Hasina Akhter (Country Representative, BRAC Uganda)
Nsumba Lyazi (Director – Basic Education, Ministry of Education and Sports)
Morning session 1 – Skills for Youth Employment: Evidence from Recent Evaluations
Moderator: Robert Mpiira (Program Manager, Research and Evaluation Unit, BRAC Uganda)
09:45-10:10 Research presentation: “Creating Jobs for the Youth in Uganda: Effects of Alternative Training Methods on Skills, Employment and Earnings”
Marta Russo (Research Associate, BRAC Uganda and IFS)
Christine Nabulumba (Assistant Data Manager, BRAC Uganda)
10:10-10:35 Research presentation: “The Importance of Soft Skills for Youth Employment: Evidence from a Job-matching and Certification Intervention”
Vittorio Bassi (Assistant Professor, University of Southern California and IFS)
Aisha Nansamba (Research Associate, BRAC Liberia)
Brian Kule (Research Assistant, BRAC Uganda)
10:35-11:00 – Tea/coffee break
Morning session 2 – Skills for Youth Employment: Policy Perspective
Moderator: Leon Matagi (Professor, Makerere University)
11:00-11:15 Keynote speech: “Relevance of Vocational Skills in the Ugandan Employment”
Okumu Micheal (Director, Directorate for Industrial Training)
11:15-11:30 Keynote speech: “Relevance of Soft Skills in the Educational Curriculum”
Grace Baguma (Director, National Curriculum Development Center)
11:45-12:15 – Panel discussion
All morning speakers and moderators
12:15-13:30 – Lunch break
Afternoon session 1 – Stimulating Small Firms Growth: Evidence from Recent Evaluations
Moderator: Wameq Raza (Thematic Research Head for Financial Inclusion & Livelihood, BRAC Uganda)
13:30-14:00 Research presentation: “Credit Contract Structure and Firm Growth: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Uganda”
Miri Stryjan (Assistant Professor, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
14:00-14:20 Research presentation: “Flexible Microcredit and Business Growth: Evidence from Pilot of a New Loan Product in Bangladesh”
Selim Gulesci (Assistant Professor, Bocconi University)
14:20-14:45 Research presentation: “Grow Remote Consulting Project”
Stephen Kagera (Research Associate, Innovations for Poverty Action, Uganda)
14:45-15:10 – Tea/coffee break
Afternoon session 2 – Stimulating Small Firms Growth: Policy Perspective
Moderator: Yiga Fred (Lecturer, Makerere University Business School)
15:10-15:25 Keynote speech: “SMEs Development in Uganda”
Johnson Abitekaniza (Commissioner, Ministry of Trade)
15:25-15:40 Keynote speech: “The Role of Microfinance Institutions for SMEs Development”
Jacqueline Musiitwa (Executive Director, Financial Sector Deepening Uganda)
15:55-16:25 Panel discussion
All afternoon speakers and moderators
16:25-16:30 Closing remarks
Jimmy Onesmus Adiga (CEO, BRAC Uganda Microfinance Limited)
Many thanks to Principal Investigators (in alphabetical order by surname) Vittorio Bassi (USC and IFS) and Aisha Nansamba (BRAC Uganda).