Vocational Training Program for the Unemployed Impact Evaluation 2010-2012
The Turkish National Employment Agency (ISKUR) provides services for individuals who register as unemployed through 109 offices in 81 provinces. The impact evaluation study was designed by researchers from the World Bank to evaluate the impact of the ISKUR vocational training programs. These programs average 336 hours over three months are available for a wide range of subjects, and are offered by both private and public providers. These training services were provided to over 250,000 registered unemployed in 2011.
The Turkey Vocational Training Program for the Unemployed Impact Evaluation 2010-2012 was the first randomized experiment of a large-scale vocational training program for the general unemployed population (not just for disadvantaged youth) in a developing country. The program was able to trace longer-term impacts up to three years post-training, by complementing a follow-up survey with administrative data from the social security agency. A sample of 5,902 applicants was randomly allocated to treatment and control groups within 130 separate courses. Excess demand among the unemployed for many of the courses offered by ISKUR provided the possibility for an over-subscription design. The evaluation was carried out in collaboration with ISKUR and under the guidance of the Ministry of Labor.
The baseline survey took place between 13 September, 2010, and 31 January, 2011. The follow-up survey was implemented approximately one year after the end of training, between December 27, 2011, and March 5, 2012. It collected data on employment outcomes, as well as individual and household well-being.
The scope of the study includes:
- Demographic characteristics,
- Training decisions,
- Recent training experience,
- Personality characteristics and expectation about the future,
- Decision making and gender attitudes,
- Education of ISKUR services,
- Household income,
- Household credit,
- Literacy, numeracy, Raven's test.
Producers and sponsors
University of California, San Diego
Turkish National Employment Agency
Gender Action Plan
Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund
Research Support Budget, World Bank
The selection of provinces for evaluation began with a list of the 39 provinces which had at least two significantly oversubscribed training courses in 2009. These provinces were first stratified by whether they had an unemployment rate above or below the median of 10 percent in 2009. Ten provinces were then randomly selected from each strata with probability proportional to the percentage of individuals trained in 2009. Three additional provinces (Antalya, Gaziantep, and Diyarbakir) were included in the sample at the request of ISKUR because of their importance in representing varying labor market conditions across Turkey. As a result, 23 provinces were selected for inclusion in the evaluation.
Power calculations gave a target sample size of 5,700 individuals. This target was divided among the 23 provinces in proportion to the number of trainees in these provinces in the previous year. Thus Istanbul accounts for 21.8 percent of the sample, Kocaeli, Ankara and Hatay collectively 28 percent, and the remaining half of the sample is split among the other 19 provinces.
The evaluation team worked with regional ISKUR offices to determine the actual courses from within each province to be included in the evaluation. The key criteria used to decide which courses to include in the evaluation were i) the likelihood of the course being oversubscribed (which ensures the most popular types of training, for which there would be demand for further scale-up, are included); ii) inclusion of a diversity of types of training providers to enable comparison of private and public course provision; and iii) course starting and ending dates. The evaluation includes courses that started between October and December 2010 and finished by May 2011 (75 percent had finished by the end of February 2011). The timing of the evaluation was determined by the fact that it tends to be a time of year when people in Turkey are more likely to seek training through ISKUR.
This resulted in a set of 130 evaluation courses spread throughout Turkey, of which 39 were offered by private providers and the remainder were mainly government-operated. Courses were advertised and potential trainees applied to them following standard procedures. Applications were then screened to ensure they met the eligibility criteria of ISKUR and the course provider. Training providers were then asked to select a list of potential trainees that was at least 2.2 times capacity.
The ISKUR Management Information System (MIS) stratified applicants for each course by gender and whether or not they were less than 25 years old. Within these strata, the MIS randomly allocated trainees at the individual level into one of three groups: a treatment group who were selected for training, a control group who were not, and a waitlisted group who the training provider could select into the training if there were drop-outs. Since training providers are paid on the basis of number actually trained, if individuals assigned to treatment drop out of training, providers look to quickly fill in the empty spots.
The final evaluation sample consisted of 5,902 applicants, of which 3,001 were allocated to treatment and 2,901 to control groups. There were 173 individuals who applied to more than one course.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The baseline survey and follow-up surveys were conducted through in-person interviews by a survey firm Frekans that was not affiliated with ISKUR and was selected by the evaluation team. The baseline survey took place on a rolling basis between 13 September, 2010 and 31 January, 2011. The goal was to conduct the surveys before courses began, but given the short window of time between selection of applicants and the start of the course, in practice only one-third of those surveyed were surveyed before the start of the course, while 79 percent of those interviewed were interviewed within 11 days of the start of the course. Applicants were told that the purpose of the survey was to help improve the services offered by ISKUR, and that their participation in the survey had no impact on being accepted into any training course, nor would their data be shared with ISKUR at the individual level.
ISKUR's Management Information System (MIS) contained basic information about the course and the sex, age, and education level of the applicant. The main data for evaluation came from surveys administered to the applicants, with some supplementary data from a survey of training providers, and some longer-term information on formal employment from the social security system.
Survey research company "Frekans"
An access to anonymized data is permitted for research purposes, under the standard conditions that no attempts are made to identify individual respondents.
The use of the datasets must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator (including country name);
- the full title of the survey and its acronym (when available), and the year(s) of implementation;
- the survey reference number;
- the source and date of download (for datasets disseminated online).
David McKenzie, Rita Almeida, Cristobal Ridao-Cano, World Bank; Sarojini Hirschleifer, University of California, San Diego. Vocational Training Program for the Unemployed Impact Evaluation 2010-2012. Ref. TUR_2010_VTPUIE_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.