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Promoting Market Oriented Skills Training and Employment Creation in the Great Lakes Region

The program’s overall goal is to contribute to increased employment and income generation for the rural population in the Great Lakes Region by improving their access to quality and labour market oriented vocational training. 

In 2012, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) launched a twelve-year program in the Great Lakes Region aiming at supporting the Governments of Rwanda, Burundi and DRC (Province of South Kivu) to improve access, quality and relevance of their respective TVET systems in order to address a key development challenge consisting of poor employability of their human capital due to low quantity and quality skills produced by the TVET sub-sector. Limited to Rwanda during the first phase (November 2012 - December 2015), the PROMOST program will be extended to DRC and, possibly, to Burundi during the second phase (February 2016 – January 2019). Swisscontact  has been mandated by SDC to guarantee the implementation of the program.

The program’s overall goal is to contribute to increase employment and income generation for the rural population in target geographical areas in the Great Lakes Region by improving their access to quality and labour market oriented vocational training. More specifically, it envisions support to the local TVET and employment stakeholders as an effective and sustainable way to enhance employability of the mainly disadvantaged categories of the population by improving their skills and competencies in line with labour market requirements and increase their income generating capacity by supporting them in the employment or self-employment process.

The specific objectives are as follows:

  • Increase accessibility for rural population and expand vocational skills offer;
  • Improve quality and quantity of available training provision with special emphasis on disadvantaged groups and women;
  • Develop the institutional capacity of the relevant institutional system and its key actors
  • Contribute to establish a certification system valid in the whole regional labour market: East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL);
  • Support the involvement of the private sector in the TVET-sector in offering internships for TVET-students and placements for graduates and providing continuous trainings for its employees.

In Rwanda, the program’s second phase will be in a straight line with the first phase. The main focus is on quantitative and qualitative improvement of TVET supply as well as enhanced accessibility for the socio-economically most disadvantaged and vulnerable segments of the rural population in the Western Province to more diversified training opportunities. Special attention will be given to capacity building of the three categories of key stakeholders involved in an effective TVET system at decentralized levels - local authorities, local TVET providers, and private sector organizations - in order to ensure impact and sustainable development of a demand-driven TVET system managed and monitored in partnership.

Implementation Strategy

The PROMOST program is in alignment with the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) priorities and development partners’ intervention domains and geographical areas. The program supplements WDA’s priority of developing the formal TVET system by focusing its intervention on non-formal and informal TVET sector while engaging the broad segments of the population excluded from formal skills development programs. While several development partners provide system support at policy and strategy levels, PROMOST will primarily deploy its interventions at local levels, with a geographic focus on the Western Province, which is weakly covered by other development partners.  It also promotes the development of training opportunities at lower skills levels (foundation level 1, 2 and 3 within the (Rwanda TVET Qualifications Framework) RTQF.

In order to promote access of the rural population in the Western Province to quality and market oriented skills development trainings, the program will, on the one hand, finance the construction and equipment of one new Vocational Training Centre (VTCs) in the  Nyabihu district which deliver trainings at RTQF level 2 and 3 and, on the other hand, promote the development of (i) short term training opportunities at lower skills levels (foundation levels 1 and 2 within the RTQF) as well as of (i) the modernized apprenticeship for the segments of the population excluded from formal TVET.

The program will ensure leverage at local levels by embedding activities into the local socio-economic context and within existing political, administrative and operative structures and systems in order to achieve higher impact, sustainability and outreach. The Swisscontact team applies system analysis at local levels in order to identify the appropriate and most effective entry points for interventions in the TVET system and its environment. The program will engage and develop local exparties who are most suitable to achieve the program’s objectives.

Capacity building is a critical component of the program. Therefore, the program is designed to focus on strengthening capacity of key stakeholders by putting in place systems, with a strong focus on training combined with implementation, in order to ensure transfer of knowledge and to promote “learning by doing”, thus contributing to make the TVET system more operational and sustainable.

Cross-cutting Issues

Gender. In line with the existing national and sector policies and strategies regarding gender mainstreaming, the program conducts its activities on an approach that promotes gender equality and contributes to the emergence of women. Specific gender indicators are included in the logical framework at outcome and output levels. The program  sensitize and encourage women to join TVET, especially to enroll in ‘modern’ fields.

Good governance. The program  specifically contribute to strengthening the capacity of different key TVET actors at local levels with regard to the principles of good governance, thus promoting high quality and relevant TVET that contributes to local socio-economic development. Strengthening the governance of local actors and institutions involved in TVET (authorities, TVET providers, Community Based Organisations and associations) will also have a multiplier effect on other development sectors. Improving good governance skills and competencies of these actors will be important in the program and will be included in the activities that contribute to an effective, decentralized TVET system managed in partnership with all involved stakeholders. Good governance will also be promoted by implementing cooperation and communication mechanisms between different stakeholders, as well as establishing participatory management of the grant fund for the short term trainings with clear, transparent mechanisms, modalities and procedures, including key TVET actors in the technical decision committee.


Direct beneficiaries. The program’s mainly targets the rural population in Western Province, with a special focus on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups as well as women from low-income households who are economically active or un(der)employed and who face challenges to accessing adequate skills development opportunities. These segments include primary school dropouts, secondary school leavers, genocide survivors, people living with disabilities, ex-combatants and demobilized soldiers.
Other direct program beneficiaries include trainers and administrative staff of public and private TVET institutions, the private sector representatives, the district and sector officers as well as the training providers in the non formal and informal TVET sector.

Direct institutional beneficiaries are: WDA, IPRC West, public and private VTCs, representatives of the Private Sector Federation as well as the districts in the Western Province.     

Indirect beneficiaries. The indirect beneficiaries include policy-makers, families, and employers. A functioning stakeholder platform and a partnership planning, monitoring and evaluation of the TVET system will provide information to central and local policy makers (district authorities, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) and WDA to help them make better policies to improve the delivery of vocational training based on evidence. Local private businesses and the local economy will also gain from a better managed TVET system that reflects the skills needs in the labor market and produces graduates and qualified people who have the required skills and competencies.


Two major innovations underlying this second phase will be


  1. the development of a strong partnership between Government, public and private TVET delivery, and private sector demand at decentralized levels and
  2. the implementation of the concept of modernized apprenticeship in cooperation with the private sector.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zürich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.ch