Improving learning capacity: Insights from Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Managers

Initial vocational education and training, Sustainable tourism
Skills for Jobs (S4J), a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project implemented by Swisscontact, shared its successful experiences in establishing a learning culture and strengthening learning capacities within the project and among its partners in Albania in a practical guide entitled "Enhancing Learning Capacities: Insights from MEL Managers", part of the comprehensive paper "Shifting the Locus of Learning".

This concise yet informative article, co-authored by Dr Erka Çaro, Deputy Project Manager of Skills for Jobs, explores the invaluable expertise of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) managers who are actively involved in strengthening the learning capacity of their partner organisations and systems.

Drawing on insightful discussions, the paper summarises eight practical tips from MEL managers to enhance learning at partner and system level. Skills for Jobs (S4J) is used as a prime example, demonstrating how diagnostics and evaluations are essential to strengthening the learning capacity of partners and target systems.

S4J conducts annual assessments with partner schools, fostering collaborative learning and enabling schools to improve curricula, teaching methods and student recruitment. Tracer studies introduced by S4J at both the provider and system levels are driving adaptation in VET institutions and national agencies, leading to strategic decisions, programme diversification and improved marketing. This data-driven approach is influencing national decision-making and curriculum revisions.

This article is one of three outputs from a series of peer exchanges facilitated by USAID in 2022 through the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships initiative. These exchanges brought together senior leads from Market Systems Development programs worldwide, funded by USAID, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and other organisations.

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Initial vocational education and training, Sustainable tourism
Skills for Jobs (S4J)
‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) is a project mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact Albania. It is part of the Economic Development Domain of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Albania (2018-2021), with specific focus on promotion of employment opportunities and skills development.