3ie, in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority, is implementing the multi-year Philippines Evidence Programme (also known as Policy Window Philippines). The programme will strengthen the culture of evidence-informed decision-making in the country.
In partnership with the government, we have been commissioning and managing impact evaluations of interventions prioritised by selected departments. The programme is also supporting capacity development activities for Philippine researchers and developing the impact evaluation management framework of the National Economic and Development Authority.
Since 2014, 3ie’s programme has funded impact evaluations of interventions implemented by the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as judicial reforms undertaken by the Supreme Court. In addition to demand generation workshops and a high-level policy forum in the Philippines, the programme has supported a ten-day CLEAR workshop on impact evaluation for evaluators, academics and local researchers.
This programme is supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Evidence impact: Philippine Special Programme for Employment of Students
The findings of the impact evaluation of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) have found resonance with the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment. The finding that SPES may be more effective as a work programme rather than an education programme has influenced a shift in the department’s focus. According to Dominique Tutay, Director, Department of Labour and Employment, Philippines, the programme will now focus more on youth skill building for improving employability rather than formal education completion. The department is also working on attracting more private sector participation to SPES so that participant youth are able to gain better on-the-job experience. This is in conjunction with the impact evaluation finding that participant youth were mainly engaged in administrative tasks in their jobs at local government units, which did not help in building their work experience.
The impact evaluation has also informed the reformulation of SPES goals, outcomes and targets for a new budget framework in 2018. The study prompted the department to strengthen its own monitoring and evaluation system and data collection. The department is now collecting data for new outcome indicators such as the percentage of SPES beneficiaries who graduated from college and technical, vocational courses and output indicators such as number of youth beneficiaries assisted. It has also commissioned evaluations for a few of its programmes.
Responding to the impact evaluation’s recommendation to add training for building life skills, the department has carried out a survey for assessing youth life skills. They are currently considering adding different life skills training modules for senior high school students and college students.
We in the Philippines are happy that the 3ie programme has included our country in the selection of countries all over the world for inclusion in their exercises to undertake impact evaluation of programmes…and the initial results already show that the outcomes of the studies are potentially going to be very useful in the decision of the government on policies and programmes – which ones to continue as they are and which ones need tweaking and modifications to make sure they deliver the results that are desired.
Latest blog: Putting government in the driver’s seat to generate and use impact evaluations in the Philippines
To ensure that impact evaluations of government programmes are more demand-driven, we need to put the government in the driver’s seat for increasing the demand for evaluation. In this blog, we reflect on some of the lessons learned from the Philippines Evidence Programme about building trust and alignment amongst government agencies that have multiple priorities.