Experimentation and Evaluation Put Forward as Key to Morocco's Development

A port in Morocco with several shipping contains and cranes at sunrise.
Photo: Sean Pavone | Shutterstock.com

On May 25, 2021, the chairman of Morocco’s Special Commission for the Development Model presented the report on the New Development Model to His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The mandate of the Commission was to analyze the Kingdom's current development path and to outline a new development model, relying on a broad participative approach. This mandate called on the Commission to identify the multifaceted (institutional, economic, social, territorial and environmental) systemic challenges that are hindering development and to lay down a credible path towards change. 

One of the issues identified as a root cause of the current model’s loss of momentum is the lack of quality data, evidence-based policymaking and rigorous impact evaluations to support decision-making and assess benefits, costs and externalities of public policies and programs. Thus, the report calls for widening and systematizing the monitoring and evaluation of public policies and development programs, as well as improving access to reliable and timely data. Moreover, the report emphasizes the importance of piloting programs before they are implemented, along with leveraging evidence-informed innovations to design new programs and policies or improve the effectiveness of existing ones. 

The Morocco Employment Lab’s mission to create a culture of evidence-based policymaking is in accordance with these recommendations. Led by J-PAL and EPoD, and in partnership with MCA-Morocco and PCNS, the Morocco Employment Lab conducts impact evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of labor market policies and programs, builds capacity of stakeholders to generate and use evidence in policy making and development, and disseminates research results to inform policy and program design. Since its creation in 2020, the Lab has launched four evaluations with key labor market active partners to evaluate the impact of their core programs. The Lab actively seeks partners in the labor market space to launch new evaluations and explore opportunities for collaboration.