Morocco Employment Lab
J-PAL and Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School are partnering with the Millennium Challenge Account Morocco Agency (MCA-Morocco) to launch the Morocco Employment Lab. Hosted at the Policy Center for the New South, a Moroccan think tank, the Morocco Employment Lab seeks to create a culture of evidence-based policymaking through rigorous impact evaluations and capacity building.
The Morocco Employment Lab will work across four complementary components that contribute to building a culture of evidence-based policy and ensuring that labor market programs are informed by evidence:
- Identify policy priorities: The Morocco Employment Lab will work with policymakers to diagnose key policy challenges, especially those compounded by COVID-19, identify data, highlight and prioritize knowledge gaps.
- Build capacity for evidence use: The Morocco Employment Lab will host training workshops and events on how to generate and use evidence in policymaking. Tailored trainings will be delivered to researchers, civil service trainees, NGOs, and government officials at different levels to create a broad understanding of how evidence can be used in the policy and program design.
- Conduct impact evaluations: Together with its policy partners, the Morocco Employment Lab will co-design and implement a portfolio of impact evaluations that address the identified policy priority issues.
- Share evidence to inform policy: The Morocco Employment Lab will disseminate research results to a wide range of stakeholders through a large-scale policy symposium, policy briefs, and online communication channels.
The Morocco Employment Lab will deliver a tailored training early on to decision-makers at key labor market institutions to lay the foundations for a common understanding of evidence-based policymaking, as well as to discuss priority labor policy challenges and opportunities for evaluation. Decision-makers will have the opportunity to continue engaging with the Morocco Employment Lab through seminars, where insights from global evidence and research conducted in Morocco will be shared.
Researchers affiliated with the Morocco Employment Lab will work hand in hand with organizations implementing programs and policies that seek to improve labor market outcomes. Research will seek to answer pressing questions from evaluation partners, with a view to inform program design and effectiveness. Evaluation partners will be thoroughly trained on how to incorporate evaluation into implementation and will learn by doing as they engage with the research teams conducting impact evaluations.
Research and academic partners
The Morocco Employment Lab will organize a series of research seminars for academics and students at Moroccan universities to discuss the latest research methodologies and international perspectives on labor market issues. In addition, the Lab will collaborate with academic institutions to incorporate evidence-based policymaking into their curriculum in order to scale knowledge dissemination and ensure that knowledge is available to future decision-makers.
Florencia Devoto (Project Director, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Samia Sekkarie (Senior Research and Policy Manager, EPoD)
Charlotte Tuminelli (Senior Training Manager, EPoD)
Amelia Rose Knudson (Research and Training Manager, EPoD)
Ilf Bencheikh (Deputy Executive Director, J-PAL Europe)
Hana Lakhdar Ghazal (Senior Project Manager, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Kacem El Guernaoui (Senior Research Associate, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Imane Fahli (Policy Manager, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Yamina Mohattane (Project Manager, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Alexia Van Rij (Research Associate, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Abdelouahed Eloufir (Research Associate, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Abbas El Akari (Research Associate, MEL, J-PAL MENA)
Request for Proposals
The Morocco Employment Lab funds randomized and quasi-experimental evaluations of interventions that seek to improve labor market outcomes in Morocco. The Morocco Employment Lab has launched a calling for proposals from eligible researchers for full research projects, and small or pilot projects. The calling for proposals is now closed, but the Employment Lab will remain open to receiving off-cycle proposals after the deadline, and researchers are encouraged to apply early due to funding and time constraints.
J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL postdocs, EPoD affiliated researchers, and Morocco Employment Lab invited researchers are eligible to apply for any type of Morocco Employment Lab research funds. In addition, any academic researcher is eligible to apply for non-experimental small or pilot projects. PhD students may be eligible to apply for up to $75,000 in research funding. To be eligible, PhD students must have an eligible researcher on their thesis committee at their host university. All research proposals may include collaborators outside of this network.
For instructions on how to apply and details on eligibility and proposal types, please refer to the Morocco Employment Lab RFP Overview document under Application Documents below. For further questions, please write to [email protected].
Morocco Employment Lab RFP Application Documents
Training and events
Check back for upcoming events.
Experimentation and Evaluation Put Forward as Key to Morocco's Development (May 25, 2021)
In this event, 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.
Training of Trainers for the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence Program (March 23 – April 2, 2021)
This "Training of Trainers" workshop equipped Moroccan instructors to teach Harvard EPoD’s Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) blended learning curriculum, with the goal of improving the technical skills and motivation needed to increase data and evidence use among policymakers.
Learning How, Why, and When to Use Randomized Evaluations to Rigorously Measure Social Impact (March 1-9, 2021)
This seven-day, online executive education course provided participants with an in-depth look at how, why, and when randomized evaluations can be used to rigorously measure the impact of social policies and programs.
Smart policy design and implementation framework to improve labor markets in Morocco (October 13, 2020)
This second training event led by the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) aimed at explaining the Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI) framework for rigorous evaluation applied to labor policy in Morocco.
Leading evidence-based labor policies in Morocco (October 5-6, 2020)
This first training event led by the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) gathered senior officials from key labor market institutions.
The COVID-19 in Morocco: Labor Market Impacts and Policy Responses report presents an analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Moroccan economy, focusing on labor markets. The objective of the paper is to inform the Moroccan government’s pandemic response. The paper was prepared by the Morocco Employment Lab, a project led by the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School, and hosted at the Policy Center for the New South, a local Moroccan think-tank. You can read the full paper here in English and French.
Engaging with the Morocco Employment Lab
The Morocco Employment Lab seeks to develop a hub for labor market evidence innovation in Rabat. As such, it will work closely with a range of Moroccan actors through a diverse set of activities.