Evaluation of the trade policy training centre in Africa (trapca)
This assignment was an evaluation of the trade policy training centre in Africa (trapca). Trapca was established in 2006 as a joint initiative of the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) in Arusha, Tanzania, and Lund University School of Economics and Management (LUSEM). Funded mainly by Sida, trapca seeks to build and enhance the trade policy, trade law and trade facilitation capacity of Sub-Saharan Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Low-Income Countries (LICs). The core activities consist of a MSc programme accredited by LUSEM, academic short courses, demand-driven executive courses, and policy dialogues.
The dual objective of the evaluation was to
- assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of trapca, and
- provide recommendations for continued Sida funding in a possible fourth phase (2019-).
The evaluation covered five years (2013-2017), corresponding to the final four years of Phase II of Sida support and the first year of Phase III. Guided by a set of evaluation questions, the focus of the evaluation was on:
- the overall relevance of trapca,
- education quality,
- implementation and delivery methods,
- governance and management capacity,
- institutional arrangements, and
- financial sustainability and cost-efficiency.
The evaluation was carried out during spring 2018, with the findings, conclusions and recommendations presented to trapca in Arusha in June 2018.
The report concluded that trapca remains a relevant undertaking. Courses were responsive to the needs of the target group, employers/supervisors, and countries at large, and the objectives were well-aligned with Sweden’s regional development cooperation strategy. Efficiency was high in terms of the quality of education and, increasingly, implementation and delivery methods, but more could be done to reduce costs and streamline governance and management arrangements. Programme effectiveness was not easily evaluated given that outcome indicators were not systematically reported on and did not add up to the full scope of outcome statements. While evidence suggests that courses had contributed to stronger performance both at the individual and organisational level, there was no discernible impact on trade, economic development or poverty reduction. Sustainability was deemed to be low given that capacity building has been limited to individuals and that trapca remains heavily dependent on Sida funding.