AT A GLANCE
Official Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Independence: 1946 from the United Kingdom
Implementing Jordan’s Educational Reform Model
Local Organization: Ministry of Labour
Canadian Expert: Brenda Cooke
Case Study: Dreaming Big, Implementing Not-So-Big: Development Coordination in Jordan’s Ministry of Labour by Leslie Shimotakahara
Canada has long played a leading role in assisting with Jordan’s long-term educational and labour market reform strategy (the Employment, Technical and Vocational Education and Training strategy, as it is known). Developed over the past few years under the umbrella of the National Agenda, this ambitious reform strategy aims to better prepare Jordanians for the needs of the modern workplace. During a two-year planning period, a host of donors, including CIDA, the EU, World Bank and USAID among others, worked with the Ministry of Labour to develop this strategy taking a sector-wide approach. Stakeholders were encouraged to dream in colour, producing a plan that outstretched what could be realistically implemented within budget.
"It’s wonderful to be part of this national sector-wide reform project. I’m especially proud of being able to bring Canada’s experience in building a robust college system to bear on the reform efforts here in Jordan."- Brenda Cooke
When it came time to set up the unit that would be responsible for implementation, CIDA’s Deployment for Democratic Development (DDD) was asked to identify a Canadian expert who could assist in getting things back on track. During this DDD initiative, it became evident that the donor funds available were significantly more modest than what had been anticipated by Ministry of Labour. It fell to Canadian expert Brenda Cooke to assist with the set-up of the unit. Under these circumstances, it was challenging to “maintain the momentum and commitment of all stakeholder groups,” Ms. Cooke reflects. She was responsible for getting the unit up and running and helping to develop a Reform Program Implementation Model, including an organizational design for the unit, and providing policy guidance, advice on financial management and reporting arrangements, and on-the-fly training on a host of human resource management issues. Throughout this process, Ms. Cooke was guided by “‘metacognitive’ approaches to implementing change, which involves naming, describing, and explaining change and discussing people’s reaction.” Through her provision of this modest amount of technical assistance over a four-month period, the project was salvaged and the project climate was turned around – yielding some valuable lessons learned about dealing with change.
Developing and Implementing a Labour Market Forecast Model
Local Organization: Policy and Strategic Planning Division, Ministry of Labour
Canadian Experts: Antunes, Director, National & Provincial Forecast, Conference Board of Canada, and team
The purpose of this initiative was to support the Ministry of Labour in Jordan to develop and implement a model for Labour Market Forecasts in three key economic sectors. As a country with limited natural resources, Jordan relies upon its human resources almost exclusively for economic growth. With exceedingly young population- an estimated half under 24 and almost 40% under the 15 – the demographic puts an unprecedented urgency upon job creation for youth. This DDD initiative aim was to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Labour in market projection. To this end, the Canadian consultants and their local counterparts worked together to develop and implement a Labour Market Forecast model for Jordan, an essential tool for decision making in human resource development, employment, and training and education. The project increased the capacity of the Ministry of Labour in labour market projections which is an essential tool for decision making in human resource development, employment, and training and education.