A retrospective assessment of the Kenya Voucher Training Programme
The Kenya Micro and Small Enterprise Training and Technology Project was one of the first projects financed by the World Bank to use a demand-side subsidy to promote the use of business development services. The key component of the project was a voucher training programme that covered up to 90 per cent of the cost of skills and management training purchased by informal sector microenterprises and small businesses. The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group conducted an ex post evaluation of the project, surveying over 300 training providers and MSE trainees. Although the training had a beneficial impact on participating MSEs, the impact of the project on the training market was modest. A large share of the voucher subsidy was captured by the training providers rather than the trainees, and many trainers returned to their previous activities once the subsidy ended. The VTP's large subsidy, multiple procedures, and weak oversight created an environment conducive to abuse.