Adaptive Management in the Context of Job Creation, Tunisian Business Reform & Competitiveness

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Jim Defay
Date Published:
September 12, 2016
Community Contribution

Watch an interview with this activity's Contracting Officer's Representative William Baldridge:

Tunisia faces a youth bulge and youth unemployment is more than 30% (and nearly 50% among college graduates). The USAID Business Reform and Competitiveness Project was a three-year job creation activity that targeted key constraints facing small and medium enterprises in high-potential sectors of the Tunisian economy.

CLA Approach

  • M&E for Learning was a central part of the activity. Our monitoring and evaluation team served as a hub for information flow. We incorporated a variety of feedback loops to enhance the functioning of each components.
  • Continuous Learning & Improvement: The activity was designed to focus on job creation through work with enterprises and job matching. When this approach did not deliver the expected results, we shifted our focus to helping enterprises access existing market demand.
  • Adaptive Management: There were a series of adaptations, not only in enterprise assistance, but also in other components of the activity. Based on management targets, we recognized early flaws, responded to partner feedback, and began to alter our approach to improve the tracking results.

Lessons Learned

  • Placing monitoring staff within the management team from the beginning enabled them to contribute to core management decisions.
  • Having a contracting mechanism that was sufficiently flexible enabled us to take advantage of realistic intervention opportunities and work with a network of partners that we had not originally envisaged.


  • During the first two years, our work generated about 10,000 jobs — more than doubling our initial targets.
  • About 35% of all jobs created have been filled by women.