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Case Studies

Assessment of the Educational System and Impact on Youth Employment 

Client Challenges

  • Iraq is facing one of the highest youth unemployment in the region (30% of youth in the age 15-24 are unemployed - in some province up to 60%)
  • Several previous initiatives of the client (leading NGO) to improve the educational system and the youth unemployment rate have not provided the expected outcome
  • The client (leading NGO) asked us to assess the current performance of the educational system in Iraq towards creating employment chances for youth and to develop a country master plan to promote private sector initiatives to improve the current education system. The master plan will be instrumental for the client (leading NGO) to allocate its funding into the Iraqi educational sector.

Our Approach

  • Conducted interviews with key stakeholders in Iraq (incl. Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Planning, Public and private Universities, Public and Private Vocational training Centers, NOGs, private sector associations and private employers)
  • Identified key gaps between educational system output and labor market demand
  • Highlighted key areas where the private sector could contribute to close these gaps
  • Analyzed current barriers for the private sector and key reforms and policy changes required
  • Developed master plan across various stakeholders in order to improve the educational system for youth and improve their chances for employment


  • Our assessment revealed that Iraq is currently not coordinating its educational system output with the current and future labor demand needs (in terms of quantity and quality). Also currently there is no effective job searching agency in place helping Iraqis to find the right job opportunity.
  • Key elements of the recommended master plan:
  • Support and funding of sector based education initiatives in high growth sectors (ICT, Oil & Gas, Construction) and key enabler sectors (Financial Sector, Utilities) with clear main private sector leads.
  • Funding and support of private job searching agencies and private vocational training centers
  • Enhance coordination between educational sector and private industry and increase private sector involvement
  • Support of several policy reforms and changes