copy the linklink copied!Annex A. Self-assessment tool

This annex contains a self-assessment tool that may be used by policy makers, stakeholders and other interested parties to provide an overall assessment regarding the potential of a particular country to strengthen the governance of its skills policy regime. The tool contains a number of “yes/no” questions which are framed in a manner that a positive (yes) response indicates agreement with the policy recommendations developed and presented in this report. The questions are grouped according to the four main challenges identified in the introductory chapter of this report and applied in the various case studies. This is followed by recommendations regarding these challenges developed in the concluding chapter of this report. The individual questions are further grouped under broader questions on a particular aspect and more detailed specifics of that aspect.

Some questions refer to the macro (systems) level in a particular country, whereas others are better answered at the level of a subsystem (e.g. a particular sector of the education system). This tool should be understood as an instrument supporting critical self-reflection: a higher number of positive (yes) responses signals a greater compliance with the recommendations presented in this report, and negative (no) responses may support a process of self-assessment and learning by means of critically engaging with the recommendations put forward.

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Table A A.1. Self-assessment tool

Promoting co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration across the whole of government


Establish co-ordinating committees with a meaningful mandate and clear internal governance structures

  • Define a clear mandate

  • Define mandate with real substance

  • Establish strong internal governance structures

Questions for self-assessment

1. Is a comprehensive “map” of the skills system available?



a Is there centralised information on all available degrees and certificates, educational careers and progressions as well as entrance qualifications and requirements to different sectors of the skill system?

b Is the “map” open and publicly available? Is it accessible and transparent?

c Do actors involved in governance decisions know about it and is it used as a point of reference?

d Does the map include information on the legal and political competencies of various actors to influence governance decisions?

2. Do policy makers engage in “building the right institutions” for effective skill formation?

a Are skills policies at the top of the national policy agenda?

b Are efforts undertaken to co-ordinate the role of different bureaucratic agencies and political stakeholders across levels of government?

c Is there “horizontal” co-ordination between stakeholders at the same level of governance, i.e. co-ordination between different ministries and/or subnational governments via inter-ministerial committees, working groups or agencies?

d Is there co-ordination between policy makers, bureaucratic actors and civil society stakeholders?

e Is it clearly defined and widely known to the involved actors who sets the goals in policy-making and who decides about the distribution of decision-making power?

f Are procedures in place that support the management of conflicts between actors?

3. If new councils, committees or institutions are set up in order to strengthen collaboration across the whole of government:

a Is the mandate of newly established institutions clearly defined?

b Are relationships between newly established and previously existing institutions well-defined, i.e. is there little/no overlap between new and existing mandates?

c Does the mandate have substance, i.e. does it involve the delegation of substantial decision-making authority for a clearly defined matter/issue?

d Are the internal governance structures of newly established bodies and institutions clearly defined?

4. Are policies in place that improve monitoring and evaluation processes?

a Is there a comprehensive statistical reporting system that documents progress in skills policies in the system as a whole rather than merely parts of it?

b Does the monitoring system include both quantitative data as well as qualitative assessments from stakeholders?

c Are monitoring and evaluation processes accepted as a legitimate and important source of information and supported by those concerned, i.e. stakeholders, parents, employers, teachers, students?

d Are monitoring and evaluation processes flexible enough to take into account new developments and to adjust reporting procedures accordingly?

e Are there sufficient (fiscal) resources available to collect the required information and data?

f Are the outcomes of monitoring and evaluation processes systematically connected to decision processes in the governance of skill formation?

Engaging stakeholders throughout the policy cycle


Promote the involvement and commitment of non-governmental stakeholders, while managing the risk of undue influence from special interests

  • Provide opportunities for meaningful stakeholder involvement

  • Limit overall numbers of stakeholders involved

  • Prevent gridlock and manage the risk of undue influence by special interests

  • Allow stakeholder engagement to develop over time

Questions for self-assessment

1. Are all relevant stakeholders in the skills system well identified?



a Is knowledge available about how stakeholders interact with each other and how they are involved in the policy-making process?

b Are any groups or stakeholders systematically excluded?

2. Are stakeholders from business and civil society systematically involved in governance decisions?

a Are procedures in place that level the playing field between powerful or otherwise privileged stakeholders and less powerful ones?

b Are procedures in place that prevent powerful or otherwise privileged stakeholders (“special interests”) from capturing the political decision-making process?

c Do state actors retain the ultimate responsibility for governance decisions in order to ensure than decision-making processes are both legitimate and effective?

d Are the current structures adequate to overcome deadlock or diverging interests and to reach compromise in policy-making?

3. Do governance structures of stakeholder involvement allow for meaningful engagement between the government and stakeholders?

a Are stakeholders given a real say in setting the government’s agenda in skills policy?

b Does stakeholder involvement lead to tangible effects on the design and implementation of policies?

4. Do political and bureaucratic actors engaged in building trust with societal stakeholders?

a Are stakeholders involved in advisory boards and decision-making bodies on a permanent and sustainable basis?

b Are these boards and bodies systematically connected to the formal decision-making process?

c Are stakeholder engagement processes based on a widely accepted, transparent and clearly communicated set of engagement rules?

d Do political and bureaucratic actors actively engage in managing conflict between societal stakeholders in order to ensure that collective concerns are met?

Building integrated information systems


Support the establishment of information management systems, but make sure that they provide usable and relevant information to stakeholders and policy makers

  • Involve stakeholders in the design of integrated information systems

  • Use information management systems to inform rather than automate governance decisions

  • Make use of different kinds of  data

Questions for self-assessment

1. Are information management systems established that help decision-makers to mobilise the necessary quantitative and qualitative data to support decision-making processes?



a Do information management systems provide data on educational and employment careers according to the “life-course perspective”, i.e. including data on transitions between different sectors of the skills system and the world of work?

b Are sufficient fiscal resources and expertise available in order to establish and maintain complex information systems?

c Are information management systems regularly used by agencies, stakeholders and other actors in the system to facilitate the exchange of information and to support the creation of a common knowledge base?

2. Are procedures in place that aim at improving data processing, information dissemination and tailoring?

a Are both societal stakeholders as well as experts involved in the updating and tailoring of instruments, indicators and measurements?

b Are efforts to collect data from different agencies co-ordinated across these agencies in order to ensure comparability and accessibility?

c Do information management systems include input from the different data sources – both quantitative and qualitative?

d Is the output from information management systems made available to researchers for further analyses?

e Is the output from research taken into account in governance decisions?

3. Are procedures in place that aim at continuously enhancing management and evaluation processes connected to information systems?

a Is the output from information management systems systematically connected to decision-making processes in the governance of skills systems?

b Are information management systems supported by a commensurate culture of evaluation among policy makers, stakeholders and citizens?

c Are efforts undertaken to make the data generated by information management systems as accessible to the public as possible?

d Do evaluation process clearly define and set performance goals that should be achieved and are indicators available that measure progress towards achieving these goals?

Aligning and co-ordinating financing arrangements


Invest and commit the diversified resources needed to strengthen skills policies

  • Provide adequate resources by setting long-term budgetary goals

  • Tap into multiple sources of funding while keeping equity concerns in mind

Questions for self-assessment

1. Are efforts undertaken to mobilise funding for skills policies?



a Is the goal of investing in skills and skill formation at the top (or close to the top) of the government’s fiscal policy agenda?

b Are the sources of financing sufficiently diversified, including both public and private sources, in order to ensure the sustainability of funding in the long term?

2. Is the budget planning regarding fiscal resources connected to long-term strategic goals and challenges rather than driven by immediate crisis needs?

a Do policy makers regularly assess the financial needs of actors in the skills system, independent of current business cycles?

b Is the financing of skill formation connected to medium- and long-term goals in the financial planning of governments?

c Are the priorities in the distribution of fiscal resources co-ordinated with the input from information management and evaluation processes?

3. Do fiscal resources match the current needs in terms of financing in skills systems?

a Are financial needs of different actors and institutions properly identified and legitimised?

b Are fiscal incentives of actors in the system aligned in order to achieve the maximum yield in terms of resources?

c Do actors at different levels of government in charge of governance decisions in skills policies have the required competencies to make decisions about the distribution of fiscal resources?

d Are accountability mechanisms in place that ensure that actors are held responsible for aligning needs to resources in the long term?

4. Are equity concerns taken into account in decisions about the distribution of funding?

a Does socio-economic need (and background) play a role in decisions about the distribution of public funding?

b If funding comes from private sources, do funding schemes pay attention to individual differences in ability to pay?


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