Jordan—Sustainable Achievement of Business Expansion and Quality (SABEQ)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2006-2011

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Jordan

Solutions: Economic Growth

Improving Jordan’s productivity will be the key to sustainable economic growth, job creation, increased wages, and improved standards of living. While the private sector is key to stimulating and sustaining growth, it cannot do so alone. The government plays a critical role by creating an environment that fosters private sector excellence. Despite the Government of Jordan’s good intentions and various strategic plans for improvement, the Jordanian bureaucracy increases the costs of doing business, which, in turn, discourages private investment. In addition, current regulations and business-government relations are distorting competition and market dynamics, further constraining private sector investment in productive activities. To address these issues, the U.S. Agency for International Development funded SABEQ, which worked with both the public and private sectors to increase the number of jobs available to Jordanians, and enhance the competitiveness of Jordanian firms (ranging from micro through small, medium-sized, and large).

Sample Activities

  • Increase financial integrity, oversight, and broadened capital markets.
  • Expand trade and investment.
  • Remove government constraints to achieving private sector competitiveness.
  • Enhance productivity (improved people/improved product).

Select Results

  • Reviewed policies and practices in workforce development at regional and national levels with recommendations for improving practices to meet internationally accepted vocational and technical institution best practices. Primary activities focused on working with Karak and Irbid regional institutions to serve as a model in formulating national policies and practices based on experience in the regions.
  • Institutionalized effective public/private partnerships aimed at helping educational/vocational and training institutions improve the relevance of their curriculum and practical hands-on learning for pre-employment training systems for students in support of targeted economic growth initiatives. The implemented activities were tested in Karak and Irbid with lessons learned used as a model for additional areas and with national institutions and industry/business initiatives.
  • Developed activities regarding the attitudes and opportunities of Jordanian students and faculty to become more familiar with alternative futures through internships, apprenticeships, faculty to factory exchanges, and skill gap analysis at firm, regional, and national levels.
  • Improved and enhanced vocational and technical training for employment through skills needs assessment within the activities of the public/private partnerships and with the Enhanced Productivity team. Additional activities with the vocational and technical institutions were undertaken to improve the management structure, capacity to assess skill gaps, improve best practices of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and seek to obtain international standards of skill certification.
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