The Trade Policy Centre in Africa (trapca) was established in 2006 to enhance trade policy capacity of least-developed and other developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was also set up to enable networking and information sharing amongst various African Countries. Trapca is based in Arusha in Tanzania. It is hosted by Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI), and academically supported by Lund University in Sweden. Sida has invested in trapca and has provided funding for the projects programmes in the last 9 years.

 The overall objective of the impact assessment was to trace trapca graduates and assess the effectiveness, relevance and impact of trapca programmes. This evaluation examined the different stages of trapca’s impact, starting with its primary impact on students, and its secondary impact on those organizations that employ alumni, ending with some sense of trapca’s impact on trade in Africa.

Specific activities included: survey design, collection tool design, data collection, in-depth stakeholder interviews, data analysis, impact assessment, and reporting. A mixed methodology was used to gather the experiences and perceptions of three sets of stakeholders: students, faculty staff and employers. The methodology included an online survey, paper survey, in-depth interviews, and self-completed questionnaires.

Key objectives and findings included:

  1. The profile of trapca students, measured by: Trapca courses completed; age distribution; gender distribution; nationality and country of residence; employment status; type of organisations alumni work for; and current level in organisation.
  2. trapca’s primary impact, including: the objectives for studying through trapca; trapca helped alumni to achieve their study objectives; Positive impact of trapca on alumni’s skills; Additional areas where trapca had an impact on alumni; Relevance of trapca’s curriculum; Positive impact on the quality of alumni’s work; Impact on professional networks; Motivation to study further; and Likelihood to recommend trapca.
  3. trapca’s secondary impact, including: the creation of new organizations; Relevance of trapca’s programmes to organizations in Africa; Increased alumni contribution to organizations and networks; and Increased involvement of organizations in trade