This 2004 review covered 7 countries: Chile, Russia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, and Turkey. The study sought to:
- to identify and describe the distinctive issues faced by developing and transition economies in forming effective policies in career guidance and counseling;
- to identify emerging examples of best practice, and suggest how such countries can form more effective policies and programs in this field; and
- to assist the World Bank and other development agencies in determining how they can best assist such efforts.
World Bank client countries are often faced with distinctive issues. These include limited public resources, high
unemployment and poverty, large informal economies, need for community capacity building, and at times specific family and cultural factors which may have a major impact on career decision-making.
Current career guidance provision in the seven case-study countries is reviewed in terms of five main sectors:
- tertiary education;
- public employment services;
- employer-based services; and
- the private and voluntary sectors.
Based on this analysis of the case-studies, four general conclusions were reached to assist middle income
countries in developing services:
- Provision of services needs to be viewed as a coherent system, with multiple stakeholders developing different elements of service delivery.
- Governments have a key role in developing the services, but should not be viewed as sole providers.
- Restrictions on public resources require priorities to be established: these include an initial focus on improving career and educational information, followed by investing in self-help services, exploiting the use of information and communications technology, improving staff training, and developing incentives to encourage the private and NGO sectors to develop and deliver services.
- An evidence base of client demand, service cost, and service impact needs to be developed to defend investments.
The results of this study not only provide useful learning to countries with developing economies and economies in transition; they also provide a base line for further studies in the seven participant countries in order to measure progress in the development of policies and systems for career guidance.