Information Through Vouchers: What Next, After Paraguay?

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Schor, Gabriel
Mar 1999
A functional weakness of the training market is the extreme difficulty with which potential purchasers of "training" can gauge the quality of training programs in advance of payment. However, no training provider would allow a customer to delay payment of course fees until the course has been completed. In such a circumstance, upon completion of the course, the trainee has received what he wanted to acquire (knowledge and skills), and therefore has a strong incentive to refuse payment. An effective instrument would promote investment in the training market, and also reduce the information gap and improve quality control. This document analyzes the specific problems and pitfalls encountered by previous supply-oriented programs in Paraguay and describes a new approach to microenterprise training, which uses an information system associated with vouchers. The concluding section highlights the challenges still facing this approach, and touches on expectations for future program interventions.