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  • Closed Compact Report:  Closed Compact Report: Morocco Compact
  • October 2015

Artisan and Fez Medina Project

  • $111,873,858Original Compact Project Amount
  • $84,019,666Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Artisan and Fez Medina Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At compact closure 24.1 percent 152,818 $75,600,000

Estimated benefits corresponds to $105.4 million of project funds, where cost-benefit analysis was conducted.

Project Description

The Government of Morocco proposed a project to boost artisanal household incomes after discovering that tourist spending on local artisan products was substantially lower than in comparable foreign markets despite the country’s rich offerings. Many artisans lacked the training and skills necessary to modernize production and capitalize on the growing tourist industry and export market. Drafted in line with national and regional strategies for developing the artisan sector, the Artisan and Fez Medina Project was designed to stimulate growth by leveraging links between the craft sector, tourism, and the Fez Medina’s cultural, historic and architectural assets.

The project sought to assist potters in upgrading their equipment and techniques, strengthen the national system for literacy and vocational education to benefit artisans and the general population (especially women and girls), and support the design and reconstruction of historic sites in the medina. At the close of the compact, construction of the potter workshops (fondouks) at Ain Nokbi in Fez was complete, more than 300 artisans benefitted from promotion and marketing activities, and a new national label for handmade crafts was developed for Moroccan artisans. Construction of the foundouks is complete; however the sites are not yet fully functional. The government  agreed to accept responsibility for works not completed by the compact end-date, and continues to finance restoration of Place Lalla Yeddouna.

Evaluation Findings

MCC conducted performance evaluations of the Artisan Production and Promotion and Fez Medina Activities and the Functional Literacy Sub-Activity. Summaries of Findings for the Artisan and Fez Median activities can be found here. Key findings include:

  • Although most performance targets were met, rigorous measurement of the impact of these activities was not feasible under this evaluation. The evaluation notes that only 20 potters (of a targeted 144) could afford to purchase modern gas kilns offered at reduced prices by the project. Similarly, the compact-funded pilot of a national label for artisans had not yet been completed by the compact end date, and no artisan appended the label to their products.
  • However, the evaluation was able to collect data on the perceptions of beneficiaries. On average, potters who participated in compact-funded trainings estimated their incomes to have increased by 9.6%.
  • For the Fez Medina Activity, no compact outputs were completed except for the construction of a new workshop at Ain Nokbi where copperware artisans from Place Lalla Yeddouna were resettled. Targeted beneficiaries had not yet observed positive impacts of the compact’s interventions, as responsibility for completion of the Fez Medina rehabilitations was transferred to the Government of Morocco. Sites are expected to be completed in 2017. The evaluation did find that working conditions substantially improved due to air extraction and filtering systems in the new fondouk constructed at Ain Nokbi.

Summaries of Findings for an interim performance evaluations related to the Functional Literacy Sub-Activity can be found here. Key findings include:

  • 82% of the more than 69,000 enrollees who were participants, or family members of participants, in the Fruit Tree Productivity, Small Scale Fisheries, and Artisan Production projects learned to read, write, do arithmetic, and perform other life skills.
  • The community-based and flexible hours approach appears to have contributed to a high number of females in the training sessions and among literacy facilitators and managers.
  • 74.6% of beneficiaries stated they used the new technologies daily in the course of their professional activities.
  • Based on information gathered from beneficiaries in focus groups or semi-structured interviews the evaluator expected productivity gains of 20%, 40% or even 60% over time, depending on various external factors noted by the farmers, fishers and artisans surveyed.
  • Although it was difficult to measure the ultimate impact of the Functional Literacy Activity on the incomes and living standards of beneficiaries, the study of 500 beneficiaries found that 66.8% of them anticipated improved incomes due to the training they received.

MCC is also conducting a final performance evaluation of the Functional Literacy and Vocational Training Sub-Activity. The evaluation is expected to be completed in 2016 and will measure the success and relevance of the literacy and training programs and the potential for productivity gains and income benefits in the future.

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicator Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 Actuals (as of Dec 2013) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (as of Dec 2013)
Artisan Production Activity Adoption rate of improved production practices promoted by the project (% ) 0 n/a 23 n/a
MCC-subsidized gas kilns bought by artisans
  • Fewer kilns were acquired than expected, as potters struggled to cover their share of the costs. This was largely due to higher than anticipated costs of installing new kilns and to potters’ limited access to finance.
0 144 20 14%
Training of potters 0 3,905 2,332 60%
Artisan Promotion Activity Number of SMEs participating in promotion events 0 130 118 91%
Number of SMEs that append the label on their products
  • 30 SMEs were certified to participate in the national label. SMEs are expected to begin appending their labels after February 2014.
0 30 0 0
Tourist circuits improved or created 0 7 11 157%
Fez Medina Activity Beneficiaries of Ain Nokbi construction and artisan resettlement program 0 1,283 1,283 100%
Sites constructed or rehabilitated (4 foundouks, Place Lalla Ydouna, Ain Nokbi)
  • The Ain Nokbi Foundouk, which houses artisan workshops, is complete and operational. The Government of Morocco is committed to completing construction/rehabilitation of the five remaining historic sites, drawing from its own budget. Four of the five are expected to be completed before the end of 2014, and completion of the fifth site is expected in 2015.
0 6 1 17%
Literacy and Vocational Education Activity Drop-out rates of participants of residential and apprenticeship programs 60 40 41 95%
Females receiving professional training 0 4,496 4,719 105%
Graduates of MCC-supported Functional Literacy program (Female)
  • The activity met 93% of the overall graduates target (38,708 of 41,491 expected), with a greater proportion of females-to-males than originally forecasted.
0 24,894 31,353 126%
Graduates of MCC-supported Functional Literacy program (Male)
  • The activity met 93% of the overall graduates target (38,708 of 41,491 expected), with a greater proportion of females-to-males than originally forecasted.
0 16,597 7,355 44%
Graduates of vocational training program (residential, apprenticeship & continuing education) 0 3,747 3,044 81%
Total receiving literacy training 0 69,000 69,731 101%
Total receiving professional training 0 22,950 22,502 98%