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Tracer Studies


What are Scholars doing after their studies?

This is the "bottom line" question for the JJ/WBGSP. For this reason, the Secretariat conducts a bi-annual Tracer Study of Regular Program scholars. The study targets scholars who completed their awards at least four years earlier, and traces where they are living and working, and whether they attained their degrees.

The eighth Tracer Study focuses on several main points historically seen to be crucial to the success of the program, namely:
  • Are recipients completing their degrees?
  • Are recipients returning to their home country or another developing country?
  • Are recipients securing employment in institutions and sectors that afford them
    opportunities to contribute to the development of their countries?
  • Are recipients applying and sharing their newly-acquired knowledge on the ground?
Tracer Study VIII, 2010

It is encouraging and gratifying to note that this study demonstrates that the program is achieving its mission. An overwhelming majority of scholars have attained their degree, returned to developing countries, and gained employment in strategic positions to lead and influence public policy, with positive impacts on the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people.

What Have the Tracer Studies Found?

Degree Attainment: Nearly all scholars (98.8 percent) attained the degree for which the scholarship was awarded.

Post Scholarship Residence and Employment: Overall, 83 percent of respondent alumni returned to developing countries. The overwhelming majority of alumni who returned home found employment in an organization or are self-employed, despite the harsh economic situation of the more recent years. Overall, 95.1 percent of returning respondents secured employment The overwhelming majority of alumni who returned home found employment in an organization or are self-employed, despite the harsh economic situation of the more recent years. Overall, 95.1 percent of returning respondents secured employment and 3.7 percent continued studying and could eventually become employed.

Alumni success stories indicate that many of the early scholars have attained leadership positions in their careers.

Overall results of the analysis are highly favorable. Respondent scholars found their newly acquired skills highly relevant and linked to their countries’ development needs. They were asked to rank their perceptions according to the relevance of their professional activities to the development of their own and other developing countries. About 83 percent of respondents said that three-fourths of their work was related to the development of their own country (58%) or other developing countries (25%). 

Find out more about the alumni and their impact on the ground by reading the full study here.

2012 Tracer Study

The Scholarships Program will be launching the next Tracer Study in the coming months. Please watch your inbox for our invitation to participate. As in all development undertakings, the survival of the JJ/WBGSP depends on its ability to demonstrate its impact, and this begins and ends with the achievements of our scholars and alumni.


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