Value Chain Development (VCD)

ILO's Value Chain Development work focuses on the subsectors that are most relevant for job creation and job quality improvement.The ILO aims at addressing systems and institutions that can drive competitiveness and job creation in specific sectors by using a market development approach.
The ILO's interventions build on private sector development strategies that seek to strengthen enterprises, business relationships & services, market structures, and the business environment so that they channel more benefits to the poor and create more and better jobs effectively.

Relying on ILO's strong knowledge background in developing business service markets and its tools to improve the business environment as well as drawing from best practice conceptual thinking and participatory methodologies, ILO's Value Chain Development methodologies are state of the art tools for job creation.

This website provides access to key ILO publications and practical guides for value chain development. Please have a look at the Value Chain Development (VCD) and Business Development Services (BDS) Resource Guide for an overview of the ILO's resources for private sector development, business service markets and value chain development.

Key resources

  1. Value Chain Development for Decent Work : A guide for development practitioners, government and private sector initiatives

    16 October 2009

    This guide addresses the underlying causes of failures in the performance of market systems, rather than looking at symptoms in individual chains. It takes a market development approach with a unique focus on how to achieve Decent Work.

  2. A Rough Guide to Value Chain Development

    5 May 2015

    This “Rough Guide to Value Chain Development” has been developed for development practitioners, governments and private sector initiatives to give a simplified overview of the Value Chain Development approach as applied by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

  3. Value Chain Development: Approaches and activities by seven UN agencies and opportunities for interagency cooperation

    20 December 2011

    This report is a first output of the work of the United Nations Value Chain Development group (UN-VCD group). It outlines the different approaches and perspectives that seven UN agencies apply in their work on value chain development.

  4. ILO Value Chain Development Portfolio Analysis - A stocktaking of ILO value chain related activities

    25 November 2011

    This study traces ILO projects and interventions linked to Value Chains and sectoral development in more than 20 countries and gives a concrete overview of what the ILO is doing to promote more and better jobs in emerging markets.

  5. An operational guide to Local Value Chain development

    01 February 2007

    Combining Local Economic Development (LED) with Value Chain Development (VCD) to strengthen competitiveness and integration of SMEs into markets, this guide is based on actual learning experiences made by the ILO Entergrowth project in Sri Lanka.

  6. Making the strongest links: A practical guide to mainstreaming gender analysis in value chain development

    31 July 2009

    A new publication from the ILO provides groundbreaking methods for incorporating gender concerns into the different stages of value chain analysis and strengthening the links essential for gender equality and promoting sustainable pro-poor growth and development strategies.

Reports and studies

  1. The economic potential and labour conditions of SMEs in the tourism sector in Bahía de Banderas, Mexico

    December 2014

    Research project regarding the link between labour conditions and the economic potential of the tourism sector in Puerto Vallarta/Bahía de Banderas in Mexico, with the ultimate purpose of generating knowledge on measures to ensure productivity and competitiveness through decent work promotion.

  2. Forests and Rural Development - Creating Rural Employment and Generating Income in Forest-Based Value Chains

    May 2014

    This book presents the potential contribution that forest products can make to rural development and includes lessons for the use of value chain development approaches to create jobs in the forestry sector.

  3. The Enter-Growth project – Sri Lanka: Applying a market development lens to an ILO local enterprise development project

    August 2011

  4. A “Green” Value Chain Development Exercise in Jabalpur, India

    December 2009

    Routes Out of the Crisis: Strategies for Local Employment Recovery, Skills Development and Social protection in Asia