Rural/urban job creation
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Rural/urban job creation

One of the key factors of rural-urban migration is the lack of employment in rural areas, increasing exponentially the ever-growing challenges related to providing adequate basic infrastructure to a growing number of unplanned low-income urban settlements. The lack of reliable infrastructure assets in rural areas leading to the lack of access to basic social services, markets and job opportunities, often force the local rural population to migrate. Rural and urban development strategies can be explicitly made more pro-poor by optimizing the employment impact of physical upgrading strategies in infrastructure and service delivery, providing social-safety nets, and other alternatives in the form of unemployment insurance, micro financing or job training. The ILO encourages municipalities to provide quality rural and urban services in ways that improve access for the poor while creating decent jobs and promoting entrepreneurship.

The Employment-Intensive Investment Unit (EMP/INVEST) has been successful in combining the objective of improving infrastructure and services with the objective of creating employment and income. It promotes job rich growth in both rural and urban areas by increasing the employment-content of public and private investments in infrastructure through the redirecting of fiscal policies, strengthening governance in tendering and contracting processes and promoting good management practices, putting efforts to engage and upgrade local labour and through the choice of technology. Over thirty years of experience have shown that labour-based approaches and the targeted promotion of local small enterprises and community groups can be effective if mainstreamed in the planning, design, construction/delivery and maintenance of infrastructure and social services. Today, more than 50 countries are applying procedures and tools developed by the EMP/INVEST in the areas of community participation and planning, labour-based or local resource-based technology and small-scale and community contracting.

The ILO’s Social Finance Programme (SFP) promotes sustainable finance with a social goal, including credit, savings and other products that help the poor to cope better with risk, take advantage of income-generating opportunities, organize and have a voice. Social finance is also about promoting and encouraging those institutions that cater to the financial needs of the working poor, including women’s groups and small and medium enterprises that create jobs. The aim is to promote policies that open up the financial sector to the working majority and create an enabling environment in which microfinance institutions can operate. The Programme addresses three major goals: reducing vulnerability, and increasing access to risk management tools, creating jobs through enterprise development, and making financial policies more employment-sensitive.

Key resources

  1. Building Rural Roads
    05 November 2008 - Bangkok

    Rural roads are the last link of the transport network, however, they often form the most important connection in terms of providing access for the rural population. The permanent or seasonal absence of road access is a constraining factor in terms of providing rural communities with essential services such as education, primary health care, water supply, local markets as well as economic opportunities. The availability of such services and opportunities are difficult to sustain without a good quality and well-maintained rural road network, which provides regular and efficient transport access throughout the year. Building good quality rural roads is a particular skill in itself, requiring proper planning, experienced supervision, good workmanship and the selection of the correct technology and work methods. Their design and construction need to cater for the common type of vehicle loads and allow access throughout the year and in all kinds of weather conditions. Due to the size and extensive distribution of rural roads, road agencies are under pressure to find low cost solutions that allow authorities to build and maintain an extensive network of roads. This manual attempts to present a set of technical solutions and works methods commonly applied in a number of countries where the use of local resources is given serious consideration when building rural roads. Its success, in terms of emphasising the use of locally available resources such as labour, tools and light equipment, combined with good workmanship and high quality standards, has given this technology its due recognition. Based on best practices from rural road-building programmes in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, it describes a set of work methods and procedures proven to be effective both in terms of cost and quality.

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