Azerbaijan

At the request of the Government, a project proposal was formulated in May 2005 to Upgrade Goshakend Community Roads for demonstration of labour-based approaches to infrastructure development. The project addressed three priority concerns of the Government, namely job creation, regional (rural) development and support to the internally-displace people.

The project proposed an intervention comprising three infrastructure components, including:

1. The upgrading of the market access road that connects the settlement to the main highway, from a gravel standard to a paved surface;

2. The rehabilitation of the inter-village link road to a gravel standard; and

3. The paving of Goshakend Street with stone.

With limited funding from the ILO and the Government, the labour-based construction work started in August 2005. By October 2005, 550 metres of pavement were completed. The project recruited the local poor for the construction work. Through paving the 550 metres street, a total of 2384 workdays were created, which included 1,416 workdays for the unskilled labour and 368 workdays for the skilled, 600 for stone collection and 164 for supervision.

Although the construction work was fairly small in size, the impact was great not only in Azerbaijan but also in the region. To show the appreciation of both the Government (central and local) and the communities and to celebrate success of the road rehabilitation work, an official ceremony was held at Goshakend Village. Present at the ceremony were a number of high-ranking officials, including Mr. Shukur Mehrabov, the former Minister of Labour, three department heads of the Labour Ministry, Deputy Head of the Executive Authority of Ismaily Region, other officials from Baku and the region, etc.

A Training Seminar was held in late June 2006, the objectives of which were to raise awareness and to build capacities among the policy-makers and social partners to put employment at the centre of public investment in infrastructure in Azerbaijan. The seminar turned out a great success through joint efforts made by the ILO/Turin Centre, the ILO Regional Office in Moscow and EMP/INVEST. About 30 people attended the seminar, including high-ranking officials from the Labour Ministry and other line ministries and representatives from the Workers' and Employers' organizations as well as from potential donor agencies.

To continue the project activities, efforts are being made on fund raising.