Employment Intensive Investment in Guatemala

Web page | 10 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

European Commission (EC) project on Strengthening the Impact on Employment of Sector and Trade Policies (STRENGTHEN)
In the “Agenda for Change”, the European Commission (EC) calls for a more comprehensive approach to supporting inclusive growth characterised by people’s ability to participate in, and benefit from, wealth and job creation. The ILO clearly recognizes that putting the aim of full and productive employment at the heart of development policy is critical in curbing informality and inequality. These perspectives reflect a commitment to the objective of creating quality jobs globally and to pursuing cooperative solutions to this challenge. An important part of this challenge is to ensure that economic growth and integration with global markets result in productive employment, decent work and poverty reduction because these outcomes are not automatic.

The project “Strengthening the Impact on Employment of Sector and Trade Policies”, which started in 2014 and will run until 2018, will conduct activities in at least 10 EC partner countries located in different regions. The overall objective of the “Strengthening the Impact on Employment of Sector and Trade Policies” is to strengthen the capabilities of country partners to analyse and design sectoral and trade policies and programmes that would enhance employment creation in terms of quantity and quality. Guatemala is one of the two common countries that is developing the two project components:

  • Component A, “Employment Impact Assessment (EmpIA) of Public Policies in Selected Sectors”: The specific objective of this component is the support of developing countries and development practitioners in analysing and designing policies and programmes, which would enhance the positive impact on employment of sector policies and programmes such as agriculture, infrastructure and energy.
  • Component B, “Assessing and Addressing the Effects of Trade on Employment – Phase 2 (ETE II)”: The ETE-II project is to support knowledge creation, capacity building, policy formulation and programme implementation in developing countries towards harnessing international trade and trade-related foreign investment for raising the number of developing-country workers who are productively employed and providing more opportunities for decent work within developing countries.

Historical Information

As part of the UN response to the catastrophe provoked by the Hurricane Stan in October 2005, the ILO worked closely with the UNDP under the Flash Appeal Framework to rehabilitate basic infrastructure using employment intensive methods. In areas already affected by very high levels of poverty and much dependant on subsistence agriculture damaged by the hurricane, this provided much needed income to those most affected, allowing them to rebuild their livelihoods.

The ILO contributed a team of experts that worked closely with national authorities (SEP, CONRED, SEGEPLAN), the FAO, the IMO, the WFP and the UNDP, in addition to local institutions like the COVIAL, DGC, FONAPAZ, FIS and COCODE. The objective of the ILO component was to promote labour intensive employment programmes for men and women from the affected communities, to provide them with employment, capacity building and local level planning skills. The initial focus was on municipal rural roads and small bridges and later on water canalization and housing.

Over a period of 6 months, the ILO carried out 106 projects in the Departments of Sololá and San Marcos, providing over 150,000 days of direct employment to over 5,000 heads of households. As a result of a combination of simple clearing works and the collaboration with municipalities and FONAPAZ, regarding material provision and technical supervision for more complicated works, 80% of the total budget was spent on salaries for unskilled workers.

In June 2006, an ILO expert in the field of employment creation was posted with UNDP, working on the incorporation of employment intensive technologies and enterprise development in UN and Government reconstruction projects, especially housing and roads. The expert also worked together with the government in the development of national employment policies with an impact beyond reconstruction. To this end, a three day training course for high level government and UN officials was held in December 2006, together with the UNDP and the International Training Centre of the ILO.

At the request of the Ministry of Economy, a study was carried out aimed at strengthening the sector of micro and small enterprises (MSE) through the creation of decentralised Enterprise Development Service Centres (CSDE). The resulting project document foresees the creation or strengthening of 8 CSDE with the objective of improving the supply side by activating the local market for enterprise development services, as well as responding to the demands of enterprises through technical assistance, training, and market information. A complementary initiative was developed for the capacity building of municipal and departmental authorities in the application of labour-based technologies and local contracting in their public investments.

Further reading