Employment-Intensive Investment in Honduras

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.

Honduras has been selected to develop the 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.

Historical Information

At the request of the Government of Honduras, the EIIP provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing (SOPTRAVI) in 2003. This initial support was aimed at preparing a proposal for the impact evaluation of the ministry's programme for road maintenance with associative microenterprises. It also aimed to determine how far these microenterprises would be able to provide the required services for the Municipal Kilometre Programme, which foresaw street paving of the central square in small municipalities. A third component was to determine the potential of incorporating labour-based rehabilitation and maintenance methodologies into the Rural Infrastructure Project (PIR), which was under development and to be funded with a loan from the World Bank.

The EIIP subsequently participated in a number of World Bank missions for the Rural Infrastructure Project, raising awareness on the potential for creating employment using the infrastructure investments planned in the project, determining the types of activities that could be undertaken using labour-based technologies, and identifying the rural roads to be included in an initial pilot phase of the project using labour-based methods.

The PIR focuses on infrastructure development in three sectors: rural roads, water and sanitation, and electrification. The PIR aims to contract out rehabilitation and maintenance works to small private contractors and local communities wherever possible, with strong involvement of local authorities. It is managed and carried out by the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS), supported at local level by associated municipalities (mancomunidades) and their technical units (UTIs).

The Government of Honduras strongly supports the use of an employment intensive approach in the rehabilitation and maintenance activities foreseen in the PIR (where applicable), and requested the EIIP to provide technical assistance during the initial phase of the PIR, which will had a strong focus on labour-based techniques. An agreement between the ILO and the FHIS is currently under negotiation.

As part of the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund (MDG-F) process financed by the Government of Spain, the EIIP programme participated in two thematic windows in Honduras, on Economic Governance and on Culture and Development. In cooperation with several other UN agencies, concept notes were prepared for joint programmes in both themes, which were subsequently submitted to the MDG-F Technical and Steering Committees for approval. The concept note for the Economic Governance window promotes the reform of the water and sanitation sector and the prioritisation of smaller towns and rural areas. Under this joint programme, the ILO focuses on strengthening local entrepreneurial capabilities to provide water services, capacity building of the municipalities involved, and the participation of communities and water users in the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure through the use of labour-based technologies. The proposal for the Culture and Development window seeks to enhance the abilities of institutions and individuals to manage cultural and creative development in a decentralized manner. In this joint programme, the ILO focuses on the development of appropriate local planning instruments and the use of labour-based technologies in the improvement of infrastructure and furnishing of public spaces and historic buildings. Both concept notes were approved by the Steering Committee in October, and currently detailed Joint Programme Documents are being prepared for each window. The Joint Programmes started in the second half of 2008. Further information can be found on the MDG-F website.