Employment-Intensive Investment in Nicaragua

Web page | 08 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

EIIP has currently no activities in Nicaragua.

Historical Information

Enhancing local level access, planning and community capacity
For seven months starting in the second half of 1999, a project started in Nicaragua aiming at incorporating local capacities to promote and use employment generating technologies in the post-Mitch reconstruction works. A follow-up project in Central America for post-Mitch reconstruction, Employment promotion and income generation in the local area through the use of employment intensive technologies and development of SMEs programmes and local projects - Pro Empleo, was subsequently presented to interested donors. This project aimed at generating employment, alleviating poverty and generating economic development, through the use of local resources, in particular labour, in post-Mitch programmes and in public investment in general. The duration of this project was six years with two phases, the first one from 2001 to 2004 and second phase from 2005 to 2007.

The main outputs of the project were the establishment of strategies for local resource based reconstruction; the work in the different countries towards the creation of policy-promoting units based on the employment intensive approach; the introduction of employment intensive technologies into reconstruction work financed by international organisations and donor agencies in the ministries responsible for investments; the re-enforcement of technical and administrative capacity of the decentralised public sector; the organization and capacity building among local contractors and micro enterprises within the fields of employment intensive technologies and improvement of construction businesses; and the guidance of contractors and microenterprises to work in accordance with ILO's international labour standards.

With the first phase of the Pro Empleo project (2001-2005), 33 different works were executed, 1,932 people were employed in periods of 5-8 months generating a total of 155,861 work days (38 per cent of those employed were women).

MDG-F projects, skills development and local infrastructure development
As part of the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund process, the EIIP programme participated in the thematic windows for Economic Governance and Culture and Development in Nicaragua. The joint programming concept note for the Economic Governance window focused on improving the governance of the water and sanitation sector and the access of rural communities to such services in the underdeveloped, largely indigenous, Caribbean coast of the country, where access to water and sanitation is as low as 20%.

The ILO component focuses on capacity building in the selected municipalities and the application of the Integrated Rural Access Planning tool (IRAP) in prioritising interventions in the sector. It also focuses on promoting the participation of local communities and enterprises through the application of labour-based technologies and business improvement training, by promoting their accreditation by the National Technological Institute (INATEC) and by encouraging the awarding of contracts to them by the Social Investment Fund (FISE), which is responsible for water and sanitation in rural areas.

The project on economic governance on water and sanitation was also part of the initiative “South-South Cooperation on the water management and sanitation in indigenous and dispersed rural communities, with a gender perspective and an inter-cultural approach” (MDG-F projects on water and sanitation in Panama, Nicaragua, Paraguay. Under this initiative a knowledge sharing exchange took place in Nicaragua, in August 2012 with the participation of a Paraguayan delegation that included two women Guarani leaders, the local government expert for indigenous peoples, a representative of the national entity for water management; project coordinators from Nicaragua, Paraguay and Panamá, the Employment Specialist of San José, and the Technical Specialist of the PIIE of Geneva accompanied the event.

The event had two moments, an exchange of experiences workshop developed in Managua in the framework of the national closing event of the Joint Programs with the active participation of the 19 districts funded projects, national authorities of the Water sector and of the UN-JP agencies. The second moment was a field visit to Pearl Lagoon district in Bluefields, where some communities explained the different systems for water storage, distribution and treatment put in place during the project implementation. It was also organized a district level meeting with the Table of Negotiation of water, hygiene and sanitation integrated by local authorities and institutions.

The joint programme for the Culture and Development window centered on cultural recovery and productive development, taking advantage of the tourism potential of the region. The ILO component aimed to introduce labour-based technologies for the improvement of basic infrastructure in support of tourism, the participation of local indigenous communities and enterprises, and the development of public-private partnerships with the municipalities involved. Both Joint Programmes have started in the second half of 2008.

Increasing capacity and capabilities
Following a regional training course for consultants on employment intensive investment approaches held in Managua in November 2009, a Latin American forum on employment intensive investments and labour-based technologies has been created for consultants and others involved or with interest in infrastructure investment.

Further Reading
Modelo de simulación para el impacto macroeconómico de una estrategia de actividades basadas en la mano de obra en Nicaragua. 2000. 

Proyecto NIC/97/M01/NET, OIT, Managua.