Employment-Intensive Investment in Jordan

Web page | 08 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

In July 2016, as part of its response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, the ILO started its Employment Intensive Investment Programme in Jordan funded by the German Development Bank (KfW). The programme aims to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees and Jordanians through improved rural infrastructure by using employment intensive approaches and increased employability and access to the labour market. This new partnership between KfW and ILO is the first of its kind in Jordan, which will run for two and a half years until 2018. The main activities of this programme cover wide areas of key ILO interventions, including:
  • Improving tertiary roads through the construction of drains for existing roads and rehabilitating and maintaining roads to improve the accessibility to local farms;
  • Expanding agricultural infrastructure of local farmers through building water catchments to collect rain water and soil protection arrangements through terracing and planting;
  • Building additional classrooms at high-density student schools and rehabilitation and routine maintenance of existing schools;
  • Enhancing the capacity of the private sector at national and local level to implement employment intensive approaches;
  • Training for Government engineers on employment intensive approaches and capacity building and development of systems and contract specification;
  • Improving regulatory framework for work permits and awareness-raising campaigns on work permits to disseminate clear instructions to relevant stakeholders; and
  • Enhancing skills of both men and women refugees and Jordanians and contribute to a better skills match and to an easier exit from the program.
A team consisting of an international Chief Technical Advisor, two international labour-based engineers, two national engineers and a community development advisor are currently implementing this programme in the two Governorates of Irbid and Mafraq in close collaboration with the Department of Public Works, Agriculture and Education.

Historical Information

Jordan is a new country for EIIP. Activities started in May 2015 with the “Rural Infrastructure, Training and Employment” (RITE) project, financed directly by the ILO, which demonstrated the viability of contracting small contractors to use the EIIP approach to infrastructure improvement. The project showcased EIIP approaches in two Governorates, Irbid and Mafraq, and resulted in acceptance by local contractors and the Department of Public Works of the validity of the EIIP approach in the environment in Jordan. The project established good working relationships between the ILO and both the Department of Public Works and the Department of Agriculture. This provided a good basis for further cooperation in the development of the larger scale KfW project, which started in mid-2016.

Prior to the implementation of the RITE pilot project, the ILO undertook a study to provide insights into the various employment outcomes of European Investment Bank (EIB)-financed investment projects in different infrastructure sectors in Jordan. The study focused on two sectors, transport and renewable energy, and examined one project in each sector. In the transport sector, the project was the Amman Development Corridor, while in the energy sector, the study focused on the Tafila Wind Farm project.

In mid-2016, the ILO commissioned a labour supply study to establish some indicators on the extent of labour availability (willingness to work and ability to work) for employment-intensive infrastructure works in Jordan. This includes to identify wage rates (and other working conditions) at which workers (Jordanians and Syrian refugees, both men and women) would be willing to accept mostly unskilled jobs on EIIP schemes and to identify existing work practices and levels of remuneration of unskilled labour employed on a temporary basis on (employment-intensive) infrastructure works programmes.

The ILO also collaborated with the World Bank (WB) in 2016 to assess the actual and the potential labour intensity of projects and schemes financed through the proposed scale up of the WB supported “Emergency Services and Social Resilience Project (ESSRP)” in Jordan.