Setting up effective Job Centres in developing countries with reference to sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa Regions

This toolkit is part of a package of guidelines and tools comprising a research paper on trends and developments in employment services in the regions and guidelines on setting up effective job centres developed in collaboration with GIZ Youmatch Programme.

The economic, employment and social challenges arising from the future of work challenges, exacerbated by crises that have taken place in the past two or so decades, have increased the importance of decent and productive employment in the policy agendas of countries in developing countries. In Africa and the Middle East, against this background, the need to turn the growing youth bulge into a demographic dividend has been the main driving force behind the observed surge in the revival or strengthening of employment services as a vehicle for increasing access of the youth to employment and in some cases improving the overall implementation of the national employment policies. Unlike in developed and emerging countries, employment services in the target regions, with some exceptions, tend to be weak, lack adequate financial and human resources and offer a low range and quality of services.

The ILO and GIZ’s YouMatch Programme have been collaborating in supporting selected member States in sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa regions to strengthen employment services for the youth in response to the demand the two organizations have been receiving from the countries in these regions. One of the key topics identified by the participants to the collaboration was guidance on how to establish effective job centres – whether from scratch or strengthening existing structures to deliver better quality and customer-oriented services.

This toolkit is amenable to use by all types of employment services depending on their level of development. Although it was customised to the needs of the two regions, it can be used by employment services in other regions.