By Roche M Angon, National Project Coordinator for ILO
MDG Fund Joint Programme on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Work for Filipino Youth
Local governments play a pivotal role to strengthen local economic development in the context of promoting youth employment. They serve as channels to establish and strengthen partnerships with private sector, non-government organizations, financial institutions and other government organizations to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth.
Funded by the Government of Spain, the Millennium Development Goal Fund (MDG F) Joint Programme on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Work for Filipino Youth through the International Labour Organization is implementing a capacity building programme on local economic development in Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur. The programme aims to enhance capacities of local government units on local economic development strategies, tools and approaches to design gender-responsive programmes and projects on youth employment. It also aims to develop sustainability schemes and partnerships to replicate and upscale local economic development initiatives at the municipal, city, province and national levels.
In collaboration with the Ateneo School of Government, a series of training on local economic development has been conducted since January and will end in May. This included empowering leaders in local economic development; policy development and analysis; project management; public finance management and resource generation; and entrepreneurship development for youth. The first four training activities have been completed, which highlighted the importance of decent and productive work in local economic development.
After the training, each province is expected to establish a local economic development team, craft policy paper and legislation on local economic development, incorporate programmes and projects on youth employment in local development plans and create a plan to improve the business environment.
Representatives of local government units, private sector, non-government organizations, national government agencies and youth organizations form part of the training activities. The Ateneo School of Government has on-going coaching and mentoring activities until July 2012 for those who participated in the training activities.