Creating decent job opportunities through applying Employment Intensive Approaches at Cultural Heritage Conservation activities

The project aims to safeguard and rehabilitate cultural heritage sites in northern Iraq, through applying Employment Intensive Approaches in construction activities, including clearance, maintenance, consolidation, site development and presentation. Jobs created through this project target both Iraqis and Syrian refugees.


The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nation Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have come together to implement a project which supports the creation of economic opportunities and dignified, sustainable livelihoods for Iraqis in host communities and Syrian refugees through culture heritage activities. This is being achieved by engaging both Syrians and Iraqis in the preservation and development of cultural heritage sites for tourism purposes in the northern districts of Iraq, through the use of Employment Intensive schemes.

The project’s activities are in line with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) priorities on livelihoods, which on the one hand target immediate, short-term measures that promote human dignity and social cohesion in preparation for long-term economic opportunities; and on the other focus on longer-term, sustainable decent work opportunities and entrepreneurial activities within an enabling policy environment.

The project is also aligned with the strategies of national and local authorities aimed at revitalizing cultural heritage sites in the country for product diversification and tourism promotion, while also capitalizing on the physical and natural assets of the country to support improved short and long-term livelihoods opportunities for Iraqis and Syrians.


The overall objective of this project is to support the creation of economic opportunities and dignified, sustainable livelihoods for Syrian refugees, and Iraqi IDPs in the cultural heritage sector, through:
  • The creation of short-term employment opportunities through “custom tailored” application of Employment Intensive schemes and Vocational Training in Cultural Resources Management for the safeguarding and development of cultural heritage sites in northern Iraq;
  • An enabling environment for a sustainable medium to long-term framework for entrepreneurial activities in the cultural heritage sector.


  • Establishing a technical committee represented by relevant national institutions and archaeological/academic missions working on targeted sites, to oversee the programme’s implementation and compliance with Cultural Resources Management (CRM) standards and Employment Intensive techniques;
  • Designing and implementing a Site Maintenance and Tourism Development Plan (SMTDP) through the use of Employment Intensive methods engaging Syrian and Iraqi labour, including on-the-job vocational training in CRM;
  • Designing and implementing a baseline assessment, inclusive of gender analysis, and awareness-raising campaigns to promote women’s involvement in CRM works;
  • Designing, organising and delivering preparatory trainings to integrate CRM and EI standards at the implementation of the Development Plan (SMTDP). The trainings shall target the entities involved in the implementation of project. .
  • Conducting a feasibility study on the viability to create Public-Private Partnerships in CRM, based on the project’s outputs and the development of a tailor-made framework between the Department of Antiquities, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalisation (HCECR) and the Private/Third Sector.
  • Developing and applying certification mechanism for the workers and technicians on CRM and Employment Intensive;
  • Promoting rehabilitated sites as domestic and international tourism destinations in north Iraq, complementing standard tourism routes, through national and regional media and competent tourism institution; and
  • Preparing a publication of case studies that reflect the strategic approach on the creation of decent jobs opportunities through Employment Intensive techniques in the CRM sector, for the possible replication of the methodology in other future interventions.