Lessons learned from employment diagnostics during the COVID-19 crisis

The overall objective of this document is to provide policymakers, development practitioners and social partners with a better understanding of the different types of employment diagnostic approaches that have been undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Employment diagnostics have been a central focus of our work during the crisis, but the issue is not new to us. In 2012, the ILO issued the Employment Diagnostics Assessment (EDA) guidelines “…to understand the nature of the deficiency of productive employment and the context-specific constraints, challenges and opportunities … as a basis for … more effective focus of policies and strategies on productive employment”. The EDA has been used to assess the economic and demographic situation as well as the policy and regulatory environment during the past decade.

In the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, the ILO issued guidance on “Rapid Diagnostics for Assessing the Country Level Impact of Covid-19” which led to the implementation of at least 30 country studies and several other regional and global studies. A new series of diagnostics to monitor the recovery from the crisis is now underway.

The focus of a rapid assessment is to identify the immediate impact of the crisis and provide recommendations for appropriate policy responses. As such, it can constitute a key input for the formulation and revision of the new generation of gender-responsive national employment policies.
This paper represents an important and necessary piece of research as it reviews the diagnostics conducted by the ILO and other development partners during the crisis with a focus on data sources and methodological approaches. It allows us to step back and evaluate the approaches taken and learn from the different experiences and innovations adopted. This will help inform the production of timely and relevant employment diagnostics in the future for ILO constituents, development partners and other stakeholders.