Development and Investment (DEVINVEST)

There are more than 2 billion people earning their livelihoods in the informal economy, representing 62% of today’s working population. In low-income countries, 90% of employment is informal, 67% in middle-income countries and 18% in high-income countries.

Informal employment in fragile situations is estimated to account for 84.3% of total employment. In 2018, about 1.8 billion people were living in fragile and conflict affected situations and increasing risks of poverty and inequality remain because of climate change, scarce natural resources, protracted conflict and low levels of human development.
It was estimated that the number would grow to 2.3 billion in 2030 . As of 30 June 2020, 400 million full time-jobs are estimated to be lost due to containment measures of COVID-19.

1.2 billion workers in 41 countries across the globe face decent work deficits. Sustainable solutions that create decent jobs and address the root causes of economic, social, and environmental inequalities are needed. Structural transformation can be achieved through evidence-based analysis on the impact of trade and investments on employment, productivity and the environment. Identifying promising sectors, together with country-level assistance to those most in need contribute to this discourse. Employment-intensive investments can offer an entry point for building national capacity and resilience to move forward through the linkage between infrastructure development and employment creation with the use of local labour and resources.

The Development and Investment Branch (DEVINVEST) supports ILO member States to tackle these challenges through:
  1. supporting employment-centred policies for countries in the fragile context affected by conflict and disaster to enable recovery and build resilience,
  2. supporting economic diversification and structural change for enhancing employment and productivity growth and developing programmes to maximize the employment impact of trade and sectoral policies,
  3. developing approaches for employment and productivity enhancements in rural economy and facilitating transition to formality,
  4. supporting the planning and implementation of employment-intensive investments.


  1. NATURE HIRES: How Nature-based Solutions can power a green jobs recovery

    Combining expertise on nature and employment, this joint World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - ILO publication maps out the societal challenges where nature-based solutions can be effective, how they support job creation and how they have been used, providing evidence and examples as to how they integrally support the achievement of the SDGs and a sustainable response to the COVID-19 crisis.

  2. Update

    Development and investment for a sustainable response to COVID-19

  3. News

    Over 400 participants join the JPR webinar on "How employment and decent work can contribute to peace and social cohesion in the time of the COVID-19 crisis

  4. Publication

    Robotics and reshoring - Employment implications for developing countries

  5. Comment

    Helping the "double casualties" of COVID-19

  6. Blog

    The construction sector can help lead the economic recovery - Here's how