Pro-employment macroeconomic frameworks, sectoral strategies for employment creation and the informal economy - Employment Policy Department Knowledge-Sharing Workshop

The Employment Policy Department’s 2011 annual retreat took place between the 20th and 23rd of September at the ILO premises in Geneva. Its goal was to share knowledge on progress made in five key work areas of the department: pro-employment macroeconomic frameworks, youth employment, sectoral strategies for employment creation, national employment policy formulation and research frontiers on the informal economy.


A total of approximately 60 participants, representing the ILO (HQ and field) and external experts were successful in conducting vibrant discussions in all five thematic areas. These and the knowledge generated during the retreat are summarized in the report. Key lessons emerge for improving the Employment Policy Department’s technical advisory services on employment, for translating research findings into policy advice and for improving collaboration between headquarters and field colleagues. Ideas and suggestions were generated both for future research and tool development and for the finalization of this biennium’s global products: (1) the handbook on employment targeting (2) the national employment policy guide (3) the guide for employment impact assessment of infrastructure investments and (4) the resource guide on the informal economy.

Photo 1. Knowledge sharing workshop, September 2011

Day 1: Tuesday, September 20, 2010

9.00 – 9.10

Welcome and introductory remarks by José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs (Executive Director, Employment Sector, ILO)

9.10 – 9.30

Objectives of the knowledge sharing workshop by Azita Berar Awad (Director, Employment Policy Department, ILO)

  • Context, rationale and substance of policy research and tools under development in the following areas of work:
  • Pro-employment macroeconomic frameworks in developing countries
  • Youth employment
  • Guide for national employment policy
  • Enhancing the employment content of sectoral strategies
  • Expanding research frontiers on the informal economy and transition to formality

Theme 1: Pro – Employment Macroeconomic Frameworks

9.30 - 10.20

Moderator: Iyanatul Islam (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

I. Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment: A synthesis of the country case studies

10.20 – 10.35

  • Coffee break

10.35 – 12.35

Moderator: Mariangels Fortuny (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

II. “Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment: An analysis of the Argentinian experience”.

  • Presentation by Mario Damill (CEDES)
  • Discussant: Sudip Basu (UNCTAD and Graduate Institute)
  • III. “Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment: El Salvador country study”.
  • Presentation by Gerson Eli Martinez (ILO-San José)
  • Discussant: Mario Berrios (EMP/ENTERPRISE, ILO)
  • IV. “Implications of recent macroeconomic policies on the labour market in Peru”.
  • Presentation by Maria Lucia Guerra Bradford (EMP/POLICY, ILO)
  • Discussant: Roxana Maurizio (CEDES)
  • Plenary discussion

12.35 – 14.00


14.00 – 15.30

Moderator: Duncan Campbell (ED/EMP, ILO)

V. “Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment. Sri Lanka country study”.

VI. “Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment: The case of Nigeria”.

15.30 – 15.50

Coffee break

15.50 – 17.30

Moderator: Azita Berar Awad (including introduction Middle East and North Africa)

VII. “Macroeconomic of growth and employment under post-2001 Turkey”.

VIII. “Macroeconomic policies and employment in Jordan: Tackling the paradox of jobless growth”.

Day 2: Wednesday, September 21, 2010

9.00 – 11.00

Moderator: José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs

IX. Panel discussion: “Employment targeting and macroeconomic policy”_ Elements for a Pro-Employment Macro-economic framework

  • Panelists: Terry Mckinley, Prakash Loungani, Moazam Mahmood (EMP/ELM), James Heintz (University of Massachusetts/PERI), Iyanatul Islam
  • Plenary discussion and concluding remarks by moderator

11.00 - 11.20

  • Coffee break

Theme 2: Youth Employment

11.20 - 13.00

Youth employment

13.00 - 14.00

  • Lunch

Theme 3: Guide for development of National Employment Policy

14.00 - 14.40

I. Introductory remarks by Azita Berar Awad

II. Guide for formulating and implementing national employment policy

Presentation of the draft Guide by Claire Harasty (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

14.40 - 15.30

Moderator: Gianni Rosas

III. Panel Discussion on the Guide in light of practical country and regional demands and experience

Sukti Dasgupta (ILO-Bangkok), Mauricio Dierckxsens (ILO-San José), Dramane Haidara (ILO-Dakar), Olga Koulaeva (ILO-Moscow), Dorothea Schmidt (ILO-Cairo)

15.30 – 15.50

Coffee break

15.50 – 17.35

Moderator: Sukti Dasgupta

Plenary discussion

IV. Concluding remarks about next steps, dissemination and use

Moderator: Claire Harasty

V. Brief presentation on the ILO Global Information and Knowledge Management Gateway, Michael Henriques (CABINET, ILO)

VI. Brief presentation on the Global Knowledge Base on Employment Policy, Eléonore d’Achon and Vicky Leung (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

VII. Brief presentation on the new Employment Policy Course in Turin, Mariangels Fortuny

Plenary Q&A

18.00 -

Reception cocktail

Day 3: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Theme 4: Enhancing the Employment content of Sectoral Strategies

9.00 – 9.20

I. Introduction: Terje Tessem and Frédéric Lapeyre

9.20 – 10.30

Moderator: Frédéric Lapeyre (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

II. Assessing the employment potential of sectors: A discussion of country experiences and methods

  • Input-Output analysis: Main lessons from Madagascar and Gabon surveys, Frédéric Lapeyre and James Heintz
  • Social dialogue as a tool for strengthening employment generating capability of sectors: The case of textile sector in Morocco (Eléonore d’Achon and Mohammed Bensaid)

10.30 – 10.50

Coffee break

10.50 – 12.30

Discussant on methodological issues and country experiences, Ms. Fiona Tregenna (University of Johannesburg)

Plenary discussion

12.30 – 14.00


14.00 – 15.45

Moderator: Terje Tessem (EMP/INVEST, ILO)

III. Enhancing the employment content of sectoral strategies: potential of infrastructure sector

  • Employment and technology choice: examples from adaptation to climate change, Emmanuel Rubayiza (EMP/INVEST, ILO) and Marc Van Imschoot (EMP/INVEST, ILO)

IV. Tools and methodologies for assessing the employment potential of infrastructure investments

15.45 – 16.00

Coffee break

16.00 – 17.30

Moderator: Azita Berar Awad

V. Employment targeting at the sectoral level and implications for employment policy: Panel discussion

Day 4: Friday, September 23, 2011

Theme 5: Expanding research frontiers on the Informal Economy

9.00 – 9.15

I. Introduction - Key issues for policy research: Where are we, what next? by Azita Berar Awad

9.15 – 10.35

Moderator: Azita Berar Awad

II. Growth, employment and informality

  • Some critical thinking on the evolution of formal-informal linkages (James Heintz)
  • Beyond the regulatory debate (David Kucera)
  • Findings of country case studies: Indonesia, Namibia, India, Turkey and Viet Nam (Makiko Matsumoto(EMP/POLICY, ILO), Frédéric Lapeyre, Uma Rani Amara (INST, ILO), Umit Efendioglu (ILO-Ankara), Sukti Dasgupta

10.35 – 10.50

Coffee break

10.50 – 13.00

Plenary discussion

III. Public policies and transition to formality: what works, for whom?

(informal wage employment, self-employed, MSMEs, and sub-contracting)

13.00 – 15.00

Public policies and transition to formality (continued)

15.00 – 16.00

Moderator: Naoko Otobe (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

IV. Presentation of Decent Work and the Informal Economy: A Policy Resource Guide, supporting the transition to formalization, Sriani Ameratunga (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

Plenary discussion

16.00 – 16.15

Coffee break

16.15 – 16.45

V. The new ILO Convention and Recommendation concerning decent work for domestic workers, Manuela Tomei (PROTRAV, ILO)

VI. Presentation of the Statistical Update on Employment in the Informal Economy, Elisa Benes (STATISTICS, ILO) and Marie-Josée Da Silva Ribeiro (EMP/POLICY, ILO)

16.45 – 17.45

Conclusion of the workshop: wrapping up, next steps

Open and participatory feedback from participants