Employment and Livelihood Project

This joint project between ILO, UNDP, UNHCR and UNAIDS aims to support women and vulnerable groups in Indonesia that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.


In March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. While the pandemic started as a public health crisis, it has quickly turned into a socio-economic crisis. In fact, more than 29 million workers were affected by the pandemic in Indonesia only five months after the declaration. Some of the past socio-economic gains are also compromised (e.g. poverty, gender equality). Deteriorating labour market conditions have exacerbated existing inequalities with disproportionate burden felt primarily by vulnerable groups (e.g. women, youth, refugees and people living with HIV).

The United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is a UN inter-agency fund mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to help support low- and middle-income countries overcome the health and development crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and support those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption. It provides protection to the poor and the vulnerable and offers innovative solutions that chart a more sustainable, more inclusive future for all.

Indonesia has received a new funding allocation in the amount of USD 1.7 million from the Fund, with which four UN agencies, ILO, UNDP, UNAIDS and UNHCR, will implement a new project “Employment and Livelihood: An inclusive approach to economic empowerment of women & vulnerable populations in Indonesia” in 2021.

Even prior to the pandemic, the target groups were disadvantaged in the society and in the labour market. They tend to be left behind during the socio-economic crisis and a recovery process. It is therefore vital to take catalytic actions to benefit and empower these target groups directly, and to address existing inequalities and discriminations in the labour market and society as a whole.

The project offers support to the target beneficiaries through three major channels: supporting entrepreneurship training and business development; facilitating access to skills development and jobs; and assuring a gender-equal and inclusive labour market that is free from discrimination.


The project intends to support the vulnerable groups of people who are affected by the pandemic, including women, youth, refugees, migrant workers, people living with HIV, key populations most vulnerable to HIV and people living in disadvantaged regions. It intends to achieve the following:
  • Ensure that no one - particularly women and other vulnerable groups - is left behind during the pandemic and the recovery process
  • Benefit and empower women and vulnerable groups directly, and address existing inequalities and discriminations in the labour market and society as a whole.
  • With the spirit of building back better, this UN project plays a catalytic role in promoting gender equality and the economic empowerment of the target population.

Implementing Agencies 

  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • United Nation Development Programme (UNDP);
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)


Output 1: Entrepreneurship and business development

  • 2.000 target beneficiaries receive entrepreneurship training at basic level. Around 200 beneficiaries receive intensive business development support.
  • Of the beneficiaries, 60 percent are cis- and transgender women and 30 percent youth; the group also includes 100 women refugees, 100 people living with HIV, and 100 participants from key populations that are most vulnerable to HIV.

Output 2: Skills for higher income and jobs

  • At least 1,650 people have their economic potential improved or recovered through vocational and/or employability skills training
  • Of the beneficiaries, at least 50 per cent are rural residents, 60 per cent are cis- and transgender women, 30 per cent are youth, including at least 85 women refugees, 85 people living with HIV and 85 participants from key populations that are most vulnerable to HIV.

Output 3: Gender equality and an inclusive labour market

  • At least 6,000 human resources managers, government officials, trade union representatives and NGOs (of which at least 60 per cent are men) improve their understanding on inclusiveness and non-discrimination.
  • Produce learning material/modules and platform on health (HIV, TB, COVID19, etc.) and gender/SOGI equality.
  • Policy advocacy

Key Partners:

  • Ministry of Manpower
  • Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection
  • Employers' Association of Indonesia (Apindo)
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN)
  • Trade Union Confederations
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • Church World Services (CWS)
  • Atma Jaya University (AJU) and Dompet Dhuafa
  • PLHIV and Key Population networks