Employment Creation in Innovative Public Works Programmes

What is this project about?

UNDP 2013

UNDP Egypt supports its longtime partner, the Social Fund for Development in the design and implementation of labor intensive public work projects. The program aims to respond to the urgent need to create short term employment in social services and infrastructure works as well as to build capacities and skills of Egyptian unemployed youth (19-29 years of age), especially in rural area in response to the current economic crisis. Based on rapid research and development activities and community appraisal and consultations embedded in broader Local Economy Assessments, it implements social services and labor intensive public works programs in different sectors to expand and diversify employment opportunities for both young men and women. It focuses mainly the poorest rural governorates since youth unemployment has a significant rural dimension.

What have we accomplished so far?

Within one year, since the start of this project, the number of short term employment opportunities for youth created reached 343,800 (workdays):

  • Five labour-intensive infrastructure projects in five of the poorest governorates (Menya, Sharkia and Fayoum, Qena and Sohag) such as installing/rehabilitating potable water networks, establishing a pitched docking platform on the River Nile and covering canals that passes by the dwelling areas created 70,300 workdays. These projects benefit the population living in the area where projects are implemented by improving the living condition (e.g.: potable water network had an impact on reducing household expenditure on health and improving personal hygiene). Moreover, improving infrastructures that bring benefit to a large number of workers contribute to sustainability of local economy development.
  • 10 social works projects mainly Girls Employment in Maternal and Child Health Initiatives (5 projects) and Youth Employment in Cleanliness Environmental Campaigns (5 projects) in 5 of the poorest governorates (Menya, Sharkeya, Qena, Sohag and Luxor) created 273,500 workdays with woman representing 62.6% of the beneficiaries (169,790 workdays).This also improves health and environmental conditions in the areas and raising health and environmental awareness for the community and build capacities and skills of Egyptian unemployed youth in response to the current economic crisis.

Who finances this project?

Government of Japan

Delivery in previous fiscal year


US$ 1,448,262.95


  • It was estimated that 3.6 million Egyptians were unemployed during the second quarter of 2013 (equivalent to 13.3 % of the total labor force)
  • Youth (i.e. 15-29 years old) bear a disproportionate share of the jobless rate constituting 73.9% of the unemployed of the 13.3% overall rate.
  • Women remain equally marginalized in economic activities.  The unemployment rate among women is 25.1% (2nd quarter 2013), more than double that of men (9.7%).
  • 62% of Egyptian youth live in rural areas.
  • The project aims to responds to the urgent needs of job creation as well as capacity development of local governments to identify and respond to the needs of communities.
  • Created 343,800 workdays for youth in the first Phase.
  • Target for Phase II is to create 136’000 jobs.
  • In one village in Fayoum, over 12km of potable water network were constructed, creating 4,140 workdays of employment opportunities for the youth of the village. All 15,000 members of their community will have access to clean water in their own homes, once construction of the network is completed.
Project Overview
Project start date:
Phase I: June 2012 – September 2013, Phase II: March 2013 – March 2014
Estimated end date:
March 2014
Geographic coverage:
Phase I (2012-2013): Menya, Sharkeya, Qena, Sohag and Fayoum, Phase II (2013 -2014): Fayoum and Sohag
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance and Poverty Reduction
Project Officer:
Nahla Zeitoun
Social Fund for Development and Local Administration Reform Unit at the Ministry of Local Development