Employment Creation in Innovative Public Works Programmes

What is this project about?

Men in field
UNDP/Jose Sanchez

The project, generously funded by the Supplementary Budget of the Government of Japan, enables UNDP and its long-time partner, the Social Fund for Development (SFD), to create urgently needed jobs for both women and men, and mostly youth aged 18 – 29, in the poorest and most marginalized governorates of Egypt, suffering from persistent high levels of unemployment and lack of basic social services. Committed to South-South Cooperation and building on the experience of other countries, UNDP supported Egypt’s SFD in conducting comparative studies on Public Works models implemented in India, Malaysia and Brazil. Building on these experiences the SFD started the implementation of its own Public Works Programme in 2012, tailored to Egypt’s needs and priorities. The comprehensive strategy of the programme was designed as a social protection scheme to address the specific employment challenges faced by youth and women in Egypt through creating short and medium term employment. Given the gender dimension of unemployment in Egypt, labour-intensive public works projects, which traditionally generate jobs for male, were complemented by social services projects, which created jobs for women.

At the same time, the programme ensured that the interventions contributed meaningfully to the longer-term socioeconomic development process of localities in the poorest governorates and built skills and capacities of youth, both men and women, which they need for current and future jobs. Thus, the programme not only provides income to the poor and vulnerable governorates but also provides them with durable rural infrastructure and social services which further enriches the opportunity for economic and social development at the local level.

The programme ensured that the interventions contributed meaningfully to the longer-term process of socioeconomic development of localities in the poorest governorates and built skills and capacities of youth, both men and women, which they need for current and future jobs. Thus, the programme not only provides income to the poor and vulnerable governorates but also provides them with durable rural infrastructure and social services which further enriches the opportunity for economic and social development at the local level.

What have we accomplished so far?

In Phase I (2012-2013), 442,537 workdays were created in labour-intensive infrastructure projects targeting mostly young men (101,376 workdays) and in social service initiatives especially targeting women (341,161 workdays, with women representing 62.3% of those employed):

  • Five labour-intensive infrastructure projects in five of the poorest governorates (Menya, Sharkia, 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 101,376 workdays. The labour-intensive public works projects focused on the maintenance of public infrastructures including the coverage of canals, the extension of potable water networks to homes and the construction of docking platforms along the Nile.
  • 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 341,161 workdays with women representing 62.3 % of the beneficiaries (212,559 workdays). The majority of the beneficiaries are women– it is noteworthy that capacity development of young women is likely to have lifelong consequences for enhancing gender equity.  Providing more and better jobs for women has a positive impact on their families’ education and nutrition, their companies’ productivity, and the overall economy.
  • Both infrastructure and social services projects not only generate jobs, but also provides indirect impact to the local communities, by improving the health, environmental and economic conditions of the local communities and contributing to sustained local economic development. Furthermore the projects helped the beneficiaries to develop skills, capacities, and a stronger sense of self-worth and community, thus having a long-term impact on their financial and social security.

In Phase II (2013-2014), the project created 163,012 workdays in the two governorates of Fayoum and Sohag in line with their integrated local economic development (LED) processes.

  • In Fayoum, the project created 74,218 workdays during the implementation period for mostly youth. They included rehabilitation of potable water networks (73.3km), paving of rural roads (10.7km) and construction and upgrading of 7 public markets and 2 veterinary units in the region.
  • In Sohag, the project created 88,794 workdays during the implementation period. Projects included renewing and extending potable water networks (18.7km), paving rural roads (8.6km), constructing 11 new veterinary units and covering canals (3.9km).

In Phase III (2014-2015), the project will build upon the experience and lessons learned from Phase I and II and aims to scale up efforts to generate some 205,000 workdays, particularly for youth and women. During this period, the project is expected to carry out subprojects in labour-intensive infrastructure and social services targeting the poorest villages in the six governorates of Beheira, Giza, Assuit, Sohag, Aswan and New Valley. The project sites are selected to prevent duplications of interventions with the Emergency Labour Intensive Investment Project funded by the World Bank and EU.

 

Who finances this project?



Government of Japan

Delivery in previous fiscal year

US$ 5,413,463.00 (2014)

Highlights

  • Created 605,549 workdays for men and women in the poorest districts of Egypt during the first and second phases (2012-2014).
  • It is projected to create an additional 205,000 workdays in Phase III (2014-2015).
  • The project not only generates short term jobs but benefits the general population by providing better infrastructure (water networks, roads, public space, etc.) and social services (health, environment, education, etc.) to vulnerable local communities.
  • The National Poverty Map, a comparative analysis and an essential poverty targeting tool, was updated and is used as a baseline for identifying the sites where labour-intensive infrastructure and social works projects will be implemented.
  • The project aims to respond to the urgent needs of job creation as well as capacity development of local governments to identify and respond to the needs of communities.
Project Overview
Status:
Ongoing
Project start date:
Phase I: June 2012 – September 2013, Phase II: March 2013 – September 2014 Phase III: March 2014 – March 2015
Estimated end date:
March 2015
Geographic coverage:
Phase I (2012-2013): Menya, Sharkeya, Qena, Sohag and Fayoum, Phase II (2013 -2014): Fayoum and Sohag, Phase III (2014-2015): (Behiera, Giza, Assuit, Sohag, Aswan and New Valley)
Focus Areas:
Democratic Governance and Poverty Reduction
Project Officer:
Nahla Zeitoun
Partners:
Social Fund for Development and Local Administration Reform Unit at the Ministry of Local Development