Employment Creation in Innovative Public Works Programmes

What is this project about?

Men in fieldA man digging to install pipelines at Giza governorate. Jose Sanchez/UNDP Egypt

UNDP and its long-time partner, the Social Fund for Development (SFD), with the generous support of the Government of Japan, created urgently needed jobs for both women and men, and mostly youth aged 18 and 29 years old, in the poorest and most marginalized governorates of Egypt. These governorates are 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, we supported 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 men, were complemented by social services projects, which created jobs for women.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • Created a total of 913,228 workdays in labour-intensive infrastructure and social service projects in 11 governorates in Egypt providing emergency relief to poor and vulnerable populations in need of jobs and additional income.
  • In Phase III (2014-2015), the project created 307,679 workdays in six governorates.
  • 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 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).
  • The project enhanced community infrastructures including the installment of 452.9km of potable water and sanitation pipelines, 5.59km of new canals and 19.25 of paved road networks in under-developed communities throughout Egypt.
  • Through the project, we provided social services by implementing maternal and child health campaigns and waste management and environmental awareness activities. It has also improved over 53 public facilities including public marketplaces, health units, veterinary units and historic building sites.
  • The project supported the development of an upgraded Poverty Mapping tool to enhance the targeting of public works activities to the poor and vulnerable communities based on up-to-date data on poverty, population and service provisions.
  • The project was instrumental in developing a public works model contextualized to Egypt’s socio-economic environment building on the poverty map and pilot activities especially in social services and engagement with women. The model was subsequently scaled up at the national level with additional parallel funding to SFD received by the World Bank and the European Union.

Who finances this project?

Government of Japan

What is the Project Budget?

Phase I: 5,600,000 USD (2012-2014)

Phase II: 5,500,000 USD (2013-2014)

Phase III: 5,000,000 USD (2014-2015)

Delivery in previous fiscal year

USD 4,117,758 (2015)

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