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Innovations in Public Employment Programmes

Kate Philip












Public employment programmes (PEPs) are an area of significant innovation internationally at present. In India, the world’s first statutory employment guarantee involves over 55 million people, and has created a labour standards floor. In Ethiopia, public employment has been combined with a cash transfer programme, and in South Africa, there are new forms of work in the social and environmental sectors, with new forms of community participation.

There is significant policy interest in PEPs, given the global jobs crisis. Governments around the world are grappling with how to stimulate employment in a context of wider market failure, with new debate over the role and scope of PEPs as a policy instrument - as part of economic stimulus packages, as part of employment policy, social protection, and Active Labour Market Strategies, with scope to contribute to the environmental agenda, to social development priorities, and to building new forms of community participation as well. The role of PEPs in creating ‘green jobs’ is an additional area of policy interest.


The programme

This course was initially presented in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) and its International Training Centre, and explored policy issues arising from the innovations in Public Employment Programmes.

The first course took place from 11-15 March 2013, and was developed and facilitated by international and national trainers and experts.

The course builds on the existing course on Innovations in Public Employment Programmes offered annually by the ITC-ILO and focuses on current policy debates arising from innovations in public employment programmes and how these can contribute to other policy priorities. It includes case studies from India, Ethiopia and South Africa, and provides policy insights to inform strategic decision-making and programme design.













The programme covers the following topics - using a range of learning methods to do so:

  • Policy innovation: case studies from India, Ethiopia and South Africa
  • Public investment and public employment: how to get the most out of limited budgets
  • Public employment: part of social protection or employment policy – or both?
  • Labour-based construction of infrastructure: limits, lessons and opportunities
  • Community-driven models and participatory approaches
  • PEPs in the social sector: a new instrument for social development
  • Green jobs and climate change mitigation
  • Decent work and labour standards in public employment programmes
  • Impact evaluations and theories of change
  • Public employment programmes and inclusive growth
  • A technology marketplace: demonstrations of innovative uses of technology in public employment programmes
  • Strategies to tackle corruption
  • Getting the institutions right.


Who should attend the course?

The course targets policy makers; planners; senior and middle-level officials from national agencies and programmes in Africa concerned with public employment. Private sector and non-profit organisation managers of relevant employment programmes would also fit the course target audience.


Upcoming courses

This course is currently scheduled for delivery from 9-13 April 2018.