Public employment programmes (PEPs) - or public works programmes - are adaptive policy instruments that can create employment, fill gaps in the provision of assets or services, complement social protection provisions and contribute to active labour market policies (ALMPs). They do so by providing a form of activation for participants when market conditions limit the alternatives. In this way, societies can prevent or mitigate many of the negative social and economic impacts of unemployment, not only for participants but also for wider society. This course will cover the policy and design features of PEPs, taking into account design challenges, and will share current experiences of how these programme have been used to respond to socio-economic crises. The course will include experiences from both high, middle and low-income countries and will provide tools for enabling effective programme design in achieving multiple objectives.
The courseis intended for professionals involved in designing and implementing local, sectoral, national and global strategies for the transition to greener economies and climate change adaptation. The course specifically targets:
The course will discuss how Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) can contribute to a sustainable recovery and will consist of six thematic areas:
This module will introduce the key concepts that underpin the rationale for Public Employment Programmes, in particular in times of crisis and increasing unemployment and underemployment.
It will highlight their role in achieving full employment and providing a rights-based approach to employment. The module will also include discussions on PEPs and their role in fulfilling the social contract and how this may shift in a rapidly changing world of work.
In this module, the defining characteristics of PEPs will be discussed. Tools for the design and assessment of these programmes developed by the ILO and with other agencies will be introduced.
It will also include a case study on how PEPs have been used to respond to the COVID crisis in South Africa.
PEPs can implement different work activities including environmental, social and infrastructure works. “Green” activities include the use of nature-based solutions for hybrid infrastructure, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and ecosystem restoration.
Social works tend to focus on the care economy. This module will focus on how PEPs can assist in both improving coverage and standards in the sector, while infrastructure can include a wide range of construction and maintenance activities. This module will include several country case studies.
PEPs often operate in difficult contexts with large decent work deficits and thus it is important that these programmes incorporate measures to ensure the safeguard of minimum standards and conditions of work.
This module will provide guidance on amongst others wage setting, appropriate conditions of work, occupational health and safety, and measures to target vulnerable groups that face challenges accessing the labour market. This module will include several country case studies.
PEPs generally have employment, social and investment related objectives. As such their alignment and integration with public investment, skills, social protection and active labour market policies are particular important.
This module will delve into the areas of overlap and intersection and identify areas of both synergies and trade-offs.
This module will be focused on key operational issues that can be particularly challenging in PEPs, including contracting workers and making payments, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of PEPs and inclusion of workers and communities in decision making and accountability.
The module will also highlight how recent technologies such as mobile recruitment and reporting systems can be used to improve operations.
Learning will be facilitated and consolidated through a design exercise in which participants will collaborate in small groups to design PEPs for different contexts and regions.
This course is part of one Diploma programme: