Contracting SMEs for labour-based public works

Contracting SMEs for labour-based public works
Photo © EIIP Afghanistan 2023

Contracting SMEs for labour-based public works

التعاقد مع المنشآت الصغيرة والمتوسطة في الأشغال العامة القائمة على العمالة


23 Settembre–18 Ottobre 2024
Il corso è disponibile in العربية
Presentazione del corso

The construction industry has enormous potential for creating jobs in both developed and developing countries. Globally, the industry accounts for 7.6 per cent of total employment, which is equivalent to approximately 230 million jobs.

This job-intense industry consists mainly of small firms (SMEs), which often face challenges in compiling documents and bidding for tenders, accessing bank credits, and efficiently managing labour, materials, equipment and finance. Clients of infrastructure investment projects, on the other hand, (which are often government entities) also face difficulties in assessing the capacity of SMEs and contracting works, as well as in monitoring the implementation and evaluating the overall quality of the works delivered.

This course provides an interactive e-learning opportunity to understand the environment in which SMEs in the construction sector operate and explores how to engage them using transparent and efficient procurement procedures that also create an enabling environment for SME development. By undertaking a review of different approaches, case studies and tools, participants will learn how to engage SMEs to undertake infrastructure works that create more and better jobs, while ensuring the quality of the assets to be constructed. This third edition of the course will focus on procurement and contracting procedures, and will include a community contracting tool.

Chi si iscrive a questo corso?

The course is intended for professionals involved in designing, procuring and implementing infrastructure works.

The course specifically targets:

  • Government officials involved in public investment at the local, provincial and national levels;
  • Social partners (engineering associations, trade unions, etc.);
  • ILO and UN staff and development practitioners;
  • Donor organizations which are working or would like to enhance the labour inputs of investment projects;
  • Public investment and employment policy advisers;
  • Research and educational institutions.

The course covers the following four topics:


Learning block 1: the construction sector, SMEs, and employment-intensive investments

Learning Block 1 will provide a general overview of the context in which SMEs operate, as well as the employment-intensive approach to infrastructure works and its advantages and challenges for implementation.

  • The construction sector at a glance: key statistical figures, trends, and policy frameworks
  • What are the challenges SMEs in the construction sector face, and what constitutes an enabling environment for them
  • ILO’s Employment-Intensive Investment Strategies
  • Local resource-based (LRB) approaches


Learning block 2: appropriate management of contracting and administrativeprocedures

In order to implement employment-intensive infrastructure works, it is critically important to clearly define the scope of works to be performed by SMEs, taking into consideration their characteristics, capacities, and the policy environment. Thus clearly defined scope of works will then be integrated into bidding procedures for open, competitive and targeted procurement procedures that create an enabling environment for SMEs to develop, while ensuring quality outputs and value for money. This learning block will review what constitutes key elements to be considered when targeting SMEs for infrastructure works.

  • Facilitating the involvement of small contractors
  • Procurement procedures including contracting system
  • Community Contracting as a tool


Learning block 3: building capacity of small-scale contractors in local resource-based approaches

The capacity of SMEs may be assessed with the following dimensions: human resources, equipment and tools, finance, and management skills. Human resources here pertain to technical knowledge and skills to carry out required tasks, whereas access to and maintenance of appropriate light equipment for employment-intensive works shall be balanced at an optimal level in comparison to human resource development. Equally challenging for the SMEs is usually access to necessary funds to mobilize the workforce, materials and equipment on the ground. This learning block will explore local resource based (LRB) approaches as a cost-efficient solution for the small contractors and the economy. Topics to be covered include:

  • What does “capacity” mean?
  • Planning for Local Resource-Based (LRB) training and involvement of small-scale contractors
  • Developing an LRB training programme


Learning block 4: International labour standards and social/environmental safeguards in labour-based contracts

A productive workforce in a safe working environment is key to quality infrastructure works. Furthermore, SMEs are becoming more and more accountable for environmental and social responsibilities. Social and environmental safeguards, guided by the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, thus play an integral role to protect the working conditions of all workers in an inclusive way, whilst protecting environment. This learning block will give an overview of key items to be considered in order to fulfil such accountability through contractual agreements between the client and SMEs.

  • Decent work principles
  • Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)
  • Gender equality and gender-responsive procurement
  • Disability inclusion
  • Environmental Safeguards and Social Safeguards 
What our participants say

Autre que les compétences renforcées, le cours m'a permis d'avoir une meilleure confiance en soi et une forte prise de décision dans la mise en œuvre de la passation de marchés.

Razaorialisoa Ophira
Responsable Passation De Marches Programme FORMAPROD - FIDA- MADAGASCAR

The knowledge and skills gained from this course have prepared us to take on new challenges and drive further success in public procurement.

Muhammad Abdur Rahman
Head of Procurement at Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC)

This training course has deepened my understanding of the issues faced by SMEs, social and environmental safeguards and ways to engage the community in infrastructure works.

Dalia Bannoura
Head of Environment Unit at Jordan Ministry of Public Works and Housing
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