Development and Investment (DEVINVEST)

There are more than 2 billion people earning their livelihoods in the informal economy, representing 62% of today’s working population. In low-income countries, 90% of employment is informal, 67% in middle-income countries and 18% in high-income countries.

Informal employment in fragile situations is estimated to account for 84.3% of total employment. In 2018, about 1.8 billion people were living in fragile and conflict affected situations and increasing risks of poverty and inequality remain because of climate change, scarce natural resources, protracted conflict and low levels of human development.
It was estimated that the number would grow to 2.3 billion in 2030 . As of 30 June 2020, 400 million full time-jobs are estimated to be lost due to containment measures of COVID-19.

1.2 billion workers in 41 countries across the globe face decent work deficits. Sustainable solutions that create decent jobs and address the root causes of economic, social, and environmental inequalities are needed. Structural transformation can be achieved through evidence-based analysis on the impact of trade and investments on employment, productivity and the environment. Identifying promising sectors, together with country-level assistance to those most in need contribute to this discourse. Employment-intensive investments can offer an entry point for building national capacity and resilience to move forward through the linkage between infrastructure development and employment creation with the use of local labour and resources.

The Development and Investment Branch (DEVINVEST) supports ILO member States to tackle these challenges through:
  1. supporting employment-centred policies for countries in the fragile context affected by conflict and disaster to enable recovery and build resilience,
  2. supporting economic diversification and structural change for enhancing employment and productivity growth and developing programmes to maximize the employment impact of trade and sectoral policies,
  3. developing approaches for employment and productivity enhancements in rural economy and facilitating transition to formality,
  4. supporting the planning and implementation of employment-intensive investments.


  1. Report

    Employment impact assessment of the National Feeder Roads Programme, Rwanda

    31 March 2023

    This report presents an employment impact assessment (EmpIA) of the National Feeder Roads Project (NFRP) in Rwanda which aimed to connect agricultural areas and markets, improving access to food, economic and social services.

  2. Report

    Employment impact assessment of the Merille-Marsabit road, Isiolo-Moyale transport corridor in Kenya

    25 January 2023

    The report highlights the applicability of using satellite data to measure the economic and employment impacts of infrastructure investments in sub-Saharan Africa.

  3. Report

    Disability Inclusion in EIIP Stocktaking and way forward

    20 October 2022

    This report assesses and provides recommendations on disability inclusion for the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP). It examines important challenges and good practices along the project cycle, calling attention to intersectional challenges approaches that safeguard the inclusion of persons with disabilities as workers.

  4. Video

    Sustaining peace through employment and decent work

    21 September 2022

    On the International Day of Peace 2022, the ILO reaffirms its commitment to peace and launches an animated video on “Sustaining Peace through employment and decent work”.

  5. Report

    Future of Work, Emerging Sectors and the Potential for Transition to Formality

    12 September 2022

    The paper aims to better understand the importance of emerging sectors within the ILO’s Future of Work initiative in the transition to the formalization of informal workers (including informal units). It analyses the potential and the limitations of emerging sectors with potential for formal jobs creation, the opportunities within them to support transition to the formalization of workers and economic units and recommends types of policies that could support their potential for T2F based on recent countries’ experience. The paper pays particular attention to the structural challenges that women and youth face in transitioning from the informal to the formal economy. It also addresses the potential opportunities and synergies of formalization in the context of the transition to a green economy (GE).

  6. Report

    The evaluation of policies promoting the transition to formality

    31 August 2022

    This report provides an overview of methods for evaluating policy interventions to foster the transition to formality and highlights several aspects that should be taken into account in the design and implementation of an evaluation. It does so on the basis of a brief analysis of the characteristics of the informal economy in emerging economies and developing countries and corresponding policy challenges.

  7. Our impact, their voices

    He is from Syria and I am from Iraq. But we work together like brothers

    20 June 2022

    ILO labour intensive programme brings communities together in Iraq.

  8. Guidance

    Environmental and social safeguards guidelines

    02 April 2022

    The ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) links public investments with employment creation, poverty reduction and local economic and social development. The need to protect people and the environment, requires implementers to limit or minimize the potential negative social and environmental consequences of construction projects while maximizing positive impacts. The primary purpose of these Guidelines is to provide in one source an overview of the overarching principles and thematic areas that are relevant for EIIP projects and labour-based activities.

  9. Guide

    Gender equality and women’s empowerment in the world of work in fragile, conflict and disaster settings

     21 March 2022

    This guide aims to enhance awareness of gender dimensions and issues in fragile, conflict and disaster settings and to provide guidance on gender mainstreaming in initiatives related to employment and decent work across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.