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. Guidance Note

    ILO Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) and the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus (HDPN)

    13 July 2023

    This Guidance Note illustrates, using country experiences, how the EIIP contributes to the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus. This document was prepared under the ILO-Sida Partnership. Under the Partnership, EIIP is contributing to develop guidance to promote conflict-sensitive and peace-responsive employment-intensive investment (EII) approaches in fragile areas, and to support member-States to develop national and local capacity to assess and apply EII approaches to create more and better jobs across the Nexus.

  2. Report

    Employment impact assessment of the Green Mini-Grid (GMG) Facility, Kenya

    09 June 2023

    This report presents an employment impact assessment (EmpIA) of the second phase of the Green Mini-Grid Facility Programme in Kenya. The programme aims to improve access to energy for people in Kenya, where the EU-funded phase envisages 33 mini-grid sites split across two developers. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through observations during a field visit, semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire to obtain information on the operational side of mini-grids and on direct employment generated from the design and construction phase. Indirect and induced employment were estimated using the ILO-STRENGTHEN2 estimation tool, based on ILO’s Structural Model for Sustainable Development (SMSD).

  3. News

    ILO promotes early recovery through community resilience in earthquake-damaged Aleppo

    01 June 2023

    The ILO launched the project “Early Recovery through Community Resilience in Aleppo’s Earthquake-hit Neighbourhoods” to support reconstruction efforts through community infrastructure works including debris removal, water sewage repairs, and sidewalk rehabilitation. The project is currently operating in two Aleppo neighbourhoods and is expected to benefit 65,000 inhabitants. The intervention will be scaled up in other affected areas to create as many as 500 decent jobs. It will also include the rehabilitation of five schools in Aleppo, which will provide safe access to education for up to 5,000 children.

  4. 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.

  5. 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”.

  6. 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).