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Jobs for peace

ILO, PBSO, UNDP and the World Bank present joint statement to strengthen peacebuilding impact of employment programmes

Press release | 26 September 2016
A joint statement on the linkages between employment programmes and peacebuilding was presented by the ILO, PBSO, UNDP and the World Bank at a side event during the opening of the 71st session of the General Assembly in the presence of H.E. Mr. Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic.

The statement is the result of a year-long joint research project and highlights a joint analytical framework, emerging principles for actions and identifies the next steps to enhance the cooperation and learning of our four entities in employment programmes for peacebuilding. This joint statement is an important step in the collective efforts of the four organizations to strengthen the peacebuilding impact of employment programmes in conflict-affected countries. The research is in the spirit of the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on sustaining peace (A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282) and to support countries in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the event, the four organizations announced their commitments to continue their cooperation on enhancing the peacebuilding impact of employment programmes. On the one hand, discussions highlighted the need for strong theories of change and good reasons to believe that employment does help foster peace. On the other hand, the peace-building impact of employment is often assumed rather than evaluated.

The four organizations that backed the joint statement used the event as an opportunity to emphasize the need to go beyond assumptions in designing, implementing and evaluating. The statement includes emerging principles related to the gender-inclusive peacebuilding, youth employment and the issue of targeting.

To close the evidence gap on employment programmes for peacebuilding, the four organizations agreed to translate the proposed analytical framework and emerging principles into action. They will identify pilot programmes and work closely together to design them in order to a) maximize the peacebuilding impact of employment programmes; b) produce high-quality evaluations and learn from them; and c) foster national-level collaboration among agencies.

President Touadéra underlined the importance of employment in a post-conflict setting, and how challenging employment generation was in such settings. Furthermore, he stressed his government’s commitment to employment generation and increase public-private partnership.

Theories of change

The joint statement outlines a basic analytical framework on how an employment programme can impact peacebuilding:
  1. Employment programmes can facilitate contact between social groups in conflict.
  2. Employment programmes can address grievances that are root causes of conflict.
  3. Employment programmes can offer opportunities and alternatives to violence.