A WIDER presentation on jobs - DFID policy seminar

How can aid support job creation and better livelihoods in developing countries? Finn Tarp, Tony Addison, and Carol Newman presented evidence rising from UNU-WIDER research projects

On 31 March Tony Addison, Carol Newman, and, Finn Tarp of UNU-WIDER presented research evidence on the topic of job creation and employment in developing countries at a policy seminar organized by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The seminar aimed at sharing and discussing research evidence on what foreign aid does or could achieve with regard to job creation and employment. The event responds to rising interest by the development community on these topics.

The Institute's team shared key findings related to ongoing and recently concluded projects and latest publications with an audience of development practitioners and policy-makers.

As an introduction Finn Tarp gave an overview of the Institute's work on structural transformation, employment, and poverty. Speaking generally about the sub-Saharan region Tarp highlighted the need for large scale structural transformation and the importance of addressing the current low levels of agricultural productivity in some countries to achieve this goal. He also pointed out that that one of the key messages of the recently published African Development Review Special Issue on Aid and Employment was that there is much more development assistance can do to help the working poor to earn more which is key to curbing poverty. 

Tony Addison presented some key findings from the  ReCom - Research and Communication on Foreign Aid project Growth and Employment theme. In light of the Agenda 2030 , Addison stressed that investments in infrastructure and enhancement of firm capabilities are likely to be crucial in creating more ‘good’ jobs. He also posited that that  finding ways to accelerate structural change in poor economies can have a high payoff in terms of employment growth and poverty reduction.

Carol Newman talked about the Learning to Compete (L2C) - Accelerating Industrial Development in Africa’ project undertaken jointly with the Brookings Institution and the African Development Bank. She outlined a new industrial policy strategy to help Africa gets it´s fair share of the global market. This strategy would be based on reforming the investment climate agenda, mounting an 'export push', building firm capabilities, and creating industrial clusters.

For more insights, view and download the presentation slides