ABCs of IDA—Jobs and Economic Transformation

ABCs of IDA - Jobs and Economic Transformation

Economic growth has the power to transform societies, boost incomes, and enable citizens to thrive, but growth alone is not enough. To reduce poverty and ensure shared prosperity, growth that creates more, better, and inclusive jobs is needed. Improving financial access, strengthening skills training, supporting a strong private sector and building sustainable infrastructure helps connect people to job opportunities that can help end poverty in the poorest countries.  (Download ABCs of IDA - Jobs & Economic Transformation in pdf format.)

The challenges facing developing countries are immense. More than 200 million people worldwide, disproportionately youth, are unemployed, while another 2 billion working age adults, mostly women, remain outside the workforce. Around 600 million jobs must be created by 2030 to increase employment rates and absorb the youth entering the labor market. This requires supporting private sector growth.  

Economic transformation is about changing the nature of jobs, of changing what people do, where they do it and how they do it. Just having a job is not enough: What makes a difference is having a more productive job, with good working conditions, and social protection. Besides creating as many formal jobs as possible, it is also crucial to improve productivity and earnings of jobs in the informal sector. The jobs diagnostics undertaken by the World Bank show clearly that the degree of economic transformation determines how widespread job creation will be and the extent of productivity and income gains that result from these jobs. 

The International Development Association (IDA) has a well-established track record of supporting economic growth and investments that create jobs and boost incomes. 

Learn more about how IDA supports country efforts to boost economic growth and create jobs, and be sure to see our other “ABCs” (achievements by country) of IDA, including highlights of our work on gender, climate, governance and institution building, and fragility, conflict and violence at

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | LM | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



  • Between 2003-2015, the National Solidarity Program (NSP) and 31 partners, including IDA, have worked through community development councils to identify and implement 86,000 small-scale reconstruction and development activities, including projects to improve water supply and sanitation, rural roads, irrigation, power, health, and education. The program has generated over 52 million days of work for skilled and unskilled workers and has helped establish 35,000 community development councils (CDCs) across Afghanistan.
  • In 2017, the NSP was succeeded by the Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project (CCAP) which aims to improve the delivery of core infrastructure and services.
  • 39,867 people benefited from a project to develop job skills and increase incomes for graduates of technical and vocational schools from 2013 to 2018. 
  • From 2012 to 2018, 1,450 kilometers of tertiary roads and 1,840 meters of tertiary bridges was completed and more than 3,500 kilometers of tertiary roads have been maintained. Over the same time period, 860 kilometers of secondary roads and 2,319 meters of secondary bridges were completed. 2.65 million jobs were created along these roads.
  • Between 2010-2018, 81,880 people were provided with sustainable employment opportunities through rural enterprises, with women making up 52 percent of the beneficiaries. 71 percent of SMEs supported by the project reported increased revenue, out of which 28 percent were female owned.



  • 42 percent of beneficiaries of a rural livelihood program increased their incomes by 30 percent between 2015 and 2018. Over the same time period, 29,893 jobs were created for young people. 
  • Between 2011-2018, 34 firms developed economic zones and 43 new sites were identified for economic zones and technology parks. The total private investment was $2.9 billion with a pipeline of approximately $17 billion. Over the same period, 21,000 high-quality jobs were created.
  • A skills training program is helping improve the quality of technical and vocational education with skills sought after by employers. Between 2010-2018, 144,615 graduates have completed programs in 100 polytechnic institutions.  

Burkina Faso

  • From 2013 to 2018, 37,812 youths were employed and have generated 2.2 million days of work for unskilled workers. 14,655 out-of-school children were enrolled in skills development programs.



  • Between 2008-2014, 476 kilometers of Cambodia’s national and provincial roads were rehabilitated and, as a result, travel time has been reduced from 2 hours to 1.6 hours per 100 kilometers.


  • Between 2015-2018, a safety net program generated 641,456 days of work and 106 health works were trained in infant and young child feeding. 

Congo, Democratic Republic

  • From 2015 to 2018, 110,217 students benefited from revised math and science curricula to enhance their skills. 5,851 teachers received summer intensive in-service training and 15,987 hand books were distributed to secondary school math and science teachers.
  • Between 2014-2018, 970,274 people benefited from the reconstruction of community infrastructure such as schools, water points and bridges in eastern Congo. 581,715 days of temporary employment was generated.

Congo, Republic of

  • 1.1 million people in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire benefited from a water, electricity and urban development project between 2010-2018. 331,710 people were provided with access to improved water sources and 259,340 people benefited from improved drainage and access to all-season roads.
  • Between 2013-2018, 328 youths received school-based skills training and 692 enrolled in apprenticeship to improve job and entrepreneurship skills. 479 micro-entrepreneurs enrolled in a pilot skills training program.

Côte d'Ivoire

  • 1,140 kilometers of rural roads were rehabilitated between 2012 and 2018 benefiting 1.4 million people. 22,588 households received piped water connections. 
  • Between 2014-2018, 28,000 youths benefited from employment skills training program. 62 percent were employed or self-employed within six months of training. 100,000 days of work and 28,000 weeks of internship were provided.
  • Average transit time after exiting the Port of Abidjan was reduced from 90 hours in 2016 to 68 hours in 2018. Average cost of transporting a 40-foot container by road from Abidjan to Ouagadougou is down from $3,500 to $3,200 in 2018.



  • Poverty fell from 44 percent in 2000 to 26.7 percent in 2015—driven by IDA-supported agricultural projects, government spending on basic services, and effective safety nets, underpinned by consistent and high economic growth.
  • Between 2016-2018, 448,885 people benefited by a safety net project that generated 2.2 million days of work. 35,000 people received guidance on job opportunities.
  • From 2017 to 2018, 762 hectares of land were reforested benefiting 15,240 people.
  • In 2018, 2,554 trainees received soft-skills training and over 70 percent were recruited by factories in Bole Lemi-I industrial park. Construction of Bole Lemi-II and Kilinto industrial parks is underway.



  • Between 2016-2018, 467 hectares of agricultural land received improved irrigation and drainage services. Storage capacity of grains was increased by 15,340 metric tons between 2012 and 2018. 
  • From 2011 to 2016, a 135 percent increase in investments by enterprises through skills and technology project benefited 104,832 people. 



  • From 2012 to 2018, 3 million people in Nairobi benefited from improved sanitation facilities and access to all-season roads. 
  • Between 2016-2018, 1,041 youths received a startup grant and 2,600 received life skills, technical and entrepreneurship training, and internships. Over the same period, 328 craftsmen obtained master craftsman certification.
  • An electricity modernization program mobilized $500 million between 2015 and 2016 and is expected to provide 618,750 households with electricity and construct or rehabilitate 3,500 kilometers of distribution lines by 2020.
  • Private capital of $99 million was mobilized in 2017 and 2018 through a public-private partnership to increase private investment in the infrastructure sector.

Kyrgyz Republic

  • Between 2013 and 2018, 506,089 hectares of land were provided with irrigation and drainage services benefiting 2.8 million people.


Lao, PDR

  • From 2010 to 2017, improvements on 171 kilometers of two national roads in Lao reduced travel times by 50 percent and 72 percent.  813 kilometers of rural roads and 366 kilometers of non-rural roads were rehabilitated, and 1,600 kilometers of provincial roads have preserved through maintenance.
  • From 2014 to 2018, 181 kilometers of distribution lines were rehabilitated, and 16,436 people received power from an efficient and reliable distribution service. Over the same time period, annual electricity losses were reduced from 24 percent to 19 percent.
  • Between 2014-2018, 124 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) received loans from commercial banks through a private finance initiative. 52 SMEs and 75 staff from the ministry of industry and commerce were trained on environment and social safeguards.


  • Between 2009-2018, 530,000 people received potable water through a pipeline and 400 community water points were constructed or rehabilitated. Over the same time period, 24 kilometers of water pipeline was laid. 


  • 786 youths received start-up grants, 3,612 rural youth completed life skills training, and 10,360 hours of public works provided between 2015 and 2018.
  • 740,000 people in urban areas were provided with access to regular solid waste collection and 134,784 tons of waste were collected in 2017 and 2018. 



  • From 2014 to 2018, 22,718 out-of-school youth enrolled in a skills training program, 4,858 enrolled in apprenticeship, and 654 completed business plans under a entrepreneurship program. 
  • 73,736 people in rural areas received access to electricity through renewable energy sources and reduced 2008 tons of greenhouse gas between 2013 and 2018.


  • Between 2014-2017, average annual lending to export-oriented enterprises increased by 34 percent, 88 sub-loans were disbursed from a line of credit, and 266 SMEs benefited from business development services.  


  • Between 2014-2018, 23,554 jobs were created, 15,005 businesses were registered resulted in an increase of $5.72 billion in annual municipal revenues.
  • 3.1 million days of work were generated and 9.2 million people benefited through an infrastructure program between 2013 and 2018. Over the same period of time, 984 cash-for-work sub-projects were completed and 101,237 rural people gained access to an all-season road. 


  • 112,137 people in urban areas gained access to improved water sources between 2003-2018. Over the same period, 21,158 households were provided with new piped water connections.
  • 800 jobs were created in conservation tourism benefitting 68,875 people and 2 million hectares of land were brought under enhanced biodiversity protection between 2014 and 2018.


  • Between 2015-2018, 1.1 million people were provided with access to electricity, 25,133 public lighting were installed, and 74 kilometers of distribution lines were constructed or rehabilitated. 
  • From 2012 to 2018, 6.8 million people benefited by a community-driven project that improved water supply and sanitation, rural roads, irrigation, power, health, and education. 21,259 rural infrastructures were built and over the same period, 387,272 people were trained in project planning, financial management, and procurement and 1,328 government officials were trained in project management, engineering, and planning.



  • Between 2012-2018, 85,106 farmers benefited from 30 new crop and livestock technologies and were field tested before implementation. 
  • Between 2014-2018, 338,610 people in rural areas and 179,639 people in the earthquake affected areas were provided with improved access to water sources.


  • Between 2011-2017, 3 million days of temporary employment were generated, of which 1.2 million days were for women. 233 community infrastructures were rehabilitated each year.
  • Improved business environment reduced the time to trade across borders from 64 days in 2011 to 13 days in 2018. Time to clear imported goods fell from 64 days to 4 days and time to clear exported goods fell from 50 days to 4 days.
  • Between 2013-2018, 3,006 out of school youths enrolled in dual apprenticeship programs, 680 completed on-demand technical training and 1,647 were trained in entrepreneurship.


Papua New Guinea

  • 1.4 million people gained access to mobile phone services in rural areas between 2010-2018. Mobile cellular subscriptions increased from 31 subscribers per 100 people in 2010 to 65 per 100 people in 2018. Internet usage in rural areas went up by 50 percent.
  • 814,273 days of work were completed by young people between 2011 and 2018. 2,852 youths graduated from on-the-job training with 83 percent of beneficiaries reporting increased knowledge and skills and confidence to enter the labor market.     



  • Between 2012-2018, 270 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated generating 4,145 jobs and 164 kilometers of rural roads were maintained resulting in 502 jobs. 374,000 people benefited by this project.
  • Between 2016-2018, 16,486 people in urban areas received access to all-season roads and 1,067 hectares of land area were provided with drainage services benefitting 28,720 people.



  • 371,860 households benefited from the construction of 736 kilometers of transmission and distributions lines between 2013-2018. 
  • From 2013 to 2018, 4,590 students enrolled in improved sciences and technical programs and 651 youths graduated from short-term skills development.
  • 2,151 businesses and entrepreneurs received growth acceleration training, generating 220 jobs between 2016 and 2018.

Solomon Islands

  • From 2010 to 2018, construction of community infrastructure employed 13,000 people from vulnerable communities and generated more than 785,851 days of work. 52 percent of the people employed were women and 60 percent were between the ages of 16 and 29.



  • 1.1 million people in urban areas were provided with access to all season roads between 2014 and 2018.
  • 37 million days of work were generated by a social safety net project between 2013 and 2018. 


  • In 2017, 85 percent of Tongans had access to Internet services, up from 1 percent in 2011. Over the same period, access to mobile phone services increased to 95 percent from 59 percent and Internet bandwidth increased to 1.3 Gbps from 37 Mbps.


Updated as of March 2019