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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. (In pdf: EN | AR | ES | FR RU | ZH)

The challenges facing developing countries are immense. More than 173 million (as of end-2018) people worldwide, disproportionately youth, are unemployed, while another two 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 jobs1, and be sure to see our other “ABCs” (achievements by country) of IDA, including highlights of our work on gender, climate change, governance and institution building, and fragility, conflict and violence at ida.worldbank.org/abcs.
The countries included in this brochure are currently eligible for IDA support. To learn more, please visit http://ida.worldbank.org/about/borrowing-countries

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



  • From 2003–17, the National Solidarity Program and 31 partners, including IDA, have worked through community development councils (CDCs) to identify and implement 122,430 small-scale reconstruction and development activities. 
  • The program has generated over 66 million days of work for skilled and unskilled workers and has helped establish 45,751 community development councils across Afghanistan that are democratically elected through secret ballot.
  • From 2013–18, 39,867 people benefited from a project to develop job skills and increase incomes for graduates of technical and vocational schools. 
  • From 2012–18, 1,450 kilometers of tertiary roads and 1,840 meters of tertiary bridges were completed, and more than 3,500 kilometers of tertiary roads have been maintained. During the same period, 860 kilometers of secondary roads and 2,319 meters of secondary bridges were completed, while 2.7 million jobs were created along these roads. From 2010–18, 81,880 people were provided with sustainable employment opportunities through rural enterprises, with women making up 52% of the beneficiaries. 71% of SMEs supported by the project, 28% of which were female-owned, reported increased revenue.
  • 20.4 million rural people were provided with access to an all-season road in 2018, up from 13.6 million in 2013. During the same period, the share of the rural population with access to an all-season road went up from 58% to 89%.



  • From 2015–18, 939,094 people benefited from a livelihood project, 95% of whom were women. 3,095 infrastructure sub-projects were completed with community participation, benefiting 471,671 people. 98.5% of the community-based decisions were made by women.
  • From 2011–18, 34 firms developed economic zones and 43 new sites were identified for economic zones and technology parks. The total private investment was USD 2.9 billion with a pipeline of approximately USD 17 billion. During the same period, 21,000 high quality jobs were created.
  • From 2010–18, 144,615 graduates have completed programs in 100 polytechnic institutions. 
  • From 2016–18, 3,500 lecturers were recruited, and 50,000 non-government teachers were accredited, benefiting 1.8 million students, of whom 828,000 were girls.
  • One million small-scale farmers, of whom 33% were women, benefited from increased market access in 2018 up from 397,600 in 2015. During the same period, 165,683 farmers adopted new agricultural technologies to increase productivity.


  • From 2014–18, 19,790 underemployed youths were trained in employment skills and/or employment opportunities were provided to underemployed youth, of whom 51.4% were women. 2,991 youths received a Certificat de Qualification Professionnelle for mastery of trade skills. 14,342 youths satisfactorily completed small business and life skills training, and 1,069 master artisans received skills upgrades.

Burkina Faso

  • From 2013–18, 52,737 out-of-school youths were provided temporary employment and skills development opportunities. 40.2% of youth trained were employed or self-employed one year after completion of the training. 2.2 million days of work were generated, resulting in rehabilitation of 63.4 kilometers of rural roads and 51.9% of urban roads. 37,812 youths were employed through labor intensive physical work.


Central African Republic

  • From 2016–18, 100,830 days of temporary work were generated benefiting 37,000 people, with women accounting for 27%. 57 new culverts were constructed, and 25 existing culverts were rehabilitated, 12 bridges were rehabilitated, and 63 kilometers of ditches along roadways were constructed.


  • From 2015–18, 4,217 people benefited through cash-for-work, food-for-work, and public works programs, of whom 68% were women.
  • From 2015–18, a safety net program generated 641,456 days of work, 69 poor communities were provided with social safety net and nutrition services access, and 106 health workers were trained in infant and young child feeding (IYCF) skills. 

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • From 2015–18, 110,217 students benefited from revised math and science curricula. 5,851 teachers received summer intensive in-service training and 15,987 handbooks were distributed to secondary school math and science teachers.
  • Airport infrastructure investments helped Goma international airport attract 302,548 passengers in 2017, up from 140,000 in 2014.

Republic of Congo

  • From 2013–18, 328 youths received school based skills training and 692 youths enrolled in apprenticeships that improved job and entrepreneurship skills. 479 microentrepreneurs enrolled in a pilot skills training program.

Côte d'Ivoire

  • 53,489 youths benefited from employment skills training program in 2018, up from 25,422 in 2014. 62% of participants were employed or self-employed within six months of training.
  • 10,433 youths were enrolled in temporary apprenticeship program in 2018. 92% of youth completed the training in 2018, up from 76% in 2016. 52% were employed or self-employed within six months of training. 14,959 youths received entrepreneurship training program in 2018, up from 11,248 in 2015.
  • From 2015–18, 2.5 million days of labor-intensive public works were generated and resulted in 3,491 kilometers of roads rehabilitated in 2018, up from 2,537 in 2014.



  • From 2012–18, 15,525 women successfully completed training in technical, vocational, and entrepreneurship and their average yearly earnings increased by 28%.
  • From 2016–18, 448,885 people benefited from a safety net project that generated 2.2 million days of work. During the same period, 35,000 people received guidance on job opportunities.
  • In 2018, 2,554 trainees received soft-skills training and over 70% were recruited by factories in Bole Lemi-I industrial park.
  • A women entrepreneurship project increased the earnings and employment of Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) owned or partly owned by female entrepreneurs. Yearly average business earnings were USD 3,398 in 2018, up from USD 2,414 in 2012. The number of hours worked for MSE per week was 295 hours in 2018, up from 179 in 2012.



  • From 2010–18, 13.6 million days of employment were provided to a total of 167,235 workers, of whom 65% were women.
  • From 2011–16, a 135% increase in investments by enterprises through a skills and technology project benefited 104,832 people.



  • In 2018, three million Nairobi residents benefited from improved street lighting, pedestrian walkways, improved sanitation facilities, and fire stations.
  • From 2016–18, 1,041 youths received a start-up grant and 2,600 received life skills, technical, entrepreneurship training, and internships. During the same period, 328 craftsmen obtained master craftsman certification.
  • From 2017–18, Kenya's infrastructure market mobilized USD 98.3 million in private capital. Regulations associated with a new law on public-private partnership (PPP) were agreed to with the Ministry of Finance. From 2017–18, 22 feasibility studies were approved by the PPP committee.

Kyrgyz Republic

  • From 2014–18, 496 private veterinarians received 7,885 days of training. 70% of farmers were satisfied with the quality of services provided by the private veterinarians.


Lao, PDR

  • From 2014–18, 175 SMEs benefited from USD 10.7 million in long-term financing provided through participating commercial banks. 75 staff from Department for Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (DOSMEP) were trained in public policies that promote access to finance for SMEs through a capacity building component of this project.


  • From 2015–18, 7,224 benefited from safety net programs; 3,612 rural youths completed life skills training, and 105,360 days of public works were generated. During the same time, 786 youths were recruited from 10 urban communities in Montserrado county and were provided with entrepreneurship training and start-up grants to initiate or expand household enterprises.



  • From 2014–18, 23,554 jobs were created, and 15,005 businesses were registered, resulting in an increase of USD 5.7 billion in annual municipal revenues.
  • From 2013–18, 9.2 million people benefited from an infrastructure program, which generated 3.1 million days of employment. During the same period, 984 cash-for-work subprojects were completed, and 101,237 rural people gained access to an all-season road.
  • 30,851 formal jobs were created in 2018, up from 4,346 in 2014 in targeted areas. The tourism sector accounted for 4,043 jobs, up from 690 in 2014, and agribusiness accounted for 7,715 jobs in 2018, up from 1,089 in 2014. 18,018 businesses were registered in 2018, up from 3,259 in 2014.


  • From 2013–18, 10,550 students benefited from a skills development program, of whom 30% were women.
  • From 2015–18, 985,635 people benefited from a public works program created after the 2015 floods. During the same period, 129,455 people benefited through social cash transfer, 123,003 people were trained on livelihood development activities, and 208,753 people restored their agricultural livelihoods sustainably after the 2015 floods.
  • From 2013–18, 5,634 rural youths were trained in a skilled trade, 78% of trainees passed their annual assessment, and 86% of trainees graduated.


  • From 2014–18, 22,718 out-of-school youth were enrolled in a skills training program, 4,858 were enrolled in apprenticeship, and 654 completed business plans under an entrepreneurship program. From 2014–18, 34,230 youth aged between 15–35 years were trained through a skills development program, of whom 32% were women.
  • From 2013–17, 10,000 households were supported through income-generating activities, such as processing agricultural products, livestock farming, and market gardening. The beneficiaries were provided with access to free health care through a national medical insurance scheme.


  • From 2015–18, 29,853 households, representing 197,030 people, benefited from a social cash transfer program, of whom 88% were women. During the same period, 102,300 households registered in a national registry improving their access to targeted cash transfer for poor and vulnerable.
  • From 2016–18, USD 49.8 million in investments were generated from private investors to promote sustainable management of fisheries. Fresh fish exports had risen to 7,086 tons as of early 2019, up from 936 tons in 2016.


  • From 2014–17, average annual lending to export-oriented enterprises increased by 34%. 88 sub-loans were disbursed from a line of credit, and 266 SMEs benefited from business development services.
  • The adoption of EU catalogs for seeds, fertilizers, and plant protection products allowed for better quality inputs, reduction in costs, and resulted in more competitive products. Over USD 21 million were provided as a line of credit to 108 direct and indirect exporters created 420 new jobs and new exports.


  • From 2014–18, 1,728 jobs were created in conservation tourism benefiting 68,875 people, of whom 34% were women. During the same period, two million hectares of land were brought under biodiversity protection, and USD 4.5 million in income derived from tourism was returned to communities. Law enforcement patrols in selected conservation areas were increased from 5,523 in 2014 to 11,642 in 2018.
  • From 2013–18, 96,105 extremely poor households benefited from temporary income support. From 2017–18, 18,477 people were benefited from direct cash transfers. 80% of the people involved in public works received payments within a month of their labor in 2018. 5,043 urban and 57,994 rural people benefited from a public works program.


  • From 2012–18, 21,249 rural infrastructures were built using block grants. 387,272 people have used newly gained skills in project planning, financial management, and procurement.



  • In 2017, 73,392 youth were enrolled in short-term training, up from 8,390 in 2014. 71,486 youth completed the training in 2017, up from 7,864 in 2014. 70% of graduates were gainfully employed for at least six months after the training program, compared to 68% in 2014.
  • From 2015–18, 60,400 households (259,720 people) benefited from the reconstruction of their houses with an earthquake-resilient core housing method. During the same period, 9,319 artisans were trained in multi-hazard resistant construction, and 29 government officials were trained in disaster risk management.


  • From 2011–18, 3.1 million days of temporary employment were created, of which 1.1 million days were for women. During the same period, 233 community infrastructure sites were rehabilitated on average each year between 2011 and 2017.
  • From 2013–18, 9,211 youths were benefited from a skills development program, of whom 31% were women.
  • From 2013–18, 3,006 out of school youths were enrolled in a dual apprenticeship program. 680 youths completed on-demand technical training, 1,647 were trained in entrepreneurship, and 3,500 technical graduates were connected to potential employers. From 2016–18, 52% of vocationally trained youth were employed or self-employed.


  • From 2013–18, 58,961 youths, of whom 40% were female, received a cash payment in return for working in a public works program. During the same period, 25,000 women were trained in life skills training, 1,000 women graduated from internship programs, and 3,000 women were trained in vocational and entrepreneurial skills.



  • A skills development program in Punjab trained 38,226 students in 2018 with market-relevant courses, up from 18,522 in 2014.
  • From 2014–18, 15 institutions offered 15 computer-based training and 726 students graduated through this this program.                     

Papua New Guinea

  • From 2011–18, 18,497 young people in Port Moresby have completed employment training, work placement activities, have opened new bank accounts, and undertaken 814,273 days of work. 425,388 days of work were completed by youth job corps and 341,911 days of work was completed through on-the-job-training. 2,852 youths graduated from on-the-job training with 83% of beneficiaries reporting increased knowledge, skills, and confidence to enter the labor market.                                  



  • From 2012–18, 270 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated, generating 4,145 jobs, and 164 kilometers of rural roads were maintained, creating 502 jobs. 374,000 people benefited from this project.



  • From 2013–18, 4,590 students were enrolled in improved science and technical programs and 651 youths graduated from short-term skills development courses.
  • From 2016–18, 2,151 businesses and entrepreneurs received growth acceleration training, which generated 220 jobs.
  • From 2016–18, 352 youths benefited during the development of the interurban road infrastructure in the Greater Dakar Area. 1,740 months of work were generated from the 32 kilometers of rural roads that were rehabilitated in 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. Over USD 3 million were paid in wages to many unemployed who worked an average of 59 days. Participants have found employment with vocational education centers and were engaged as supervisors on urban road projects.



  • From 2014–18, 1.1 million people in Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Area were provided with new or rehabilitated infrastructure, including 55 kilometers of all-season roads and 16 kilometers of major drains.
  • In 2018, 5.2 million people benefited from a targeted social safety net program, up from 5,000 in 2013. From 2013–18, 89% of the households received cash transfer through public works and 37 million days of work were generated.


  • 147,235 people benefited through the development of agriculture value chains in 2018, up from 125,313 in 2017. 420 commercial farms were promoted under a matching grant scheme in 2018 increased from 170 in 2016.
  • From 2012–17, 315,246 people in poor communities were provided with greater access to socio-economic infrastructure; 12,754 people benefited through cash-for-work, food-for-work, and public works. During the same period, 39,831 students were enrolled in rehabilitated or newly constructed schools.



  • Time to register a property was reduced to 42 days in 2018 from 52 days in 2010. During the same period, time needed to register a business was reduced to 24 days from 33 days.                            



From 2016–18, 6.8 million days of work were generated for 300,639 people receiving short-term employment, of whom 47% were youth, and the most vulnerable population received access to basic services, of whom 28% were women.

Updated as of June 17, 2019


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