News & Events

Conference | June 2009

Employment Guarantee Policies: Responding to the Current Economic Crisis and Contributing to Long-Term Development

A Collaborative Project of the United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLAC), and the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP), in Partnership with Levy Economics Institute

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

June 22–23, 2009

With poverty, inequality, and unemployment trending upward worldwide, job creation, especially for marginalized populations, is urgently needed. By mobilizing unused domestic labor resources, direct job creation can become an engine of pro-poor growth while also promoting gender equality and meeting social inclusion targets—key international development goals. Public works projects, employment guarantees, and employment of last resort strategies can play a crucial role in reducing unemployment and poverty, ameliorating distress migration and delivering physical infrastructure and social services in ways that particularly benefit underserved communities.

On June 22 and 23, Levy Economics Institute, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, convened an international conference to present the merits and challenges of public job creation programs as a constitutive component of an economic recovery strategy. Titled “Employment Guarantee Policies: Responding to the Current Economic Crisis and Contributing to Long-Term Development,” the conference was held at Blithewood, the Institute’s main research and conference facility, on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. More than 30 top policy advisers, members of government organizations, academics, and international development specialists met to analyze and exchange views on various public employment initiatives, drawing on existing research and the outcomes of country-level programs in South Africa, Argentina, India, Iran, and Chile. Among the speakers were Selim Jahan of the United Nations Development Programme; Marc Van Imschoot, International Labour Organization; and José Carlos de Assis, National Development Bank of Brazil. A transcript of the proceedings is forthcoming.

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