How to map and measure quality of employment?

The quality of employment and of employment promotion in low- and middle-income countries was the focal point of a public lecture organised by IDOS.

It took place as part of an evening event organised by the IDOS project „Stability and Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)“. Experts shared their lessons learned from different regions of the world for the Middle East/North Africa. First, Kirsten Sehnbruch (London School of Economics, UK) presented her empirical research on the deterioration of employment conditions in Egypt in the period 1988-2018. Using a method developed for Latin America to measure the quality of employment (QoE) in relation to various sub-indicators (labour income, contract security and duration, employment conditions), she demonstrated that there was less decent work, especially in the Egyptian private sector – partly a result of the flexibilisation of labour laws in 2003 despite high informality.

Subsequently, Howard White (Global Development Network, India) demonstrated the Evidence and Gap Map of the Youth Futures Foundation, available online, which collects and systematically evaluates impact analyses and process evaluations of youth employment interventions worldwide. Strikingly, the focus of interventions in low- and middle-income countries is often on highly qualified youth and entrepreneurship promotion, while their focus in industrialised countries is mostly on the job placement of disadvantaged young people based on systematic vocational trainings and career development.

The ensuing discussion emphasised the importance of measuring and disaggregating the often-postulated decent work and quality of employment, as a crucial prerequisite for designing better interventions for its expansion. Here, lessons can be learnt from experiences in different world regions with their specific measurement and implementation challenges.

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