Improving Access to Jobs and Earnings Opportunities

Throughout the developing world there is a growing demand for advice on the design of policies to  facilitate access of the most vulnerable individuals to jobs, while reducing their dependency from  public income support schemes. Even though these policies are common to both the activation and  graduation agendas, a separation is needed as the graduation of beneficiaries out of poverty is a  much more ambitious agenda. This paper proposes a simple policy framework highlighting the most  common barriers for productive employment. It also reviews the topic of incentive compatibility of  income support schemes and employment support programs that are used to address them. The  paper finds that, especially in middle income countries, activation and active labor market programs  play an important role connecting individuals to jobs and improving earnings opportunities. In low  income countries, these programs are far from being a panacea to graduate beneficiaries out of  poverty. Furthermore, only scant evidence is available on the pathways to graduation and significant  knowledge gaps remain. More cross‐disciplinary research is needed to strengthen the evidence base  and develop recommendations for different contexts and capacity levels. 

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