Guidance for Mainstreaming Decent Work in Integrated National Financing Frameworks

The socio-economic disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have not only strained the already limited development financing, but also labour markets, related income, and social protection systems, threatening the achievement of Agenda 2030 objectives as poverty has increased for the first time in twenty years.

This has highlighted the need to focus on the social dimension of Agenda 2030 for more sustained, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. 

At the country level, this requires a more human-centred socio-economic recovery strategy that promotes full and productive decent work for all to effectively address poverty and socio-economic inequalities. New-generation national development and/or COVID-19 recovery plans are, therefore, increasingly including decent work aspects among national priority objectives. Some countries are accordingly also revisiting or in the process of designing their National Employment Policy, which require the support of financing strategies for their medium- to long-term implementation. 

At the multilateral level, the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for a Just Transition, a UN Secretary-General initiative launched in 2022, embodies the UN system-wide response to such global challenges and trends. Its objective is to channel investments towards a job-rich recovery and a transition to more sustainable and inclusive economies using integrated national financing frameworks (INFFs) to catalyse financial resources. 

Hence, a growing number of countries are expected to gradually integrate the Decent Work Agenda into national financing strategies resulting from an INFF approach.

To support governments leading the INFF process and seeking to either directly finance decent work-related objectives, or finance any other development objective with a decent work element or impact on employment, and looking to preserve the decent work milestones achieved, the ILO and UNDP have developed a guidance note. The guidance is intended to facilitate a decent work perspective throughout the building blocks of an INFF, and to guide the involvement of governments, national constituents and supporting international development partners in associated social dialogue.

While its practical application will differ based on country context and ambitions, the guidance offers, through a series of guiding questions, a suggested approach to integrate decent work policies and institutional frameworks into the INFF process, and to identify entry points for advisory, technical assistance and capacity building. Structured around the building blocks of an INFF, the guide also provides a selection of resources and tools for analysis and planning, as well as country illustrations. Its Diagnostics and Assessment section focuses on the following decent work-related areas:

  • Unlocking job-rich growth through public finance
  • Investing in social protection
  • Financial sector´s role in promoting decent work
  • Fostering pathways to sustainability of enterprises and jobs
  • Fostering pathways to formality
  • Investing in climate action for jobs and a just transition
  • Investing in labour standards

The guidance is a living document that will benefit from lessons learned as more countries gain experience in mainstreaming decent work into their INFF process. Access the publication here