Time of Event

Day 1: 13:00-15:30 Tokyo time
Day 2: 13:00-15:40 Tokyo time


The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to unprecedented employment losses, disproportionately affecting youth, women, migrant, and informal workers. Pandemic responses in many developing Asian economies have included massive cash transfer programs to stabilize household incomes and stimulate consumption. However, these programs are temporary crisis measures, while employment losses may be lengthy or permanent. Moreover, while income support can help low-skilled workers maintain a basic living standard, it cannot provide them with the skills needed to move to better quality work.

Active labor market programs focused on upskilling, reskilling, and on-the-job training could enhance the income generating potential of the unemployed or underemployed and accelerate pandemic recovery, but these programs are vastly underutilized in the region. In addition, it is often difficult for the poor to join skill-building programs due to work and family obligations.

Organized by ADBI and the Asian Development Bank’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, this virtual conference featured policy papers focusing on skills and labor market programs that could boost decent work and support pandemic recovery in Asia and the Pacific.

  • Examine the fiscal challenges of supporting pandemic-affected workers and active labor market programs’ potential to boost upskilling and the availability of better jobs
  • Build knowledge and capacity among government officials to formulate policies that promote quality work for vulnerable pandemic-affected groups
  • Explore inclusive labor programs that could support COVID-19 recovery efforts in Asia
Target Participants
  • Greater understanding of active labor market programs
  • Knowledge sharing, enhanced dialogue, and networking to facilitate policy design for enhancing active labor market programs in Asia that could support pandemic recovery
  • Policy papers featured during the conference will be considered for publication as ADBI policy briefs or possible inclusion in a special journal issue or book

Event Contact