fbpx 46154-001: Improving the Performance of Labor Markets in the Pacific | Asian Development Bank

Regional: Improving the Performance of Labor Markets in the Pacific

Sovereign (Public) Project | 46154-001 Status: Closed

The Midterm Review of Strategy 2020 commits the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expanding operations in education, with a focus on post-basic education, technical and vocational education and training, and higher education. The objective is to promote human capital development and the acquisition of the skills demanded by the market to improve employment prospects for the labor forces of developing member countries (DMCs), and increase resilience to economic shocks. This commitment is especially relevant to the Pacific, where human capacity development that enables productive, sustainable employment remains a significant challenge. The Pacific Approach, 2010 2014, which acts as ADB's country partnership strategy for the 10 smaller Pacific DMCs, highlights the particular need to involve women and youth in the development process to enable them to participate in the benefits of growth through increased employment and greater economic empowerment.

Project Details

Project Officer
Emma M. Veve Pacific Department Request for information
Country
  • Regional
Modality
  • Technical Assistance
Sector
  • Education
 
Project Name Improving the Performance of Labor Markets in the Pacific
Project Number 46154-001
Country Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8794-REG: Improving the Performance of Labor Markets in the Pacific
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 750,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Education / Non-formal education - Technical and vocational education and training - Tertiary

Public sector management / Social protection initiatives

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description

The Midterm Review of Strategy 2020 commits the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expanding operations in education, with a focus on post-basic education, technical and vocational education and training, and higher education. The objective is to promote human capital development and the acquisition of the skills demanded by the market to improve employment prospects for the labor forces of developing member countries (DMCs), and increase resilience to economic shocks. This commitment is especially relevant to the Pacific, where human capacity development that enables productive, sustainable employment remains a significant challenge. The Pacific Approach, 2010 2014, which acts as ADB's country partnership strategy for the 10 smaller Pacific DMCs, highlights the particular need to involve women and youth in the development process to enable them to participate in the benefits of growth through increased employment and greater economic empowerment.

The proposed technical assistance (TA) aims to improve labor market outcomes in the Pacific, including for women and youth, by supporting deeper analysis and understanding of labor markets, sharing knowledge on approaches that improve labor market performance, and promoting more collaborative approaches to developing and implementing labor market policies and programs. The TA complements ongoing economic policy TA, and seeks to strengthen labor market links to infrastructure and education sector operations in the Pacific.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Pacific labor markets are generally performing poorly. While there is considerable diversity among the 14 Pacific DMCs, there are examples across the region where unemployment and underemployment are both high, with a large proportion of the labor force engaged in subsistence activities; women's labor force participation is low; youth unemployment is high relative to other age groups; and the number of formal private sector jobs is limited. If these current challenging labor market conditions persist and recent population trends continue, the number of unemployed and underemployed people in the Pacific is likely to rise sharply in coming decades. Given the size of the regional labor force is expected to increase by about 45% to 9.6 million people by 2030, to avoid further increases in unemployment, nearly 1 million new formal sector jobs (an increase of 44% over current levels) need to be generated. This does not include providing formal jobs for a further 830,000 workers who will otherwise join the subsistence economy.

Poor labor market outcomes result from the interaction of many factors. Skills mismatches can lead to a gap between the supply of skilled workers and industry demand. Inappropriate labor market regulation may limit the demand for labor by constraining private sector development. Large informal sectors in many Pacific DMCs result in low levels of labor productivity; while higher levels of public sector employment may crowd out private sector employment. Gender stereotyping and other forms of discrimination may limit the participation of women and youth in labor markets. A growing number of young people have inadequate foundational capabilities, so are unable to find productive employment. Fragile situations in many Pacific DMCs compound the labor market challenge. In these countries, weak institutions, insufficient capacity, and social tension may undermine effective policy and program implementation.

There is a substantial body of ongoing and recently completed analysis on labor market issues in the Pacific. Information gaps will be assessed on a country-by-country basis. For example, in the case of Fiji, the TA will build on analytical work being undertaken by the Economics and Research Department. In two other Pacific DMCs, which will be selected during TA implementation, analytical work supported by the TA will be used to synthesize existing knowledge and data, and identify gaps. Key issues in labor market policy will be identified and supported through the preparation of action plans and establishment of multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Impact National development plans for Pacific DMCs systematically incorporate policies and programs to improve labor market performance
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Labor market policies and programs in participating Pacific DMCs are more evidence-based, collaboratively determined, and gender-focused
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Development of regional knowledge-sharing and analysis platform on Pacific labor markets

2. Analysis of labor market performance in selected Pacific DMCs

3. Development of and support for partnerships to improve labor market outcomes

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The TA's Project Coordinator/Researcher (National Consultant) commenced services on 16 Mar 2015. The Research Analyst (International Consultant), meanwhile, commenced services on 15 June 2015. Lastly, the International Labour Organization (team of consultants), commenced services on 20 June 2015.

Under output 2, the expected deliverables from the International Labour Organization are currently in progress. The case study on the impact of externally funded infrastructure projects on skills development and labor demand in PNG has been completed and will be processed into an ADB knowledge product. Activities to support greater regional cooperation under output 3 currently under preparation and will be completed as planned.

On 5 Aug 2016, a Change in Implementation Arrangements was approved to allow the engagement of a Technical Writer to assist in the production of high-quality knowledge products and web write-ups as outputs of workshops, consultations, and country assessments supported by the TA. The technical writer was engaged for a total of 40 working days from 12 Sep 2016 to 31 Jan 2017.

A key Knowledge Product output of the TA entitled "Promoting Skill Transfer for Human Capacity Development in Papua New Guinea" was made available online on ADB's website in April 2017. The link is: https://www.adb.org/publications/skill-transfer-human-development-png.

-The Project Coordinator and Researcher's contract was extended until 31 Aug 2017 to allow completion of deliverables.

-Consultants' contracts are now for CTL closing. Request to close the TA account will be sent to CTL once individual TA contracts are confirmed to be closed.

Geographical Location Regional
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA will require an estimated 40 person-months of consulting services (15 person-months of international and 25 person-months national). ADB will engage a consulting team following a fixed-budget method of selection using a simplified technical proposal. In addition, two individual consultants will be hired a project coordinator and a research analyst. The consultants will be engaged by ADB in accordance with the Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). Proceeds of the TA will be disbursed in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time).
Procurement None
Responsible ADB Officer Emma M. Veve
Responsible ADB Department Pacific Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban, Social Development & Public Management Division, PARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 21 Oct 2014
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 12 Dec 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Mar 2018

TA 8794-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2014 - 12 Dec 2014 31 Dec 2017 - -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 750,000.00 12 Dec 2014 541,944.84

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


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Tenders

No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Policy and Advisory Technical Assistance 8794 16 Jun 2015 International Labour Organization (Switzerland) 4 Route des Morillons, Geneva 22, Geneva CH1211, Switzerland Asian Development Bank 431,187.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.