The world faces a growing employment crisis. Today, roughly 200 million are jobless — most of them women and young people in the developing world — and there is a need to provide 600 million more jobs by 2020.
“It’s a huge problem,” Roland Michelitsch, chief results measurement specialist at the International Finance Corp., noted in an interview with Devex President and Editor-in-chief Raj Kumar on the sidelines of the European Development Days 2013 in Brussels.
Michelitsch has recently led a study that looks at how the private sector contributes to job growth in the developing world. Findings indicate several constraints to job growth: weak investment climate, poor infrastructure, limited access to finance — especially among small and medium-sized enterprises — and inadequate training and skills among entrepreneurs and workers.
To stem the crisis, he stressed the need for local and international actors working in developing countries to have a job lens. He said that aside from constraints to private sector-led growth, this would entail identifying sectors that can be competitive and offer a major potential for increasing employment.
“Very often you need to work, for example, with the procurement office to see which of the supplies can be sourced locally,” Michelitsch said. “How can I get quality standards up, how can I work with local entrepreneurs to develop their skills, get them financing and so on so they can actually take advantage of these opportunities?”
Click on the above video for more insights on how IFC-led activities fit into the reorganized World Bank structure.
Devex was at the European Development Days 2013. Check out our coverage of Europe’s leading global development event of the year.