UNDP fosters partnerships to enable deprived households to improve skills. This helps people to diversify non-farm activities and increase access to credit, financial services and markets. We also support initiatives that help the poor develop livelihood plans in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, land resource development, rural tourism and handicrafts. Through our unique role as a facilitator, broker and knowledge leader, we aim to strengthen institutional linkages between enterprises and skills training providers, and to identify synergies between national programmes and missions to help marginalized groups gain access to sustainable skills, jobs, livelihoods and productive assets. Efforts also aim at addressing the challenge of financial inclusion through a range of financial products and services that reduce the vulnerability of the poor. Empowering women remains a key area of intervention. We also focus on addressing structural aspects of education, training and economic sectors in order to overcome the legal, social and economic blockades that prevent the realization of inclusive growth.
Formalizing the informal economy: Livelihood missions
The challenge of livelihoods remains acute in India, but the rapid growth trajectory offers opportunities for socio-economic empowerment, productive skilling, jobs and entrepreneurship for several social groups to make inclusive growth a reality. We focus on addressing structural aspects of education and training to address institutional, legal and socio-economic barriers to inclusive growth by creating scalable integrated development solutions, and confronting the barriers faced by women and girls in the economic sector. We foster partnerships between state institutions and the private sector to enable deprived households to improve skills. This helps people move to non-farm activities and increases access to credit, financial services, and markets. Initiatives that help the poor develop livelihood plans in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, land resource development, rural tourism and handicrafts are also encouraged.
Empowering women through partnerships
UNDP aims to advance social inclusion by promoting positive relationships among men and women, different groups and individuals within communities so that all identify with and belong to a community. For women in India, the challenge is particularly complex. Forty-nine percent of the poor are women and 96 percent of the women work in the informal economy. Project Disha, a partnership between the India Development Foundation and UNDP, supported by the IKEA Foundation, demonstrates a new modality of public-private partnership for skill-building, creating employment and entrepreneurial security for women. The project shows a replicable model that could provide women and girls with the skills and knowledge that will help them secure employment or start their own businesses. Not only has Disha been able to economically empower women, it is also able to break the social stigma surrounding employment of women. Nearly 1 million women have been positively impacted through Disha, and we aspire to increase its reach even further.