In depth

UNDP fosters partnerships to help disadvantaged households improve their skills. This helps people to diversify non-farm activities and increases access to financial services, and markets. We also support initiatives that help the poor develop alternate livelihoods in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, land resource development, rural tourism, and handicrafts. Through our unique role as a facilitator, 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 and livelihoods. Efforts are also aimed at solving the issue of financial inclusion by providing a variety of financial products and services that lessen the vulnerability of the poor. Empowering women and addressing structural aspects of education, training, and economic sectors to overcome the legal, social, and economic blockades that limit inclusive growth remain key areas of intervention.

Promoting Sustainable Local Livelihood 

The issue of livelihoods remains significant in India. The country's high growth trajectory provides prospects for socioeconomic empowerment, productive skilling, jobs, and entrepreneurship for a diverse range of 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 in the economic sector. We promote cooperation between government agencies and the private sector to help poor households develop and improve their skills. This helps people move to non-farm activities and increases access to credit, financial services, and markets. We also support intiatives that assist the underprivileged in developing livelihood strategies in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, land resource development, rural tourism and handicrafts.

Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment 

UNDP aims to promote social inclusion through fostering positive relationships between men and women, as well as between different groups and individuals within communities, so that everyone experiences a sense of belonging. For women in India, the challenge is particularly complex. About 49% of the poor are women and 96% of women work in the informal economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on the women workforce resulting in job and income losses. However, projects like Disha - a partnership between the India Development Foundation, IKEA Foundation and UNDP, have demonstrated the long-term positive change such a public-private partnership can bring in the lives of women, in India. Under Disha, 1 million women were helped to become economically self-sufficient through training, employment and entrepreneurial skill development. 

Nurturing Youth Development & skilling 

Youth development is one of the core tenets of our work. We believe that young people are no longer just the beneficiaries of progress but are the drivers of change and prosperity. This is strongly reflected through regional programmes such as Youth Co:Lab and Movers that are being implemented in India. UNDP's interventions focus on holistic economic development of youth through its myriad of policy and programmatic activities. Through national and state level innovation challenges with government agencies young people with social enterprises are identified and supported. Regional and national experiences and lessons are now being customized for state interventions such as in Karnataka. Through the education to work transition model, youth are provided with career guidance and counselling, 21st century skills, apprenticeship, and employment opportunities. UNDP has developed learning resources and curriculum that are publicly available for young people to utilise. 

Green Recovery & Resilience 

As countries continue their economic recovery efforts from COVID-19, it is crucial to focus on building resilient and sustainable communities. In this context, accelerating green jobs in societies becomes an important element of the green recovery process. UNDP along with its partners aims to contribute towards increasing resilience among farmers, especially women, to combat the loss of livelihoods due to COVID-19, focusing on capacity building and sustainable livelihood options. UNDP’s recent scoping study on green jobs and eco-entrepreneurship suggests that there are significant opportunities to nurture entrepreneurship and generate employment in the electric mobility and clean energy sectors. However, one of the central challenges to accelerate the green job sector is the shortage of skilled personnel. Towards this end, UNDP’s focuses on identifying green jobs-based roles and provide training and skill development to women and youth.

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