The Impact of Public Work Programs (PWPs) on Employment Creation, Poverty Reduction and Addressing Inequality in Namibia

What is the project about?

   Women who previously participated in PWP attending a consultative Focus Group Discussion at Mutikitila Village in the Caprivi region. Photo - UNDP

Although there have been few cases where public works have been used as a social protection tool in Namibia since 1990, it has been mostly considered as a response to recurrent humanitarian crises such as drought and floods. There have been thus little evidence attesting to the effectiveness of public works in meeting the national objectives of job creation, poverty reduction, addressing inequality and reinforcing the existing social protection system. This project was in line with the National Poverty Reduction Action Programme (Action 40). Action 40 stipulated that the government was going to establish a statutory, representative organisation known as the Namibian Labour Based Works Forum to oversee the harmonisation of the range of labour –intensive public works programmes to ensure that they operate in a coordinated and efficient manner. This could include sharing of funding for Labour Based Works (LBW) across the relevant ministries, as well as investigating into the use of LBWs for road maintenance and housing construction areas.

It is on this basis that the scope of this project was much placed on the effectiveness of PWPs in addressing poverty and unemployment in Namibia focusing on labour based roads construction in the North and North Eastern regions of the country. The project was undertaken in form of a survey that was took place in Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Zambezi region. The survey was aimed at carrying out in-depth and focused discussion analysis on the impact of PWPs in contributing to poverty reduction, including through increasing employment for the rural communities particularly among women and youth. The result of the study was thus aimed at supporting some of the evidence based mechanism of advising policy markers so as to influence policy direction for the addressing of poverty and unemployment in Namibia in line with the goals of National Development Plan 4.

What have we accomplished?

On the impact of labour based works, the project has created significant baseline information that will have potential at influencing future policies and strategies of government towards mitigation against poverty particularly in rural areas.

Furthermore, the Namibian Rural Development Policy (2012), implemented by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, was conceived after the realization of a perpetuation of numerous developmental challenges that includes among others: poor coordination of rural development interventions; insufficient infrastructure facilities and services provision in rural areas; limited ownership and community participation in rural development interventions; and limited access roads and poor transport systems in rural areas. 

Who finances the project?

Donor Amount in USD
UNDP Poverty Thematic Trust Fund (PTTF) 100,000.00