Réseau universitaire international de Genève
Geneva International Academic Network

Français | English
Homepage > Research > Projects > Long Description

Strengthening the Employment and Related Socio-Economic Dimensions in Response to Conflict and Natural Disaster Situations

Annual Call for Projects 2003


This project will analyse the employment and related social and economic aspects of armed conflict, socio-economic crises and natural disasters. It aims to provide a better understanding of the challenges for sustainable development and more equitable social relations, in light of the social disintegration, deterioration of employment and impoverishment that accompany various types of crises.

Employment and job creation is becoming an essential ingredient of any crisis response programme , a fact that experience has highlighted in many crisis contexts and diverse crises types such as those in Sierra Leone and Sudan (civil war), in Angola and Afghanistan (post-conflict), in Uruguay and Vietnam (socio-economic crisis) or in Central America and Indonesia (natural disasters). This field manifestly needs further studying. With the contribution of the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN), the Crisis Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO IFP/Crisis) and the Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS) initiated this research endeavour with representatives of several international and non-governmental organisations, as well as academic institutions and other crisis specialists. The representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), University of Geneva (Unige), Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS), the Business Humanitarian Forum (BHF) and the other members of this project team acknowledge the large potential and urgent need for expanding the focused knowledge base and adopting new methodologies.

This research project pursues a twofold objective. It looks at creating a stronger knowledge base on the neglected field of employment and other social and economic dimensions of armed conflicts, socio-economic crises and natural disasters, allowing for employment issues to be granted greater salience in crisis-related research within the Geneva research community as well as elsewhere. Furthermore, such research outcomes will go a long way towards sharpening the ILO in its crisis response function and ensuring that all concerned actors - national and international - are able to incorporate the employment and related socio-economic dimensions in their responses to crises.

This will require further development of the knowledge base and new methodologies, incorporation of lessons learned, and a wider dissemination of knowledge and information among policy-makers, programme managers, implementers, researchers and other concerned persons and institutions at the national and international level. Building upon several sets of data and acquired field experience, the present project relates to three pre-selected high priority areas for research, and is confined to those most relevant to armed conflict, socio-economic crises and natural disaster situations. A regional breakdown will be applied to ensure a global geographical coverage of the research. The project will analyse:

• Vulnerable populations' coping behaviours and strategies: Research is urgently needed on the coping behaviour of individuals and communities in the face of loss of livelihoods or social exclusion. Such knowledge could be used to appropriately strengthen their coping capacities through targeted policies and programmes, ensuring that mainstream policies and programmes for economic revival incorporate their needs and do not bypass them.

• Collective security and early warning systems on employment and related socio-economic indicators: Early warning systems focusing on employment and related variables are urgently required to ensure that this dimension of crisis is tackled as early as possible. This involves research on which variables to track and how best to obtain the required data. Closely allied to this is the need not only to develop instruments for monitoring the onset of conflicts and disasters, but, equally important, to progress in collectively addressing them.

• The private sector within crisis contexts: While several studies exist on the topic of the role of the private sector in crises, there is a need for more analysis of the different concrete roles played by the private sector, as well as potential roles, such as in promoting reconciliation and recovery through employment creation programmes. Studies will be undertaken to analyse the major initiatives of international and national corporate sector entities to build peace and promote reconciliation and recovery through employment promotion measures.

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 190,000

> See shorter summary

Project Team

Ms Eugenia Date-Bah , Principal Member, International Labour Organisation (ILO) .

Ms Alessandra Fioravanti-Levy , Principal Member, School of Translation and Interpreting (ETI) , University of Geneva (Unige) .

Related News

Related Conferences

International research consultation on
"Decent Work in Response to Crises" The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Graduate Institute of...
> more

Research Output

Strengthening Employment in Response to Crises, Synthesis Report and Case Studies
(available in English only)
> more
Employment in Response to Crises: An Analytical Report of the Research Project “Strengthening Employment in Response to Crises”
(available in English only)
> more
Guidelines for Employment in Crises
(available in English only)
> more