Fragility has become one of the signature concepts in international development and peacebuilding circles over the past two decades. In many ways, it represents the latest iteration of a security paradigm shaped by the centrality of human rights, and revolving around concepts such as human security, civilian protection, and the responsibilities of states to guarantee the basic rights of individuals residing on their territories.
In this context, the ILO’s Employment Policy and Partnerships and Field Support departments, through the Fragile States and Disaster Response (FSDR) Group, began a collaborative reflection process with the CCDP in August 2014. The overall aim of this exercise was to stimulate constructive debate and knowledge exchange over the role and activities of the “world of work” in fragile settings.
The research team conducted extensive consultations with ILO staff members, government representatives, development partners, UN agencies, the private sector and other societal actors. In parallel, drafts of the main deliverable, “Employment and Decent Work in Fragile Settings: A Compass to Orient the World of Work”, was widely circulated for review and feedback. The publication was launched by an event of the Geneva Peace Week on 19 November 2015, featuring the Deputy General Secretary of the Secretariat of g7+ and the ILO’s Special Adviser on Labour Market Institutions and Governance.
The report offers analytical orientation to make sense of fragility from the perspective of employment and decent work activities. Destined for practitioners across the world of work, it proposes a brainstorming instrument with which to swiftly zoom out from specific programming technicalities in order to capture the wider picture. The “fragility compass” is meant to complement a variety of existing, data-driven indexes and models by: (1) looking into the merit of the concept of fragility and its applicability with regard to interventions targeting employment and decent work; (2) exploring and elaborating on the factors and triggers that drive fragility in specific programming contexts, as well as on the possible range of employment and decent work interventions and collaborative responses these might require; and (3) providing analytical orientation as a quick, pragmatic brainstorming aid in the areas of employment and decent work in fragile settings.
Multi-year research funding for in-depth field analyses of specific programming contexts is currently being pursued.
The report can be accessed here.