South Asian Labour and Employment Report: Promoting Inclusive Growth
The majority of South Asian workers have low-paying jobs with no social protection. South Asian workers, especially women and lower caste workers, face precarious employment in the informal sector, insecure livelihoods, and lack skills. Rapid economic growth in South Asia has failed to generate good jobs for its fast-growing labour force. The region needs to add 12 million jobs a year to provide employment to a new generation of young workers. This project aims to create a South Asian labour network of institutes and scholars to prepare two main reports. The 2014 India Employment Report and the 2015 South Asian Employment Report will present policy options to promote growth and employment. Researchers will document and review evidence on labour and social protection policies in the region-specifically, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The reports will strive to find ways to reduce the vulnerability of workers, enhance social protection, and increase quality of employment with sound industrial and social protection policies. The reports will feed into policy forums in the countries involved. The project will also build a database on labour indicators and capacity for labour research. This will be done through a competitive call for young researchers and training on labour methodologies for junior faculty. More specifically, the research team will aim to: -create a network of like-minded institutions working on labour issues in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; -create a system to track knowledge on the state of employment, labour markets, social exclusion, and social protection in South Asia; -consolidate empirical research on economic growth and employment quality; -share the information and research findings with national policymakers and regional organizations; and, -enhance the capacity for labour research in national research institutions through training and guided research. The Institute for Human Development (IHD) will coordinate the India and South Asian reports and policy forums, the regional database, and capacity-building activities. IHD is well-recognized by Indian and other South Asian partners as a natural hub for labour-related issues. It will build on its current role of managing the annual meetings of the Indian Society of Labour Economics and the publication of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics. IHD will work with the South Asian offices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the International Labour Organization, and several national institutions in South Asia.