DFID’s Economic Development Strategy sets out a vision for lasting progress from ‘creating productive jobs for women and men that generate rising economic returns and improving working conditions’. The strategy highlights DFID’s ambition to promote inclusive growth through job creation, and to focus on creating jobs for those who are poor and marginalised and operating in the informal economy.

The construction sector in DFID focus countries is important in both economic and employment terms, and continues to grow in size. The sector is labour-intensive, currently employs more than 70 million workers in DFID countries of focus (around 7.6 per cent of total employment), and is expected to continue to expand. There is also low but growing participation of women (11.2 per cent).

The objective of this report is to answer the following four questions across DFID’s focus countries:

  • What proportion of the [national] workforce is employed in the construction industry in DFID focus countries?
  • What is the nature of construction industry employment in DFID focus countries, e.g. conditions, regularity of work, employment of women and children, safety, etc.?
  • What are the barriers to, and opportunities for, scaling up quality employment2 [for workers resident in the country / region] in the construction industry in DFID focus countries?
  • Would investing in strengthening the construction industry and creating / improving the quality of jobs in the construction industry create good Value for Money (VfM) for UK Aid?