Recognising Heterogeneity: A Proposed Typology for Public Works Programmes
This paper highlights the diversity of the Public Works concept and the implications of this diversity for effective social protection programming. The paper outlines the heterogeneity of programmes currently implemented under the broad terminology of Public Works and the conceptual confusion that arises as a result of the use of the generic term Public Works Programme (PWP) to describe a range of highly diverse programmes without making adequate distinction between the different forms, together with the programming errors which ensue from this conceptual confusion. One particularly egregious result of this lack of clarity is the repeated implementation of PWPs offering only a single short term episode of employment in low and middle income countries where unemployment is principally structural, an intervention which is unlikely to offer significant or sustained social protection benefits for participants. In an attempt to address to this problem, a typology of PWPs is presented to provide a framework for a more systematic and insightful engagement with PWPs, which links PWP form to likely social protection outcomes in differing labour market contexts.
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