Productivity ecosystems for decent work

Building on proven partnerships with the ILO that improve working conditions and productivity in companies in national and global supply chains: Addressing the root causes of low productivity through an integrated approach to enable inclusive growth and create decent jobs in the post-pandemic recovery.

Country/region Period Budget
South Africa
01.12.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  9’080’000

The decade following the global financial crisis has witnessed consistent decline in productivity growth, a development compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. This trend is of particular concern to emerging and developing economies. SMEs and companies in the informal sector have particularly fallen behind, while they make up two thirds of total global employment. Achieving a virtuous cycle between productivity and decent work is required if economic growth is to lead to poverty alleviation and prosperity. To create and strengthen this virtuous cycle, the Productivity ecosystems for decent work Programme (the Programme) is piloted with the ILO.


The Programme aims to address the root causes of low productivity and achieve lasting change by promoting capacity and ownership of local and national actors. The Programme therefore emphasises understanding and addressing productivity in an integrated manner – across the levels of enterprise, sector and national-level performance. The Programme will adopt the principles of systems thinking. Its interventions will build on evidence-based analysis and facilitate change by playing on the incentives and capabilities of key actors, rather than directly delivering change. It will increase the capacity of ILO constituents to formulate and implement national employment policies and frameworks with a focus on jobs, productivity, informality and working conditions. Ultimately, the Programme will contribute to SMEs benefitting from a favourable business environment and improved access to support functions and trade opportunities, in turn enabling inclusive growth and the creation of decent jobs.

Medium-term outcomes

Number of jobs created or retained (disaggregated by gender)

Number of persons benefiting from measures to improve working conditions (disaggregated by gender)

Number of policy initiatives to facilitate inclusive structural transformation

Number of policies or regulations developed, enacted or revised which support productivity growth and decent job creation as a result of Programme interventions

Number of initiatives to strengthen sector-level productivity drivers

Number of SMEs who have implemented measures to improve productivity and working conditions

Number and type of measures to promote equal access of women and men to jobs


Expected results:  

Number of public-private platforms established to support productivity enhancement and decent work creation

Number of policy decisions or implementation measures launched or overseen by the platforms

Number of national employment policy framework reports produced and implemented by stakeholders

Number of SMEs improving their access to local, regional or international markets

Number of initiatives facilitated by the Programme that improve value chain linkages

Number of business development service providers offering quality services on productivity improvements and decent job creation

Amount of additional funds mobilised by implementing partners on activities to support SME productivity and decent work

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’080’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    15’510’081
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)