Human security and a human rights-based approach to industrialization have special prominence in UNIDO’s programmatic activities in light of its inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) mandate, with a special focus on economic recovery in post-crisis situations.
The empowerment of communities in countries and regions emerging from crisis situations is addressed through UNIDO initiatives promoting post-crisis productive rehabilitation, reconstruction and sustainable livelihoods.
In post-conflict economies, the micro- and small-scale enterprises (MSEs) sector is an engine of growth, holding the key to socio-economic progress. The most significant constraints that the MSE sector confronts exist in the areas of technology, business management, vocational and technical skills, Business Development Services (BDS), entrepreneurial knowledge, and access to finance. These call for establishing an institutional support system capable of developing skilled human resources and providing services related to quality standards, marketing approaches and business culture. Moreover, as many MSEs have restricted access to the financial resources necessary to expand their capacities, they are unable to capitalize fully on increased market demands.
UNIDO’s approach is therefore to provide training on how to tap market potential, attract small investments and financing, and improve technical, business and management skills of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are to be assisted in finding ways to increase productivity and improve product quality standards to meet market demand on a continuous basis. More specifically, UNIDO assists business partners in building up a pool of professional skills in technical sectors and establishing competitive thinking among entrepreneurs to facilitate production and marketing.
UNIDO’s activities in this area focus on:
- Strengthening and rehabilitating vocational training systems to promote demand-oriented training programmes for vulnerable groups, which also instill an entrepreneurial culture.
- Upgrading of physical infrastructure and provision of modern equipment to vocational training systems.
- Establishing Outreach Training Programmes to target specific groups and remote target areas.
- Setting up enterprise-based technical vocational training programmes, involving the private sector.
- Fostering MSEs creation and expansion through facilitation of BDS, market linkages, micro finance schemes and business promotion.
These activities contribute to the restoration of livelihoods devastated by conflicts and natural disasters by creating economic opportunities for the affected populations.