Inclusive Markets & Value Chains

A Systemic approach to more and better jobs

To ensure that markets and value chains benefit everyone, there is a need to go beyond “traditional” value chain interventions and to apply a more proactive and systemic approach that generates more and better jobs.

The Inclusive Markets and Value Chains (IM) team in the SME unit works on the wider system of rules, regulations and supporting functions surrounding value chains and markets, to identify and efficiently address the root causes of why problems exist in the first place. Based on the lessons learned by the ILO Lab project (2014-2020), the team uses a systemic approach to understand how a market or a value chain functions in its context, why it might not be serving the needs of a certain target group, and how its deeply rooted constraints can be addressed to promote decent work.
The objective is to achieve an impact that is:  


Working with - public and private stakeholders, projects design and facilitate improved ways of working, which create more opportunities for workers and the smallest enterprises in value chains and markets (job creation) and strive to address the productivity and decent work deficits impeding their social development (job improvement).


Changes in public and private actors’ behaviours continue to drive change long after the end of projects because interventions are aligned to actors’ incentives and capacities.


When deep-rooted constraints are removed to foster more inclusive and better functioning value chains, indirect actors replicate newly designed ways of working. This mainstreams change across the sector - rather than having an impact only generated for the actors who worked directly with the project.

Our work

The Inclusive Markets and Value Chains team supports ILO’s work in achieving more systemic impact by applying the Market System Development approach to a wide diversity of sectors. Our two main areas of work are the following:

  1. Creating more and better jobs in markets and value chains

    Using the market systems development approach for decent work, the team aims to drive sustainable change in value chains to promote more and better jobs.

  2. A systemic approach to refugee and host community livelihoods

    Developed in collaboration with UNHCR, the AIMS approach combines “push” and “pull” interventions to support refugees and host communities livelihood in forced displacement setting.

Closely linked and often part of our work is ILOs work on entrepreneurship eco-systems and tools as well as women economic empowerment strategies.