Decent Rural Employment

Data and knowledge

In many developing countries, accurate socio-economic data on employment-related aspects is scarce, and existing data typically remains of low quality. Yet, policy-makers depend on rigorous evidence to adequately address the challenges that prevent decent rural employment promotion, thus allowing for a prioritization of concrete interventions.

Sustainable rural development interventions must aim to increase decent work opportunities, ensure access to social protection, guarantee safe working conditions, advance gender equality and eliminate child labour. To achieve this, the collection and diffusion of detailed socio-economic information at local, regional and national levels is necessary to increase understanding on the key issues faced by millions of rural workers across the globe. Yet, the common lack of disaggregated data (e.g. by gender and age) as well as insufficient adaptation of analytical tools to the specific contexts of rural and agrarian economies frequently results in the creation of inadequate employment and labour indicators.

The role of FAO:

FAO works closely with the ILO, academia and other partners, including the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to improve international efforts for data collection and analysis on decent rural employment. In particular, FAO works to:

  • Promote the collection and use of solid statistics and analysis on rural labour markets, employment trends and migration flows. In doing so, FAO acknowledges the need for sector-specific studies; and for producing data and analysis that capture differentiated impacts by gender and age.
  • Increase understanding of rural labour markets and employment patterns, including informality and seasonal work. FAO analyses and evaluates the labour impacts of agricultural and rural development interventions in varying contexts through mixed methods and in-depth country case studies, as well as cross-country analyses for selected themes.
  • Facilitate the dissemination of evidence on good policies, interventions and practices. Through tailored policy support and the collection of good practices, FAO encourages the replication and adaptation of successful interventions across the globe.