A Path to Jobs for the Urban Poor

A rapidly urbanizing world presents enormous economic opportunities for the poor and vulnerable but also presents significant barriers to their economic inclusion. About two thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in urban centers by 2050, with nearly 90 percent of this increase in Asia and Africa. Section two is a summary of the urban context and challenges. Section three then describes a framework for fostering urban economic inclusion, and section four examines the current landscape of economic inclusion programs, starting with the policy impetus driving their emergence. Section 5 turns to the case for scaling up urban programs by synthesizing evidence on costs and impacts. Section 6 draws conclusions. This note draws heavily on the framework and analysis provided in The State of Economic Inclusion (SEI) Report 2021: the potential to scale (Andrews et al. 2021), especially the PEI 2020 Landscape and Costing Surveys, an updated World Bank portfolio (2021) review, and an updated review of impact evaluations of urban economic inclusion programs.