Are cash-for-work programmes good for local economic growth? The case of donor-funded public works for refugees and nationals in Jordan

This article investigates whether public works / cash for work (CfW) programmes contribute to economic growth locally, beyond benefits paid to participants, especially in contexts of flight and migration. Based on quantitative and qualitative research conducted in Jordan, it affirms that CfW substantially promotes economic growth through multiplier effects since CfW participants spend most income locally. Some programmes in Jordan improve also the employability of their participants, which, however, does not transform into higher employment rates because the Jordanian labour market is extremely tight. Finally, the programmes empower women by easing labour-market access and – though not irrevocably – changing gender roles.