Whilst the EIS (2017-21) sought to address inequalities that arise from gender as well as inherent characteristics such as place of birth and socio-economic background, the Equality of Opportunity Strategy (EOS 2021-25) recognises that factors that lead to inequality of opportunity can change throughout a person’s life – shaped by external events such as long term stressors and shocks, as well as by changing social norms, biases and legal frameworks. These factors overlap and intersect across gender, place of birth or residence, age, disability, skills types and levels, displacement or migration status, sexual orientation and identity, as well as life events triggered by other external factors. Tackling the resulting inequalities requires a broader focus on developing and preserving human capital at an individual, company and market level. The expanded approach introduced by the EOS enables the EBRD to better target its activities in line with the specific challenges and needs of people, companies and countries across its region, and thereby enhances the relevance of its contribution and overall impact towards promoting equality of opportunity.
Examples of EBRD’s expanding reach across a broader set of target groups include:
EBRD’s investment in Majid Al Futtaim in Egypt supported the establishment of an on-site ‘Almaza Recruitment and Training Centre’ as part of a retail centre, delivering accredited training programmes and employability support to young people and people with disabilities in line with the skills needs of tenant retailers, restaurants and other services providers. The programme was launched with virtual training features in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a first of its kind project for the EBRD, an investment with Spar in Poland is designed to address inclusion gaps for older workers. The project introduces a new certified training programme tailored to the needs of the ageing workforce. It includes inter-generational mentorships and trainings focused on change management in retail with short modules on digital skills, customer service and financial literacy where skills gaps are largest.
EBRD is supporting the construction of a wastewater network in 15 towns in West Irbid in Jordan, while opening up new skills and employment opportunities for refugees as well as the local Jordanian host community. Through the introduction of inclusive procurement policies and practices Jordan’s national water authority has been empowered to engage private sector contractors to train and hire locally.