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Economic Strengthening & Employment

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Development at any level is impossible without work. At the heart of the matter is the essential nature of work for the human person as the opportunity not only to earn a living, but as an expression of one’s own fulfillment and a concrete contribution to the common good.

Starting from this principle, AVSI has designed initiatives to expand opportunities for meaningful work and strong livelihoods, especially for women and young people, economic strengthening for vulnerable children and their households, and for persons with disabilities.


The starting point for work

  • The discovery of each person’s inherent value and resources upon which he or she can build.
  • The important role of mentors in one’s personal and professional growth.
  • Concrete links with companies and potential employers to facilitate insertion into internships or employment.

Learning from experience

The models for these interventions are constantly being refined, building on the intelligence that comes from attention to experience in the field and systematic research, including market analysis and impact evaluations, including the innovative use of random-control-trial evaluation to identify the key components of effective and sustainable economic strengthening programs.


A.  Workforce development including through vocational training centers for market-based job training and job insertion, including for persons with disabilities, building strategic links with potential employers; basic and life-skills training, technical qualification and professional development; formalization of employment contracts; mentoring and on-the-job training. Includes creation of new course models and curriculum to be shared.

Brazil, Haiti, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Peru, Romania, RwandaUganda


B.  Economic strengthening of households and groups through savings and income generating activities.

Burundi, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Rwanda, Uganda


C.  Assistance for new, small and medium enterprises and cooperatives through start-up grants and technical assistance.

Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Peru, Uganda