Employment and Enterprise Development for Women and Youth


UNDP is helping to ensure that local investments can diversify and have access to different markets. Photo: Masrah Naseem/UNDP Maldives 2012.

The project focuses on strengthening opportunities for economic diversification and employment creation, and on creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to expand opportunities for integration of local livelihoods into the private sector and the tourism industry. The project aims to;

  • Develop a national framework on employment through assessments of labour needs and identification of priority areas.
  • Strengthen the employment opportunities available in the country’s largest industry, tourism, where a particular focus would be given to improve the employability and integration of women to the formal labour force of the tourism sector through improvement of labour standards and advocacy initiatives targeting the sector. 
  • Pave way for establishing a UN Global Compact local network in Maldives.
  • Support the Government to bring about legal reform in the trade sector following the gradation of Maldives to a Middle Income Country. This would involve supporting the Government in revising the existing Laws and Regulations governing the trade sector while also contributing to draft necessary new legislation in order to achieve broader reform to attract trade and investment to the country in the longer term.

Our Work

UNDP is helping ensure that small businesses are able to create more mutually beneficial employment opportunities. Photo: Masrah Naseem/UNDP Maldives 2012.

Helped facilitate market integration through continuous efforts to create and sustain market linkages between MSMEs and the private sector. Organized ‘Partnering 4 Development’ forums to promote business linkages, strengthen partnerships on CSR and environmental sustainability, and integrate these components into local livelihoods.

Supported the formulation of Tourism Employment Standard to ensure that the working conditions in tourism establishments are understood, comparable, measurable and form an incentive for engaging in long-term employment for both men and women.

Assisted Ministry of Economic Development (MED) in undertaking an SME impact assessment on their SME loan schemes with recommendations for future loan scheme planning.

UNDP supported MED to pilot Economic Policy Discussion Forums, telecasted on national television, to educate the general public on issues surrounding economic development.

Developed the Strategic Human Resource Plan for the Maldives Tourism Sector, drafting and developing a National Employment Action Plan framework, and supported Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators to come up with industry standards to strengthen service capacity of local tour operators and travel agents.

UNDP supported MED in providing technical assistance to revise a number of trade legislations while also supporting in drafting of new Bills such as the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill and Notarization Bill.

UNDP supported MED in developing a detailed Campaign Plan for the MSME sector.


TOTAL US$ 528,784
YEAR 2011
UNDP (TRAC funds) US$  176,158
YEAR 2012
UNDP (TRAC funds) US$ 194,335
YEAR 2013
UNDP (TRAC funds) US$ 148,000


YEAR 2011
UNDP US$ 176,158 (100%)
YEAR 2012
UNDP US$ 193,276.65 (99%)
YEAR 2013
UNDP US$ 146,000 (98.65%)
Project start date:
January 2011
Estimated end date:
December 2013
Geographic coverage:
Focus area:
Poverty Reduction
1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, and 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Programme Focal Point:
Athifa Ibrahim
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Marine Research Centre