BY MAYA GAINER, ALISON DECKER, DEBOLEENA RAKSHIT, SAKSHAM KHOSLA, YIFAN POWERS, AND SARAH SASSOON
Maya Gainer, Alison Decker, Deboleena Rakshit, Saksham Khosla, Yifan Powers, and Sarah Sassoon are MA students in the International Development program and the editors of the 2019 issue of SAIS Perspectives.
The theme of this year’s issue of SAIS Perspectives is “Work in a Changing World.”
Automation, new technologies, and the globalization of trade and supply chains are dramatically changing the types of jobs available, where they are located, and the skills needed to fill them. Demographic shifts—increasing female labor force participation, the “youth bulge” in developing countries, and aging populations in wealthy countries—are transforming the global workforce. Climate change is fundamentally reshaping agricultural livelihoods. In many countries, the informal sector provides far more jobs than formal employment. Two billion people affected by state fragility and conflict have to find ways to provide for themselves in unstable environments.
These changes present both risks and opportunities and will test policymakers’ ability to respond effectively to a new global landscape. This issue of SAIS Perspectives will explore how people have adapted to the changing nature of work, where they have struggled, and the tools policymakers can use to help.
How can governments most effectively assist those struggling to find work? What policies can ensure that workers have the necessary skills for today’s labor market?How should governments balance labor and environmental protections with competitiveness? What interventions have successfully promoted sustainable employment and livelihoods under challenging conditions, and what lessons can we learn from those that have failed?
This issue touches everyone, everywhere. We are interested in your perspective on work and livelihoods in a time of rapid global change.
PHOTO CREDIT: Irene Riviera Calderon