The urban LIPW component created short-term employment opportunities in five major cities in Eastern DRC: Beni, Butembo, Goma, Bukavu and Bunia. Local NGOs – under the supervision of the FSRDC – offered temporary employment to implement activities such as road rehabilitation, street cleaning or garbage collection. In each of the cities, a sensitization campaign was launched to announce the program. The LIPW programs – implemented on a rolling basis – were designed to target the urban poor through two mechanisms: first, self-targeting based on the minimum wage and, second, geographic targeting of the most deprived neighborhoods in each of the five cities. Any resident from a targeted neighborhood was eligible to receive project benefits as long as he/she was willing to work for the set wage – the country’s minimum wage of 3USD a day – and apt for physical labor. As designed, the project offered all selected beneficiaries with a full-time work for around 4 months, paid at minimum wage (3USD/day) as well as soft-skills training (health at work, cooperation, etc.) aiming to prepare efficient teamwork.
In order to make the impact last, the project offered two additional activities: 1) an incentivized-savings scheme, and 2) a training program. The incentivized savings arm of the program contained the opening (if needed) of a savings account, at no cost to the beneficiary. Then, beneficiaries where incentivized to save US$ 1 a day (out of the 3$ pay) against a 1$ extra-pay, directly placed on the savings account and available only by the end of the LIPW. In other words, beneficiaries of the savings scheme chose between being paid 3$/day, every day, or 2$/day everyday plus 2$ per worked day (on an account) at the end of the contract. Beneficiaries of the training program arm, on the other hand, were trained by professional NGOs on specific skills right after the end of each LIPW project. The skills were chosen based on a market study of local economic conditions. Trainings mainly provided beneficiaries with new professional skills or business management techniques. Training days were paid as any workday (3USD) and so beneficiaries of this treatment arm theoretically also benefited from an extra-income.