The future of work

Businesswoman using mobile smartphone online to social network with connect to global cyber net.

At a glance

Since the beginning of the 21st century, megatrends such as globalisation, digitalisation, climate change and demographic development have accelerated the transformation of global economic structures. Digitalisation plays a important role in this process, as the enormous growth in global computing power, transmission capacities and networks is influencing the way we work – and fundamentally changing the world of work in the partner countries of German development cooperation. Technological change is leading to new working and business models that did not exist before, or did not exist in this form, and is thus bringing about major structural changes in the labour market.

These developments create both opportunities and challenges and raise crucial questions that the project addresses: How can the digital transformation of the economy and labour market be shaped to create more and better jobs? How can the necessary skills be acquired that are required for the digital world of work? What opportunities do these new forms of employment offer for women and socially vulnerable groups? What must the social security systems of the future look like? And how can decent working conditions and basic labour and social standards be ensured in the digital service sector and the platform economy?


  • Digital labour platforms have become central cornerstones of the new world of work, both in terms of location-based and cloud-based activities. Through them, local services such as taxi services and food delivery can be offered, or platforms can act as a marketplace for competitive programming, competitive design or simple click work.


On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the GIZ project “Future of Work” of the fund “Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development” advises partner countries of German Development Cooperation (DC) on the opportunities and risks of the future of work. The project supports the exchange of knowledge and experience between government, academic and civil society actors through dialogue-based activities at three levels.

National dialogue

Within the framework of comprehensive country studies, trends and developments in two partner countries (India, Rwanda) are identified and analysed, and possible scenarios for the future of work are developed in order to use the potential for more and better jobs and to develop cross-sectoral strategies.

Regional and supra-regional dialogue

In cooperation with representatives of governments, the private sector, trade unions and other social groups, peer learning activities are organised to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between partner countries in Africa and Asia.

International dialogue

Based on the regional activities and the results of the country studies, close cooperation with international organisations is promoted in order to establish the “future of work” as a central topic on the international agenda and to contribute to the development of common positions.

ILO Podcast Serie

The ILO Podcast Series: “Global challenges – Global solutions: The future of work” presents a range of topics at the intersection of employment and digitalisation, such as the role of big data, opportunities for inclusion and employment of young people, algorithm management and the digital divide.

Listen to The Podcast

Future of ITeS in Rwanda

Rwanda is undergoing major demographic and structural changes: 62% of Rwandan workers are still rural dwellers, working on farms, but this is fast changing. Every day, youths migrate to cities in search of better jobs. For them, the service economy has long been the largest harbour, and today’s technologies are changing many urban service jobs beyond recognition. What developments can be expected in the rwandan service sector and what are important future industries? The video “Future of ITeS in Rwanda” presents possible scenarios and gives recommendations for political decision-makers.

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A Digital Future of Work – Scenarios for India

Which digital trends can be observed in India’s labour market and which scenarios an increasing digitalization and rapid structural changes may pose for the future of India’s work? The video ‘A Digital Future of Work – Scenarios for India’ summarises the findings of the scenario study and presents recommendations for action for political decision-makers.

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Further Information