The ILO-OFID Partnership Programme
The ILO and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID) have forged a partnership to address workplace health and safety policies and programmes in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. This partnership aims to build the capacity of government Ministries, employers’ and workers’ organizations to develop and implement enabling HIV and TB policies and programmes. The policies and programmes would support the establishment of a healthy workforce in a safe, healthy and decent work environment.
The OFID-ILO Partnership Programme aims to create an enabling environment to protect employment rights of people living with HIV and other vulnerable populations, and build country capacities and responses through a two-pronged approach of:
1. Development of national and sectoral tripartite HIV workplace policies reflecting human rights, gender equity, and non-discrimination, based on International Labour Standard: Recommendation 200.
2. Building government, employers’ and workers’ capacity and develop enterprise level workplace policies and programmes for key economic sectors.
- 12 sectoral national tripartite HIV workplace policies have been developed in 8 countries, in addition to a national HIV workplace policy.
- Reaching over 1.6 million beneficiaries in 12 countries:
5 in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone;
7 In Americas: Bolívia, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay.
Specific beneficiaries are government officials from Ministries of Education, Fishery, Labour, Manufacturing Industry, Maritime Industry, Mining, Postal Service, Rubber Plantation sector, Tourism, and Transport; representatives of national and sectoral employers’ organizations and workers’ trade unions; associations of people living with HIV; key national university faculty and students; and major civil society organizations in countries working on HIV matters.
Key substantive impacts and sustainability built
The Programme demonstrated the value and cost-efficiency of workplace contribution to national HIV responses, from evidence-based national policy adoption, to individual treatment adherence and behavioural change. The value-added of the OFID-ILO Partnership Programme lies in the following factors:
- The tripartite plus network, which is unique in the entire United Nations system. The ILO is the only United Nations entity that is formed with not only government Ministries, but with employers’ as well as workers’ organizations to enable mutually reinforcement in actions, once a joint agreement has been reached. This is additional to engaging networks of people living with HIV.
- The social dialogue approach, which enabled all parties, on the equal-footing, to jointly discuss matters of common concern to reach mutually agreed actions.
- The Public-Private Partnership is a normative tool of the ILO that brings the strengths from both sides to benefit the people in the countries, most of whom are workers contributing to national economy. The benefits extended to the communities surrounding the workplace interventions.
- The solidarity philosophy of the trade unions and its collective bargaining power.
This OFID-ILO Partnership Programme, additionally, has been able to build sustainability, in terms of capacity building, knowledge creation, and continued transmission of knowledge, by engaging:
- National Universities whereby the academics acquired the research methodology, analysis and reporting skills thus able to continuously pass onto future generations of professionals.
- The participatory and consultative policy development process, creates trust and respect among previously antagonistic groups and fostered cooperation for peace and nation building. This process, once acquired by constituents and key stakeholders in the participating countries, could be applied to other sectors for a joint policy development process, for the benefit of the country.