Efficiency savings

Savings and efficiencies have been a central feature of all ILO’s programme and budget documents for over a decade. These savings have permitted the substantial transfer of resources – with no budgetary increase – from administration and support functions to the technical work and services from which constituents directly benefit. Between 2014 and 2018, the accumulated value of the reform and efficiency gains totaled some $58 million, including the redeployment of over 66 positions in the Professional category to strengthen technical work.

In parallel, the regular budget has absorbed an increasing level of additional costs, ranging from US$10 million to US$15 million per year. Measures have been taken in particular to strengthen staff development, audit and evaluation, to reinforce financial reporting, to apply best practice approaches to accountability and ethics, to comply with increasing standards for security, to set aside resources for the renovation of ILO buildings and to meet the increased costs of the UN resident coordinator system.

Overview of biennial efficiency savings


  • Re-profiling and redeployments from the Management and Reform portfolio: US$1.9 million
  • Re-profiling of staff development provision: US$ 1.4 million
  • Removal of unassigned resources previously used for technical meetings: US$ 0.4 million
  • Reductions in travel support costs: US$ 0.4 million
  • Reductions in RBTC provisions within the Policy portfolio: US$ 0.3 million
  • Re-profiling and grading of positions within the Policy portfolio: US$0.2 million

Savings total: US$4.6 million (in constant 2018-19 US$)

Source: Programme and Budget for 2020–21 - Programme of work and results framework, page 89; Programme and Budget for the biennium 2020-21


  • Redeployment of resources from management, administrative and support services to front-line analytical and technical ones that directly deliver value to member States, including the creation of the equivalent of 26.5 new positions in the Professional category: US$15 million

Savings total: US$15 million (in constant 2016-17 US$)

Source: Programme and Budget for the biennium 2018-19, pages  iii and 6.


  • Conversion of managerial positions to technical positions: US$6 million
  • Reductions in the number of administrative positions: US$3.1 million
  • Reprofiled/redeployed positions/streamlining of General Service positions: US$3.7 million
  • Conversion of general service positions to technical positions: US$3.7 million
  • Redeployed non-staff expenditure: US$7.8 million
  • Savings from new travel policy for Governing Body members: US$0.5 million

Savings total: US$24.8 million (in constant 2014-15 US$)

Source:Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2016-17, pages 4-5.


  • Reduction in the duration of the March programme and budget session of the Governing Body: US$0.5 million
  • Rationalization of publications and their dissemination, including Century Project: US$0.5 million
  • Consolidation of structures and reprofiling of positions resulting from HQ Reform: US$1.2 million
  • Reductions/streamlining of administrative and management positions: US$1.2 million

Savings total: US$3.4 million (in constant 2012-13 US$)

Source: Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2014-15, pages xv-xvi and paragraphs 14-15.


  • Reduced budget for the International Labour Conference: US$0.78 million
  • Reduced budget for the Governing Body: US$0.29 million
  • Reduced budget for service to meetings (through paper smart strategy and efficient working method): US$1.8 million
  • Reduced budget for support services (non-staff costs, administrative efficiencies and improved working methods): US$1.9 million
  • Reductions Office-wide as a result of the new measures on travel: US$0.8 million
Savings total: US$5.6 million (in constant 2010-11 US$)

Source: Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2012-13, pages 10-11.


  • Reduced budget for management and support: US$2.8 million
  • Reduced number of administrative personnel in technical programmes: US$1.2 million
  • Reduced staff travel costs: US$1.1 million
  • Reductions in the number and length of documents and other savings related to the Governing Body and the International Labour Conference: US$2.8 million
Savings total: US$7.9 million

Source: Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2010-11, pages 5-6.


  • Reduced budget for management services: US$2.2 million
  • Reduced budget for support services: US$1.3 million
  • Reduced budget for services to meetings: US$0.8 million
  • Reduced budget for support personnel in technical programmes: approximately US$1 million.
Savings total: US$5.3 million

Source: Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2008-09, page 4.


  • Elimination of smaller units and subunits in technical programmes. This reduced the number of management staff and allowed for better use of professional and support staff
  • Reduction in the number of professional positions upon retirement of incumbents
  • Retirements have provided regions and technical programmes the opportunity to restructure the skills profiles
  • Restructuring in regions the technical teams to provide for technical positions combining a number of technical areas
  • Elimination of a professional position from each of the Policy Integration Department and the Sectoral Activities Department
  • In non-staff areas, savings and efficiencies are realized by: reduction in travel costs (24%) and in equipment purchase and maintenance; elimination in the subsidy to the International School of Geneva; and savings from providing the Provisional Record in DVD form
  • Other areas pursued during the biennium and subsequent biennia include: an effective strategy for knowledge development based on accurate information and reflected in quality publications; reform of administrative structures; reform of field structures; further rebalancing of the grade structure; re-engineering procedures to take advantage of IRIS capacities

Source: Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2006-07, pages 14-16.