I. Background on the baseline survey and sectoral assessmentThe ILO’s Project on Improving Workers' Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women initiated the conduct of the baseline survey and sectoral assessment on working conditions in the rural sectors in Indonesia and the Philippines, from November 2021 to June 2022. The Project is supported by the United States Department of Labor (US DOL),
It aims to capture working conditions, both opportunities and gaps, contribute to ensuring and sustaining improved working conditions of rural workers, especially for women, through the improvement and promotion of labour laws compliance, occupational safety and health (OSH) and gender equality in the target sectors. The baseline study and sectoral assessment will cover working conditions in the target sub sectors in the Philippines, covering fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), employment arrangements, wages, hours of work, social security, leaves and other benefits, including OSH and gender equality. Results of this initiative will ensure that project benchmarks and targets are evidence-based and integrate root causes of issues, drivers and non-drivers of compliance, sectoral nuances, and existing opportunities for reforms, including potential areas for sustainability.
ILO commissioned a service provider and national consultants to facilitate the establishment of baseline values for the project’s indicators and produce a comprehensive assessment of working conditions of rural workers, particularly women, in the three target sectors, and to provide a deeper, country-specific sectoral analysis based on national and local policies related to the Project’s target sectors.
II. Inception Workshop as the key preliminary activity of the baseline survey/sectoral assessmentThe Project held an Inception Workshop via Zoom, on 30 November 2021, with the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) members and other stakeholders to: (i) introduce the overall Project strategy including discussions of the Project’s results framework, indicators and strategies; (ii) present the overall framework and guidance for the baseline study and sectoral assessment in line with relevant policies, guidelines, standards and priorities of the ILO, PAC and other stakeholders, and; (iii) provide a venue for the Project tripartite partners to input on the scope and coverage, methodology, tools and other approaches, to improve the design of the baseline survey and sectoral assessment. 64 participants (32 females, 32 males) coming from the government, employers, and workers’ groups attended.
III. Highlights of the Inception Workshop in the IndonesiaNational Project Officer Januar Rustandie provided the overview of the project that covers agriculture (palm oil) and fishing for Indonesia. Project Manager Cerilyn Pastolero emphasized that while these sectors are traditionally known to be male-dominated, various studies note women’s participation in certain levels and economic activities within the supply chains of these sectors.
An overview of the workshop, expected outputs and project’s strategy, including its results framework and indicators, was also presented. This was followed shortly by a presentation on the objectives, scope and coverage, proposed methodology and approaches and timeline of the baseline study and sectoral assessment.
The participants provided inputs on the data collection approaches, schedules, tools, target sites, thematic areas and topics for the survey, etc., during the sectoral breakout groups based on agriculture, fishing and mining.
Some of the key recommendations during the discussions include the use of proportionate stratified sampling, removal of the term “low skilled” worker as part of the respondents’ criteria or inclusion of all other skill levels/categories (semi-skilled, highly skilled), and include criteria on the selection of participants for focus group discussions and key informant interviews that reflect the project targets in the concerned rural sectors.
The palm oil sector suggested to include workers in plantation areas and involved in the transportation/logistical preparation of the products. It was also noted that the sector is highly characterized by informality with numerous subcontractors and working areas in the palm oil sector. Meanwhile the fishing sector advised that workers to be covered by the initiative must not be limited to specific working area but more on demographic ratio. Other participants also flagged to ensure that workers from small up to large companies, and across all levels of the supply chains are represented. Engagement with the National Women Commission and the Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial - BPJS (Social Insurance Administration Organization) is also viewed critical in line with the gender issues and social protection concerns in these sectors.