South Asia and Viet Nam Project on Tripartism and Social Dialogue in Action (SAVPOT)

This was a regional tripartite project covered Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

The project aims at supporting constituents to strengthen an enabling environment and establish convergence-based models for the prevention and elimination of child labour. The project action is mainly at the district level, with work on policy, knowledge enhancement and dissemination, and replication at the state and national levels.


SAVPOT aimed at promoting social dialogue as a means to social and economic development in working life. Social dialogue used as a key factor in establishing a dynamic industrial relations system necessary to deal with the challenges of a global economy. The main actors within social dialogue in the enterprises were managers, workers and unions in the enterprises (bipartism), and at the national level, representatives of the government, workers and employers (tripartism). Social dialogue was based on the competency of the participants, their interests and common long-term values.

SAVPOT employed four main lines of action:

  • Develop and profile innovative work and dialogue at the enterprise level.
  • Develop and support social dialogue at the national level, identifying where policy interventions could assist enterprise growth and work place improvement.
  • Dissemination of best practice and training.
  • Involvement of women in social dialogue.


Each enterprise participated in SAVPOT worked out and implemented a plan of action. The enterprises partly worked together in different forms of dialogue and networking, and partly on their own for six to nine months. Five enterprises participated in the pilot phase of SAVPOT in India.

  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Titan Industries
  • Tata Engineering & Locomotive Company
  • Balmer Lawrie and Company
  • Universal Luggage Manufacturing Company

In 2000 and 2001, three workshops were conducted to design and implement action plans for social dialogue. The management and union representatives initiated the process of dialogue, an ongoing, open and flexible process, managed through formal and informal channels of communications.


The social dialogue process at enterprise level had resulted in:

  • A change in the attitudes of the workers and the management.
  • Increased communication, transparency and strengthened belief that the enterprise and labour force can co-exist, and survive against the challenges of globalization.
  • Stable industrial relations, increased productivity and quality, and in some cases, monetary gains to the workers.

The enterprises tackled several issues:

  • Performance
  • Absenteeism
  • Safety
  • Health of workers
  • Redesigning jobs
  • Redeployment
  • Transfers
  • Multi-Skilling
  • Welfare Facilities

As models for the promotion of the social dialogue concept, the participating enterprises encouraged:

  • Systematic exposure to dialogue, as complementary to collective bargaining and its good effects for the enterprise.
  • Establishment of long-term structures for sustaining dialogue within their enterprises.
  • Reinforcement of the relationship between unions and management.
  • New ideas about industrial relations and strategies to reform the workplace.

SAVPOT also emphasized the importance of women's involvement in social dialogue and their participation in enterprise-based activities, workshops and seminars. SAVPOT also established a Network of Women.

This project was funded by the Government of Norway.