Policy integration around national development priorities
Decent work calls for the integration of economic and social objectives and for a well-orchestrated combination of measures in the areas of employment promotion, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue. This coherent approach is proving its relevance to a wide-ranging policy agenda, from social dimensions of globalisation to poverty reduction strategies. The focus of the decent work programmes varies from country to country, reflecting different national priorities and conditions.
Origin and participating countries
The Decent Work Pilot Programme was initiated in October 2000 to pioneer ways in which the concept of decent work can be effectively promoted and applied in ILO member countries. The Pilot Programme aimed at strengthening national capacity to integrate decent work into national policies. Eight countries formed part of the Pilot Programme: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Denmark, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Panama, Philippines.
The lessons of the Pilot Programme countries are being used to introduce Decent Work Country Programmes in most ILO member states as of 2005. An example of such a Country Programme is Argentina.
The Programme had five goals
- Supporting national initiatives aimed at reducing decent work deficits;
- Strengthening national capacity to integrate decent work into national policy;
- Demonstrating the utility of an integrated approach in different socio-economic contexts;
- Developing methods for effective country programmes and policies;
- Sharing lessons from national experience
- An integrated approach
The challenges societies face in the global economy call for integrated and interdisciplinary responses. Poverty, for example, results from economic and social processes, some of which relate to disadvantages and inequalities in labour markets. Work is central to people's aspirations for a better life. It is an integral part of cutting-edge issues, such s reducing poverty and insecurity and increasing global competitiveness and productivity. Decent work provides a framework for shaping policies and actions that respond to these challenges and aspirations.
- Focus on country level
A decent work agenda begins with priorities identified at national level, and involves national ownership and national commitment.
- Collaboration among partners
Country programmes result from extensive consultation with and dialogue among social partners, national and international institutions and the ILO.
- Time horizon and flexibility
The timeframe for a country programme allows for assessment of progress and outcomes. The programme may evolve in order to reflect changing conditions and lessons learned during the course of implementation.
Advantages of an integrated decent work programme
- The process of consultations, planning and monitoring by social partners helps in finding common ground between competing interests, and builds consensus on social and economic goals.
- National and international resources, including expertise, are mobilised in support of a coherent programme and its incorporation into the national agenda.
- Links between national priorities and regional and international agenda are strengthened.
The ILO field offices and technical departments at Headquarters work together to support the development and implementation of country decent work programmes and initiatives. The overall coordination was provided by the National Policy Group, Policy Integration Department
Detailed review and updates of the Decent Work Pilot Programme:
While assisting the participating countries, the Decent Work Pilot Programme also supports other national decent work initiatives through exchange of experiences and knowledge among countries, the development and provision of tools and methods, as well as advisory services.
Tools and resources for policy integration
Exchange of experiences and knowledge sharing