Employment and Decent Work in Fragile States

ILO and the Graduate Institute’s ‘Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding’ join forces to research on the nexus between employment, decent work, fragility and peace dividends

News | 30 January 2015
In August 2014, the ILO began a collaborative reflection process with the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of Geneva. The overall aim of this exercise is to stimulate constructive debate and knowledge exchange over the role and activities of the ILO and its partners – the “world of work” – in so-called “fragile” settings. Kick-started by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ILO and the Secretariat of the G7+ group of fragile states in March 2014, this research collaboration seeks to feed into on-going deliberations on the ways in which organisations from the world of work could, both institutionally and programmatically, position themselves and their sectors within the growing field of international actors working on the interface between short-term crisis response and long-term statebuilding agendas.

Together, the ILO and the CCDP focus on three broad questions:

• How do labour markets support and/or undermine societal peace and stability, and what employment and decent work tools could be harnessed in this regard?
• What is the role of employer’s and worker’s organisations in preventing and/or mitigating the drivers of violence and fragility?
• How could a working definition of fragile situations, pertaining to the world of work, inform and feed into the ILO’s mandate?

The on-going research collaboration includes an ILO-internal fact-finding exercise to reflect upon the organisation’s past and current activities in fragile settings as well as a number of external consultations with government representatives, development partners, UN agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to map and organise contemporary practice on the theme of employment and decent work in fragile settings.

Preliminary results of the research collaboration were presented at a public discussion hosted under the auspices of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform in January 2015. A comprehensive joint publication is forthcoming at the end of 2015.