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Partnerships and Field Support

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Development cooperation at a glance

  1. Quick facts

    In 2016 voluntary contributions to the ILO amounted to US$ 242.96 million.

    Of the 802 active projects (May 2015):

    • 275 focus on employment
    • 101 focus on social protection
    • 181 focus on social dialogue
    • 167 focus on standards and fundamental principles and rights at work 

  1. Want to learn more? 

    Go the ILO Development Cooperation Dashboard!

Partnerships and Field Support

Decent work is now recognized as a global goal and a universal commitment. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 was a major turning point in the history of international development: Member States of the United Nations agreed on a set of 17 concrete goals giving expression to the aspirations of people worldwide for peace and prosperity on a healthy planet. Most importantly, for the ILO, they reflect a worldwide concern to achieve decent work for all: SDG 8 in particular is termed “decent work and economic growth”, but many of the other goals cannot be achieved without decent work, and several state so, explicitly or implicitly.

In this context development cooperation is has come to be understood as more than a mere portfolio of projects funded by voluntary contributions. It is now part of a broader international effort aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in which the ILO will promote the Decent Work Agenda as a basis for political governance and sustainable social and economic growth.

The ILO's Development Cooperation Strategy embodies a commitment to  the promotion of decent work in its entirety, within the framework of the 2030 SDGs, and addresses the challenge to increase and diversify the ILO’s resources and partnerships at the global, national and local level to better serve its constituents.

This involves promotion of the crucial role of tripartism and the design and implementation of development cooperation programmes and projects with the active participation of governments, employers and workers.

Priority is attached to –
  • partnering and forging relations with the donor community, the multilateral system, social partners, civil society, the private sector, South-South and triangular cooperation programmes, and other development actors
  • furthering and leading where appropriate the multilateral system's development efforts, at all levels
  • mobilizing extra-budgetary funding for development cooperation and funds for the Regular Budget Supplementary Account (RBSA), to complement and enhance actions undertaken through the regular budget
  • developing public-private partnerships to advance the Decent Work Agenda in support of the SDGs
  • coordinating, supporting and overseeing the management of extra-budgetary activities in line with the Development Cooperation Strategy
  • ensuring the transparency of information on the ILO’s development cooperation programme and its financing.

In their own words: How the ILO has helped

  1. Social dialogue

    Bargaining In Jordan's Ready Made Garment Sector

    In Jordan, migrant workers who were previously not eligible to be members of a trade union are now all represented through an industry-wide collective agreement. The ILO-IFC Better Work programme helped make this change.

  2. Emergency employment

    Lloyd Polinar: Welder in the Philippines

    The ILO has supported the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of the Philippines in creating temporary jobs through “emergency employment programmes” aimed at helping improve living and working conditions for the victims of typhoon Haiyan.

  3. Skills development

    Kickstart: Bangladesh's female motorcycle service mechanics

    Skills in Bangladesh are changing. Bangladesh needs skilled workers, so the ILO is making technical and vocational education easier to access for all, improving its quality and directly linking it to jobs. After the trainees graduated, this programme was integrated into the mainstream training offers that now turn young men and women across Bangladesh into motorcycle service mechanics.

  4. Youth employment

    Supporting entrepreneurship through the Youth to Youth Fund in Kenya

    The Youth to Youth Fund (Y2YF) component of the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility (YEF) gives young women and men a chance to design and implement innovative solutions to employment challenges. The Y2YF is implemented by the ILO and a partner organization in Kenya, the Ustadi Foundation. It has so far given support to 39 organizations and has had 2,058 beneficiaries.