ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

273rd Session
Geneva, November 1998

Committee on Technical Cooperation



The ILO's technical cooperation programme, 1997-98



I. The ILO's performance: An overview

II. Overall ILO priorities and technical cooperation

III. Regional trends and priorities

IV. Workers' and employers' activities and technical cooperation

V. International labour standards and technical cooperation

VI. Gender issues and technical cooperation

VII. Critical issues in technical cooperation

VIII. Conclusions


The ILO's Employment-Intensive Programme (EIP): An independent evaluation

Start Your Business: Evaluation findings

Participation of cooperatives and small enterprises in local development and food security in the Department of Zinder (Niger)

Makete integrated rural transport project

Strategic approaches to employment promotion

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)

Harmonization of labour legislation and promotion of tripartism in East Africa

Promotion of tripartism and social dialogue in four southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland)

Enhancing the employment and access to social protection of homeworkers in the context of globalization

Mastering the challenge of globalization: A trade union agenda

International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women




ILO Technical cooperation expenditure 1991-97 (by source of funds)


Expenditure by region, 1996-97


Africa -- Technical cooperation expenditure 1990-97


Asia and the Pacific -- Technical cooperation expenditure 1990-97


Latin America and the Caribbean -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97


Arab States, Middle East -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97


Europe -- Technical cooperation expenditure 1990-97


Interregional and global -- Technical cooperation expenditure 1990-97


ILO extra-budgetary technical cooperation approvals, 1996-97 (by source of funds)


ILO extra-budgetary technical cooperation approvals, 1994-95 (by source of funds)


Distribution of ILO technical cooperation expenditure by priority themes, 1997


ILO regular budget (RBTC) and extra-budgetary expenditure for workers' activities, 1997


ILO regular budget (RBTC) and extra-budgetary expenditure for employers' activities, 1997



Expenditure on ILO technical cooperation programmes, 1995-97 (excluding administrative expenditure)


Analysis of ILO technical cooperation expenditure by type of assistance/input, 1996-97 (excluding administrative expenditure)


Analysis of ILO technical cooperation expenditure in 1997, by field of activity and source of funds (excluding administrative expenditure


Breakdown, by country and area, of expenditure on ILO technical cooperation in 1997 (excluding administrative expenditure)


ILO technical cooperation activities in the LDCs, 1995-97:
Expenditure by geographical region and by source of funding (excluding administrative expenditure)


Nationality of experts


International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin: Geographical distribution of training activities in 1997


International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin: Distribution of training activities in 1997 by field of activity



1. This year's report, like last year's, is intended as an information paper on all technical cooperation activities conducted by the ILO in the framework of the Organization's major objectives, namely, employment and combating poverty, improving working conditions and promoting social democracy and international labour standards.

2. It contains not only significant evaluations of technical cooperation activities for constituents, but also suggestions to improve the strategy agreed at the International Labour Conference in 1993. As requested by the Committee at previous sessions and as in the past, examples obtained from evaluations are given in boxes.

3. All the activities derive from the objectives of the Organization and decisions taken by the Governing Body regarding general orientations and are conducted in response to the challenges set by major conferences for employment, women and the environment.

4. Reference is made in this year's report to some 120 different countries, and there are more boxes concerning evaluations carried out by the Office of technical cooperation projects and programmes. Section II, which covers priority themes, has observed equitable geographical distribution. Section III covers regional trends and features concerning technical cooperation. Examples of national execution and the strengthening of technical capacity in institutions are given throughout sections II, III, IV and V. As already indicated to the Committee in March, the aim of the global programmes is to exploit linkages between these programmes and other ILO technical cooperation activities, including those of the Bureaux for Employers' and Workers' Activities, where possible, for their mutual benefit and to maximize the impact of the work of the Office as a whole. Systematic evidence is given in this report of these linkages and of the ways in which the Office can improve and upgrade the quality of its technical cooperation programme.

5. The analysis carried out by the Office is intended to improve its efficiency by adapting internal procedures and practices and to elicit reflection from members of the Governing Body on how to improve the strategy.

6. As regards the resources available for technical cooperation activities in 1997-98, efforts will be noted to ensure the more effective utilization of regular budget resources to complement extra-budgetary resources. At the request of the Committee, a breakdown of RBTC expenditure is given respectively in charts 11 and 12 for employers' and workers' activities, by region (Appendix I) and by country (Appendix IV). Examples of the use of RBTC are given throughout the report. The level of new approvals in 1997 was higher than in the previous year, thus confirming the upward trend in extra-budgetary resources which began in 1995. The international environment regarding development aid has not changed in terms of volume trends. A decline in official development assistance (ODA) flows to developing countries has been observed for some years now ($72.1 billion in 1995 to $66.4 billion in 1996). ODA seems to move from public to private development assistance. Private flows have in fact risen from $160.9 billion in 1995 to $234 billion in 1996. The ILO has managed to maintain its level of technical cooperation resources in this changing context.

7. It is also useful to note that, in the framework of assistance provided to developing countries by countries belonging to the Committee for Development Assistance, a significant increase in the proportion allocated to technical assistance was noted between 1994 and 1996 (from $12.9 billion to $14.1 billion). Moreover, the proportion of contributions to the multilateral agencies (excluding banks and the European Community) reached $6.3 billion, showing practically no change by comparison with 1994 and 1995.

8. This already shows the trends for coming years and the efforts the Office will have to make in relation to new private donors and institutional donors by emphasizing the quality of its products and the impact of its technical cooperation activities in beneficiary countries.

I. The ILO's performance: An overview

9. Technical assistance was provided to constituents in the form of technical advisory services and operational activities within a number of new technical cooperation programmes, mainly funded by extra-budgetary sources and by the regular budget allocations for technical cooperation (RBTC). Technical outputs from the analytical work carried out by the Office have been used not only to identify new programmes, but also to reinforce the ILO's action to respond to the demands of constituents. The following analysis of the ILO's technical cooperation programme is based on RBTC and extra-budgetary resources for specific operational activities.

Chart 1. ILO technical cooperation expenditure, 1991-97 (by source of funds)


10. In 1997, the five-year decline in expenditure on the ILO's technical cooperation programme was arrested. Expenditure rose to $108.4 million in 1997, compared with $98.2 million in 1996, an increase of 10.4 per cent. However, the delivery rate dropped from 62 per cent in 1996 to 55 per cent in 1997. The reasons for this sharp decline are analysed in detail in section VII. As indicated in Appendix II, personnel costs registered a decrease in expenditure of 1.9 per cent; for the other categories a significant increase in expenditure was registered, particularly for training (39.5 per cent) and equipment (54.4 per cent) compared to 1996. A breakdown of expenditure by country and area and source of funds is given in Appendix IV.

11. Expenditure in the least developed countries (LDCs) is illustrated in Appendix V: 31.1 per cent of total expenditure went to the LDCs, a very slight decrease compared to 1996. As in recent years, multibilateral and trust-fund programmes registered a higher expenditure figure in 1997 than the UNDP, but their share of total expenditure dropped from 62 per cent in 1996 to 50 per cent in 1997. Their share of the ILO's RBTC increased from 7 per cent in 1996 to 16 per cent in 1997, which is common for the second year of a biennium. The UNDP programme also includes the Support for Policy and Programme Development-funded activities (SPPD), which amounted to $2.3 million in 1997, and $7.9 million for activities in which the ILO was an implementing agency under nationally executed projects. However, the UNDP figures exclude approximately $1.2 million for Support for Technical Services (STS).

Regional expenditure

12. All regions except Asia and the Pacific showed an increase in expenditure in 1997 compared with 1996 (chart 2). The African and European regions increased their allocations by 14 and 12 per cent respectively (charts 3 and 7), Latin American and the Caribbean by 31 per cent (chart 5), and the Arab States (chart 6) by nearly 56 per cent. Expenditure in the Asian and Pacific region decreased by 5 per cent compared with 1996. The African region continued to account for the largest share of total expenditure (39 per cent), followed by (chart 4) the Asian and Pacific region (22 per cent). The share of interregional programmes (chart 8) rose by almost 5 per cent, exceeding the peak of 1995. The geographical distribution of expenditure is given in Appendix I-B for the period 1995-97.

New approvals for technical cooperation activities

13. In 1997 approvals increased for the second consecutive year, rising by 6 per cent from $114.6 million in 1996 to $121.5 million. Multibilateral approvals accounted for $60.2 million, or approximately 50 per cent of total approvals in 1997. Particularly noteworthy was the remarkable increase of 81 per cent in UNDP approvals. The decrease of 24 per cent in multibilateral approvals compared to 1996 should be seen in the context of the extremely high level of contributions to the IPEC programme in 1996, when the German replenishment of more than $33 million gave a sharp boost to the approval level. Overall approvals for IPEC dropped to $9 million in 1997.

14. New UNDP project approvals doubled from $17.9 million in 1996 to $35.8 million in 1997. Some 67 per cent of UNDP's new approvals were in the African region. Revisions of UNDP projects again increased from $8.6 million in 1996 to $12 million in 1997. Approvals by development banks increased considerably, from $1.7 million in 1996 to $5.9 million in 1997. Other approvals included $1.4 million from the Capital Development Fund.

Chart 2. Expenditure by region, 1996-97Chart 3. Africa -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 3. Africa -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 4. Asia and the Pacific -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 5. Latin America and the Caribbean -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 6. Arab States, Middle East -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 7. Europe -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

Chart 8. Interregional and global -- Technical cooperation expenditure, 1990-97

15. In terms of breakdown by technical field, the approval levels were highest for development policies ($33.3 million, in such fields as poverty alleviation and employment-intensive programmes); employment and training ($25.2 million); and enterprise and cooperative development ($23.4 million). These were followed by working conditions and environment ($11.4 million) and social security ($11 million). Together these represent 91 per cent of total approvals. In the field of social security, where project approvals totalled $11 million in 1997, and even disregarding the major approval for the global programme of Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP) ($8 million), there was a net increase of 66 per cent in the total value of project approvals. Some 70 per cent of these new projects were financed by UNDP, and the balance directly by national social security institutions.

16. Since 1996 projects administered by the field structure have been recorded where possible under the appropriate technical fields, and not the heading "Miscellaneous".

II. Overall ILO priorities and technical cooperation

17. The major ILO priority areas for the current biennium (employment promotion, democracy, human rights and the protection of working people) continued to provide a clear focus for the ILO's technical cooperation programme during the period under review. The largest share -- more than 64 per cent of the technical cooperation programme by priority theme -- went to poverty alleviation and employment creation, 15.8 per cent to democracy and human rights, 15.5 per cent to the protection of working people, and 5 per cent to other programmes, as shown in chart 10.

Chart 9A. ILO extra-budgetary technical cooperation approvals, 1996-97 (by source of funds)

Chart 9B. ILO extra-budgetary technical cooperation approvals, 1994-95 (by source of funds)

Chart 10. Distribution of ILO technical cooperation expenditure by priority themes, 1997

18. At the International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin, some 80 per cent of activities were either related to the core mandate of the ILO or aimed at developing the management capacity of ILO constituents and partners (see Appendix VIII). These activities were mostly designed and implemented in close collaboration with ILO technical departments, field offices and multidisciplinary teams. Some 20 per cent were implemented in the framework of the UN Staff College Project. Turin Centre activities were distributed as follows: 45 per cent for activities related to the promotion of employment and combating poverty, 17 per cent for the promotion of workers' rights and social dialogue, and 5 per cent for working conditions and social protection. About 15 per cent of participants were trained in programmes intended to strengthen the institutional and management capacity of constituents, and particularly employers' and workers' organizations.

1. Employment promotion

19. Within the implementation of the ILO Strategy for Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, and as follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development, work continued on developing a programme on employment generation and poverty reduction, Jobs for Africa. After widespread consultation with constituents and endorsement by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Labour and Social Affairs Commission, the Programme was launched with the objectives of contributing through the strengthening of social dialogue to the adoption of national and regional policies based on an investment-led growth strategy, and to capacity building and training for employment creation in the informal rural and urban sectors. The situation in sub-Saharan Africa has been largely characterized by public investments concentrated in expensive capital- intensive projects, employing little labour and yielding negligible direct impact on the reduction of poverty. Jobs for Africa will advocate ways in which public investment can be restructured to have a more positive impact on employment creation while simultaneously creating a climate conducive to increased domestic and foreign investment and expanding African entrepreneurship.

20. The programme covers ten countries from west, central, east and southern Africa. Consultations have already been carried out in five countries: Cameroon, Mauritius, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Special attention was paid to integrating environmental considerations into investment policies; ensuring women equal access to work opportunities at all levels, with equal pay for equal work; avoiding child labour; and combining empowerment and equitable economic development. For this reason the Jobs for Africa programme will be closely linked to the More and Better Jobs for Women and other global and regional programmes such as the Cooperative support for grass-roots development (ACOPAM), the International Small Enterprise Programme (ISEP), the Support Programme for Cooperative and Mutual Training Systems, the Urban Employment Programme and the Promotion of Micro-enterprises (PROMICRO), the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and the Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP).

21. Employment-intensive programmes have always been part of the overall ILO strategy to promote employment creation, private-sector development and poverty alleviation on the one hand, and social progress and empowerment on the other. These programmes encourage worker protection and democratization through transparent contract systems and enhanced popular participation. Strategic use is made of the tendering and contract system by the private sector for infrastructure works to promote the use of employment-intensive technology approaches and to introduce labour clauses related to relevant ILO standards and basic conditions of work. A new manual, Employment-Intensive Infrastructure Programmes: Labour Policies and Practices, published in 1998, describes the current experience of integrating labour issues in employment-intensive infrastructure programmes, while also providing guidance on how improvements in working conditions and standards can be achieved with the involvement of social partners in these projects.(1) Especially when combined with micro-enterprise development and vocational training, this provides scope for successful employment-generation programmes, such as that in Cambodia.

The ILO's Employment-Intensive Programme (EIP):
An independent evaluation

An independent evaluation of the ILO's Employment Intensive Programme (EIP), which has been under way since the early 1970s, was carried out in 1997. The objectives of EIP are to strengthen the capacity of member States to design and implement employment-intensive infrastructure programmes that reduce poverty on a sustainable basis through economically sound job-creation programmes, especially in rural areas.

The programme follows a strategy with three levels of action:

  • Micro-level: to implement infrastructure projects, organize communities and create small contractor enterprises;
  • Middle-level: using training to enhance the capacity of individuals and institutions to carry out labour-based activities;
  • Macro-level: to provide policy advice to governments and international donor organizations.

The evaluation found that thorough experience at the micro-economic level had given the ILO technical competence, credibility and visibility in the area of labour-based techniques. The evaluation concluded that the ILO had a major comparative advantage for labour-based contracting compared with bilateral donors, who may wish to promote their own equipment and techniques, and multilateral donors, who do not have the necessary technical skills or experience in house and are reluctant to use outsiders. The terms "labour-intensive" and "employment-intensive" mean that labour was used under any circumstances to replace machines. The term "labour-based" -- EIP's current strategy -- means that an optimum mix of labour and machines was used to suit local conditions. The type of labour-based technique varied from country to country. EIP was therefore flexible in practice.

Labour-based techniques are still not widely known, or are viewed by many as backward. Evidence showed that they might be both effective and efficient in certain situations. The cost-effectiveness of EIP had been proven and documented. Labour-based methods create three to five times more employment and use 60 per cent less foreign exchange than equipment-based approaches. The weakness of many member States (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia) in terms of competent and motivated staff hindered capacity development. On the other hand, other States had firmly embedded the design and implementation of EIP within the government structure.

The organization of the EIP, especially the location of ASIST (Advisory Support Information Services and Training for Asia and the Pacific) and ACTIF (subregional EIP projects) in the overall ILO support structure has to be clarified.

The sustainability of created employment and constructed infrastructure was increasingly being addressed by the EIP with some measure of success. This was important since governments where the EIP is based seem to have given low priority to maintenance of infrastructures, which was essential to ensure lasting effects.

The evaluation recommended that the ILO formulate an overall employment-creation strategy which the EIP could integrate and that would give clear priorities to programme managers. Better communication on EIP and its experiences with labour-based techniques within and outside the ILO should be established, and EIP should find a way to foster the active involvement of the ILO's social partners in the programme. EIP needed to measure its impact by developing simple, measurable and manageable indicators of achievement at micro-, meso- and macro-levels. The report specified that the programme's evaluation and documentation unit should be re-established.

The most important lesson learned from the evaluation exercise was that the EIP should continue to link ground-level interventions with macro-level advice to demonstrate that concentrated action at all levels is necessary and should be well founded. Attention should also be paid to maintenance of infrastructure to ensure sustainability.

22. A relatively new and expanding area of the ILO's work is urban employment. The ILO is now launching its Urban Employment Programme: Better Jobs for the Informal Economy, which is meant both to consolidate a number of ongoing initiatives funded by various multibilateral donors (Belgium, DANIDA, Germany and Italy) and UNDP, and to mobilize new resources to address growing demand in this field. A focus on the urban sector is being adopted by many donor organizations in the development assistance programmes of Switzerland, the Netherlands and the European Union, who recognize that growing urbanization poses new challenges to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of development. For ILO constituents, programmes to combat urban unemployment have gone hand-in-hand with the development of new approaches to address the urban informal economy, recognizing that the informalization of employment is a growing alternative to either employment or unemployment in the formal sector. The ILO's work in the urban sector has involved municipal authorities and other local actors as new partners in technical cooperation.

23. In order to evaluate the social impact of financial policies on employment and poverty reduction, the Office has been developing programmes that address the adverse consequences of market failures for small and micro-enterprises. Through partnership arrangements with central banks aimed at promoting village banks and other decentralized financial systems accessible to the poor, the ILO has helped improve the access of several hundreds of thousands of small entrepreneurs to safe and reliable deposit and credit facilities in the West African countries.

24. Within the framework of the ILO action programme on Economic reform and structural change: Promoting women's employment and participation in social funds, implemented in 1996 and 1997, country studies on the gender perspective of social funds and social safety net programmes were completed in Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, Madagascar and Zambia. An international workshop was organized in Geneva in 1997 to discuss the effectiveness of those funds in promoting employment and the importance of the gender dimension. The dialogue on this topic with the World Bank and the international community has resulted in high priority being given to the integration of a gender dimension in the new generation of social funds. The ILO's advice was sought on the development of an effective gender component in specific schemes. Guidelines for the design and functioning of social funds for employment generation with a gender perspective will be published in 1998. The ILO is providing a programme of training and technical assistance to the Albanian Development Fund and to the Ministry of Labour's Training, Enterprise and Employment Fund (TEEF) and the National Employment Fund as a means of improving the quality and impact of employment-creation programmes in Albania. This project combines operational support for the implementation of a road rehabilitation project servicing poor urban communities in the city of Elbasan as an "entry point" to a broader policy dialogue with national and municipal government on increasing the impact of investment funds for employment creation in enterprise development and supporting the rechannelling of social assistance funds into active job-creation programmes.

25. Most technical cooperation projects in the area of small enterprise development were aimed at establishing and strengthening the national framework for the delivery of a wide range of support services to small enterprises.

26. The results of the promoting of micro-enterprises (PROMICRO) project in Central America continued to be relevant: the programme has helped strengthen micro-enterprise associations, facilitating their access to information on innovative approaches to micro-enterprise development. Above all, it has helped create the Committee of Central American Micro-Entrepreneurs (COCEMI) and set up a website ( The project has helped provide associations of micro-entrepreneurs with access to the most advanced technology and to take advantage of market opportunities to benefit from the globalized economy. The experience of this important programme funded by the Netherlands Government will be consolidated through the creation of the Central American Institute for the Promotion of Micro-Enterprises.

27. Basic business management training in the context of the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme continued to be an important part of small enterprise development activities. Technical cooperation activities in Southern and Eastern Africa further strengthened national training capacities. New SIYB activities also started in countries in Africa, the Arab States, the Pacific and Latin America. New editions of the Improve Your Business and Start Your Business were developed and adapted to national contexts in Peru and South Africa, where the ILO helped set up a sustainable mechanism for continued delivery of SIYB training after the end of the project.

Start Your Business: Evaluation findings

The Start Your Business (SYB) programme aims to help potential entrepreneurs start businesses through the development of feasibility studies. It conducts training of trainers (TOT) seminars for collaborating organizations which have the necessary capacity to implement the programme. These organizations in turn hold seminars to train potential entrepreneurs in SYB.

The final internal evaluation of the programme found that in some cases TOT participants' general business knowledge and training skills were too limited to enable them to implement SYB training after only two weeks of training, and that certain basic knowledge and skills were necessary for trainers to become more effective SYB trainers. Seminars of less than five full days or 40 hours were sometimes too short for the potential entrepreneurs to finalize their feasibility studies. While acknowledging that it was often beyond the capacity of the collaborating organizations, it was recommended that the duration of the seminars should be adjusted to the educational level of the participants.

The evaluation also found that the need for follow-up was also directly related to the educational background of the participants and to the quality of training. The frequency and quality of follow-up support services were also very important in ensuring that potential entrepreneurs did not abandon their feasibility studies when they encountered difficulties.

A key finding of the evaluation was that a successful start-up was not guaranteed by useful training: apart from the low educational level of some of the participants, a number of other factors outside the control of the collaborating organizations negatively affected start-up and job-creation rates, such as an unfavourable macroeconomic environment, the low financial status of the target groups, the limited availability of finance and the limited amount of time potential entrepreneurs could devote to their businesses.

In considering the role of the collaborating organizations, the evaluation considered that the generally limited institutional capacity, on the one hand, and the fact that most of the SYB collaborating organizations were geared towards poverty alleviation and direct support to marginalized groups on the other, diminished the quality of training and follow-up of the potential entrepreneurs. The evaluation recommended, therefore, that, without changing the current composition of the collaborating organizations, any subsequent phase of the SYB programme should also include organizations already targeting groups with a higher educational level, otherwise the impact on job creation would remain limited.

28. As regards privatization and enterprise restructuring, activities were carried out in Ukraine and Belarus to raise awareness of the major problems involved among central and local authorities and the general public. The experience in Belarus was instrumental in the design of the Russian Federal Programme on the conversion of military settlements into zones of employment, entrepreneurship and energy efficiency. Activities in China addressed the employment and re-employment needs of workers made redundant by enterprise reform. In response to the reorganization of public employment services resulting from structural adjustment programmes, the ILO assisted 23 English-speaking African countries to improve the performance of public and private employment services. In this connection, the publication of a manual on the problems faced by employment services and the institutional response is planned during the 1998-99 biennium. A number of country studies were executed in Africa, providing useful input to the ILO programme on privatization and enterprise restructuring. Technical assistance to strengthen national employment services has also been provided by the ILO to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the financial support of Switzerland, Italy and UNDP.

29. As regards cooperatives, the ACOPAM programme continued to be a major instrument in helping governments and partners' organizations in west Africa to establish successful cooperative and associative forms of organization in support of grass-roots development. The programme is scheduled for completion in 1999 and the ILO has been taking concrete steps to capitalize on the experience by integrating it into broader regional programme planning and programme development. ACOPAM has been able to attract substantial additional parallel funding from the World Bank, the European Union, UNDP and USAID.

Participation of cooperatives and small enterprises
in local development and food security
in the Department of Zinder (Niger)

In 1994, the ILO started Phase IV of a four-and-a-half-year rural development project designed to involve local cooperatives in bringing food security to villagers in Zinder, Niger . The project also aimed to increase and strengthen the number of new or existing cooperatives in the area, and to set up pharmaceutical cooperatives and credit schemes for women.

The mid-term evaluation found that the project had established 199 cereal banks, out of a planned total of 250, 60 per cent of which were considered to be well functioning. However, the evaluation also found that the actual impact of such banks on the food supply situation was limited because insufficient amounts of food grain were available for stocking purposes. This was due to a low crop yield in the area. The evaluation considered that strong networking between the grain banks could be important in supporting local development initiatives in the area. For example, the project initiated the recuperation of land for cultivation purposes. This was well supported by the cereal banks, and therefore by the villagers who willingly invested their own efforts in the project.

The evaluation found that, although the number of cooperative enterprises had increased, only a few of them were capable of self-management. This was partly due to the introduction of new legislation restricting the sale of pharmaceutical products, which had a negative impact on the pharmaceutical cooperatives. As regards the establishment of credit schemes for women, the evaluation noted that the original project strategy had been modified. It had been judged more useful to strengthen the already existing credit schemes rather than create new schemes that were not likely to become self-managing during the short lifetime of the project.

So far, the results based on the new strategy had been very encouraging, with 78 per cent of the "restructured" entities being self-managing at the time of the evaluation. The evaluation concluded that one main and often-reported lesson could be drawn at this early stage of the project. This was that the time factor for projects dealing with rural development in remote areas was very important. Culture, traditional values, the economy and location all had restraining effects on the progress of implementation, and project designers should take this into consideration. The project's results therefore needed a longer time frame to become sustainable and be "institutionalized" into the local structure.

30. The interregional programme to support the self-reliance of indigenous and tribal peoples through cooperatives and other self-help organizations (INDISCO) continued to assist indigenous and tribal peoples in Asia and Central America in creating new employment avenues and in safeguarding traditional jobs through the revitalization of indigenous practices, skills training and the provision of micro-credit based on cooperative forms of organization. INDISCO has 16 country-level activities (five in India, seven in the Philippines, one in Viet Nam, one in Thailand and one in Belize). In 1997 and 1998, INDISCO organized informal literacy classes, including some in tribal languages, for more than 3,000 people, most of them women. More than 5,000 men and women were trained on various income-generating schemes, using local experts and specialists. In India and the Philippines, INDISCO helped its partners to create 2,500 new jobs and preserve 1,500 traditional ones. Using indigenous knowledge, India has put into practice innovative approaches, cost-effective and sustainable water harvesting systems through lift irrigation cooperatives, plant nurseries to regenerate forests, biogas plants and dairy schemes. More than 1,000 jobs have been created with financial support from community-based revolving loan funds. In the Philippines, information on traditional aspects of knowledge systems and practices which are pertinent to successful employment strategies at present, has been incorporated in subsequent project activities. Ancestral domains (land management plans) have been prepared and innovative approaches developed to implement participatory land and natural resource management practices. Indigenous women's groups have been predominant in these schemes due to the concentration of capacity building and skills training programmes for entrepreneurship among women. The COOPNET programme continued to provide support to cooperatives and associations, particularly through training activities carried out in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. A newsletter on topical issues concerning cooperatives has been issued for the regional coordinators of the programme in Africa and Asia, while a Spanish version of the manual on Gender Issues in Cooperatives has been published in 1997.

Makete integrated rural transport project

The objective of the integrated rural transport project was to improve transportation in the Makete district of the United Republic of Tanzania . An ex-post evaluation of the project, which ran for 11 years between 1985 and 1996, was carried out in January 1998.

A comprehensive low-cost rural transportation approach was used to reduce the time and effort involved in travelling by road, and to increase the capacity of the district or council to plan, organize and implement rural transport measures.

The ex-post evaluation found that the project had been successful in improving the local transport infrastructure by mobilizing village councils and villagers to construct and maintain the roads and footpaths. However, the low-cost bridges and culverts were frequently damaged and villagers lacked the technical know-how and resources to maintain them.

In order to reduce the time people spent on transport, the project introduced intermediate means of transport (IMTs) such as wheelbarrows and donkeys. This strategy was only partly successful because the wheelbarrows turned out to be too expensive for villagers and donkeys were only used for transport when there was a clear economic profit to be gained, such as when taking vegetables to market, transporting brewed beer, etc. For domestic purposes, head-carrying remained the dominant means of transport because the village councils considered that the value of the time saved by the women and children was close to zero. The project's attempt to introduce maintenance and repairs services for the IMTs was partially successful. A repair workshop was set up to service the wheelbarrows. But medicines for the donkeys that became ill were in short supply.

The project was less successful in its capacity-building efforts at the district council level because of the low priority accorded to it by the council and because of a lack of financial resources for road construction and maintenance.

The main lessons drawn from this project were that it is relatively easy to mobilize voluntary labour from the local communities for the improvement and maintenance of local transport infrastructures. However, the design of the infrastructure should take into account the technical and financial capabilities of those expected to bear responsibility for its maintenance and repair. If high standards of infrastructure were obtained, their durability would minimize the financial and technical resources needed for their maintenance.

31. In the field of training, special attention was given to youth employment. In Latin America and the Caribbean the Inter-American Centre for Research and Documentation on Vocational Training (CINTERFOR) focused on this area and executed a series of country assessments in selected countries. An analysis was also carried out of the problems faced by training institutions in inserting young people into labour markets in the European Union. Both documents were discussed at the International Seminar on Youth, Education and Employment in Ibero-America, organized in 1997 by the Organización Ibero-Americana de la Juventud. CINTERFOR's member institutions have stressed the importance of exchanging information on the quality and scope of training and of contributing to improved dialogue with the social partners in the region on the issue of youth employment.

32. In a more traditional field, training in the hotel and catering sector, the ILO continued to develop activities. In May 1998 a subregional project funded by Spain came to an end which had aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in the area of vocational training in the hotel, catering and tourism sectors. The nine participating countries felt that considerable progress had been made towards improving training and certification criteria, and thus the employability of workers. Elsewhere, the ILO provided assistance in the training of workers in the hotel and tourism sector to some 15 countries in Africa, the Arab States, Asia and Europe.

33. Training is also an important element in post-conflict programmes. The successful reintegration of ex-combatants is a key factor for the stability of post-conflict countries. The ILO has worked in this area in Mozambique and Angola. In Angola, a project launched in 1996 with funding support from UNDP, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, successfully tested a decentralized strategy involving innovative approaches and institutional mechanisms which has been effective in lowering the cost of the training. Of the 14,000 ex-combatants targeted for training, some 5,900 subcontracts -- representing more than 42 per cent of the total potential trainees -- have been signed with local training centres. According to the provisional results of a recent survey of some 2,000 micro-enterprises in all provinces of the country, training preferences reflect quite closely the content and geographical distribution of the training packages offered by INSERM (Institute for the Socio-Professional Reintegration of Ex-Military Personnel). The experience acquired in dealing with the reintegration of ex-combatants led to the publication of a manual on Training and employment options for ex-combatants.

34. Technical advisory services were provided to more than 25 countries in the field of labour statistics. Technical cooperation projects on national labour statistics are ongoing in Armenia, Georgia, Nepal, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Within the framework of the master plan of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the ILO prepared a programme to establish a labour statistics unit and launch a quarterly labour force survey to collect regular data on the employment, unemployment and wages of the Palestinian population. In addition, during 1997, the ILO has prepared a project dealing with data production and dissemination standards, the classification of occupations, occupational employment and wages data and statistics on ex-detainees. In Ukraine, technical assistance was provided for the development of a modern Labour Market Information System, training of national specialists in sample techniques and the launch of an LSF-based informal sector survey.

Strategic approaches to employment promotion

The ILO/Japan inter-country project on "Strategic approaches towards employment promotion (ILO/PEP)"  undertaken in China, Bangladesh and Pakistan started in Bangladesh and Pakistan in mid-1993 with the aim of identifying appropriate modalities for Government and non-government organizations (NGOs) to create job and income opportunities in disadvantaged rural and urban areas. Over the years three main programmes had been implemented: community-based special employment schemes (SECs), the mobilization of non-project resources for government and NGOs in the pilot areas for use by the project, and projects for non-project beneficiaries in generating income and policy support to strengthen the role of the ministries of labour in employment promotion and planning. In 1997 the project focused on institutionalizing the employment promotion modalities, enhancing the self-sustaining capacity of the counterparts and assisting the ministries of labour in preparing a successor project based on PEP experiences.

In China, the ILO/PEP started the preparatory stage of Phase III in mid-1996 with the Employment Department, Ministry of Labour (MOL) as the main counterpart agency. The project implementation framework included a National Steering Committee (NSC), a Provincial Steering Committee and Project Implementation Working Groups, with the Labour Service Station as the direct implementing agency. A remarkable feature of the pilot SECs was their potential to create jobs. The 35 schemes had provided direct employment to nearly 1,500 beneficiaries.

However, difficulties arose in some schemes where economic returns were limited because of the beneficiaries' lack of technical skills in new production methods and knowledge of the market economy and small business management. Another shortcoming was the need for greater credit than that made available.

The major achievement of the project was the creation of a Rural Employment Promotion Fund (REPF) in each pilot province. This strategy, which had been used very successfully in the Bangladesh project, aimed at enlarging beneficiaries' access to non-project resources and enhancing counterpart agencies' involvement in the project. It was based on the assumption that funds for the pilot employment creation schemes would be mobilized locally. As of September 1997, more than RMB4.9 million (2) -- out of a projected RMB6 million to be raised before the end of 2000 -- had been secured locally. The REPF's success has indicated the strong commitment of the local authorities and beneficiaries to the project's activities. It has also shown to be an effective method of mobilizing resources at local governmental and community levels for rural employment promotion.

2. Workers' protection

35. The ILO's Global Programme on Occupational Safety, Health and Environment (OSHE) provides the broad framework for all ILO initiatives in this field based on multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches. In the prevailing environment, a major objective of the programme is to ensure that the positive values of a strong safety, health and environmental culture are integrated into the globalization process as a critical element of social stability and equitable and sustainable development. Appropriately adapted to national circumstances, the focus is on strengthening national capacities to work on occupational safety and health (OSH) issues including policies, standards, occupational health services, safety management, built-in protection, safety culture, training and information dissemination. Particular attention is paid to the participation of workers. Special attention is paid to the interaction between the working and general environment, which provides opportunities for integrated action to improve both.

36. In the period under review advisory services and assistance were provided to strengthen national capacities, improve national laws and regulations, develop national tripartite safety and health structures, and to support the ratification and implementation of basic international labour standards on OSH.

37. A national programme on chemical safety was launched in China. In Africa, national workshops on chemical safety related to the creation of national chemical registers were organized in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania and Kenya. Work was also done on the translation of Chemical Safety Data Sheets into several languages. The production of chemical safety training materials, posters and booklets, and awareness training campaigns, were included in technical cooperation programmes and projects.

38. Both the Asian and African OSH information programmes provided a wide range of support to programme and budget objectives focused on ensuring the availability and use of OSH information services for ILO constituents in developing national services capable of distributing and using OSH information effectively, and on promoting networking between the national services in this field.

39. The ILO action programme on Safety in the use of chemicals at work (1996-97) was designed to deal with the negative effects of toxic chemicals and waste on health, and the danger of fires and explosions. It was also one of the ILO's contributions to achieving the goals set by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, 1992 -- Chapter 19, agenda item 21) for the environmentally sound management of chemicals, and the relevant recommendations of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety.

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)

A total of 23 countries have signed the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the ILO, committing themselves to work together to address effectively the issue of child labour in their countries. Another 32 countries are also involved in IPEC in a less formal manner. During the period under review, IPEC maintained a strong presence in Asia and Latin America, and expanded its coverage in Africa and in Central and Eastern Europe.

Donor support for IPEC remained high during 1997-98, with additional resources received from the United States, Norway, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and Italy. Austria, Finland, Japan, Poland and Switzerland joined the Programme and contributions were received from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO), bringing the number of donor countries and contributing organizations to 21.

The proposed ILO Convention on child labour that will probably be adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1999 calls in its present draft for the "elimination of the worst forms of child labour". A large number of countries have expressed their support for the new Convention and their interest in implementing programmes focusing on the immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour. IPEC will then develop programmes of action in countries where there is a firm political commitment towards this end.

A promising new approach in addressing child labour issues is a comprehensive system designed to ensure that manufacturers and their subcontractors in specific economic sectors do not employ children under the age of 14 years. Child labour monitors under the programme inspect the workplaces regularly. Social protection schemes provide alternatives to the affected children and their families. The strategies applied in these types of programme have proven valuable in workplace monitoring programmes both in the formal sector (for example, the garments industry in Bangladesh) and in the rural and semi-urban informal and formal sector (for example, the soccer ball industry in Sialkot, Pakistan). IPEC now intends to replicate and expand this model.

40. ILO technical cooperation activities addressing the issue of child labour continued to be delivered through the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). A report on the operational aspects of IPEC was presented to the Governing Body at its 271st Session (March 1998).(3) Extra-budgetary resources provided by IPEC donors were reinforced with RBTC funds. They were used to promote and complement IPEC programmes on the basis of agreed country objectives. Technical cooperation and promotional activities were mutually reinforcing and supported by extensive basic research and analytical work undertaken by the Office.

41. RBTC funds were used to finance technical advisory services and operational activities carried out in cooperation with the field structure. These included the following:

42. The ILO collaborated with the National Safety Council (NSC) and their National Education Centre for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to organize an international workshop on occupational safety and health in agriculture and the training needs of developing countries in the United States in October 1997.

43. The scope of the ILO's ongoing collaboration with the NSC and the NECAS is oriented towards stimulating action and strengthening cooperation between the ILO and other international and interregional bodies in the development of action plans on safety and health in agriculture in developing countries. The purpose of the workshop was to identify the critical issues that affect the health and safety of agricultural workers in developing countries and their training needs. The ILO's contribution to the workshop was to provide technical input and sponsor the participation of representatives from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Arab States. The participants were directly responsible for OSH matters in their institutions and organizations or actively involved in occupational safety and health in agriculture. The ILO also provided technical input in the preparation of keynote presentations, group discussions and the final recommendations. Based on the outcome of the meeting, the participants are expected to be able to organize national programmes on OSH for the sector. An information network was also created among the participants as a by-product of the workshop.

44. The ILO continued to be recognized throughout the world as a source of guidance and expertise in the development, reform and administration of social security schemes. In 1997 the ILO was alone in offering advisory services and technical cooperation projects in about 25 countries. The social security programme addresses each of the ILO's priority objectives. First, as regards democracy and fundamental workers' rights, social security was recognized in the Declaration of Philadelphia as a basic human right. Moreover, since social security schemes are financed by employers and workers, with the latter and their families as the beneficiaries, there is a strong case for the democratic management of the schemes through the active participation of representatives of employers and workers. Secondly, since the benefits of growth are often unequally distributed, there are many who do not benefit from positive economic development and who nevertheless require even more social protection. Social security programmes aimed at poverty relief are thus an essential component of poverty alleviation programmes. Social security is also an essential feature of working conditions intended to promote a healthy and contented workforce and to provide income security in the event of temporary or permanent interruption of earnings.

45. A major development in the period under review was the commencement of the global programme on Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP), funded with a contribution of more than $8 million from the Government of Belgium. This reflects a growing trend towards addressing the social protection needs of those outside the scope of formal social security schemes. Since its launch the programme has formalized research links with a number of institutions of high reputation. In June 1998 it collaborated with a number of agencies, including USAID and GTZ, to organize a major workshop on health mutuals in Abidjan, which also served to identify concrete needs for programme development.

46. The ILO's technical cooperation efforts in the maritime sector continued to focus on improving working conditions, including the safety of maritime workers. Most of the activities focused on the port sector. The ILO provides the workers with an opportunity to raise their concerns on issues related to the effects of structural adjustment. Another theme has been the impact of structural adjustment programmes on the port sector. As concerns seafarers, the main activities included national seminars on maritime labour standards and the training of ship inspectors. The latter programme has been carried out in very close cooperation with the International Maritime Organization. The use of new cargo-handling techniques and port reforms, implemented through privatization, liberalization and the improvement of existing port administration, has resulted in an urgent need to increase skill levels, and in many cases to change the skill profile of port workers. The interest of ports and port training centres in using and implementing the Portworker Development Programme (PDP), both in developed and developing countries, has been overwhelming. It is foreseen that in the next five years more than 25 developing countries will be implementing the PDP through national or regional projects assisted by the ILO, and in most cases co-financed by the governments concerned.

47. The Office maintained its efforts to improve conditions for workers with disabilities. An international research project on disability management in the workplace is being undertaken in collaboration with the National Institute for Disability Management and Research of Canada. This project is examining the state of the art of disability management across a broad range of countries and enterprises, identifying and examining best practices and benchmark models. The findings will contribute to the formulation of a draft ILO Code of practice on the management of disability-related issues in the workplace, which will then be available for use in other projects and programmes. Study countries include Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and United States.

3. Promoting democracy and human rights

48. Harsh competition between nations and enterprises in today's globalized market economy, current political, economic and social changes, and the impact of structural adjustment programmes with persistently high levels of unemployment and poverty are compelling member States to introduce major reforms in the areas of labour law and labour relations. Wage policies at the national, industrial and enterprise levels are insufficiently adapted to the task of ensuring better earnings for workers, enabling employers to attract, maintain and motivate workers, and increasing productivity.

49. To respond to the great need for adequate legal frameworks to protect and promote workers' rights and for the establishment of essential mechanisms for the promotion of tripartite consultations, collective bargaining and the settlement of labour disputes, expert technical assistance in drafting, revising and codifying labour legislation was provided to more than 25 member States. Technical comments were made on draft texts from 12 countries. The ILO recently received new requests for technical assistance in the area of labour legislation from subregional organizations seeking to harmonize labour legislation and labour relations. One such request comes from Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

50. Technical assistance in developing mechanisms for negotiation and consultation at the national level was provided to more than 20 member States. With financial support from the Government of Belgium, a major project on the promotion of social dialogue in French-speaking African countries started in Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. The aim is to enhance the social partners' awareness of the need for tripartite dialogue on economic and social issues and the establishment and strengthening of tripartite consultation structures in these countries. The success of the pilot phase of this project generated considerable interest in many other African countries.

Harmonization of labour legislation and promotion
of tripartism in East Africa

In February 1997 the ILO, with financial support from the African-American Labour Centre (AALC) and UNICEF, assisted the Ugandan Government in organizing a tripartite subregional conference on the Harmonization of labour legislation and the promotion of tripartism in East Africa. The conference, which was attended by high-level tripartite delegations from the three countries of the East African Cooperation (Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda), concluded with a set of recommendations for consideration by its commission. The East African Cooperation meeting of ministers of labour was held in Arusha in October 1997 and endorsed most of the recommendations, including those dealing with the need to harmonize labour and immigration laws, the introduction of flexible approaches in the implementation of labour policies, the enhancement of tripartism and the need for greater ratification of international labour standards. Follow-up missions to the three countries in February 1998 investigated and assessed their specific needs with regard to labour reforms, and investigated and assessed the commitments and feasibility of harmonization of labour legislation within the framework of the East African Cooperation. The findings and recommendations of these missions will be submitted and discussed with the social partners in the three countries.

51. In Asia, a project entitled Promoting sound industrial relations based on tripartism, covering Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Viet Nam, was approved by Norway and should start by the end of 1998. A regional project on the promotion of sound labour relations and mutual understanding, funded by the Japanese Government, showed that labour-management relations rely on increased worker involvement in decision-making as a key factor in the success or failure of enterprises. A Swiss-funded project on the prevention and resolution of conflict and the promotion of workplace democracy in South Africa contributed to the creation of a national statutory Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). In 1997 some 60,000 disputes were referred to the CCMA and nearly 50 per cent were reconciled by the Commission. This represented a very favourable rate of prevention of work/hour losses for the country as a whole. The promising results of this project thus far encouraged the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to provide funds for another project covering Lesotho and Namibia, which aims to assist them to review their labour legislation and to develop the appropriate legislative framework for effective dispute prevention and settlement. It also provides relevant training for government officials and representatives of the employers' and workers' organizations.

Promotion of tripartism and social dialogue in four southern African
countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland)

The adoption of structural adjustment programmes, the enhancement of a liberal market economy and the emergence of multi-party democracy are changing the overall social and economic environment for these and other countries in Africa. The first phase of the project, funded by Norway , mainly comprising studies of national conditions and the identification of major problems hindering effective tripartism, was completed in 1997. The second phase will involve the organization of high-level tripartite seminars to discuss the major problems identified and to make recommendations. These seminars will be completed by the end of 1998, while the last and final phase -- the organization of a subregional conference to discuss the experiences of these countries -- is scheduled for 1999.

52. One effect of the transformations taking place in many countries is an increase in the frequency and number of labour disputes. In China, the transition to a market economy and the open-door economic policy have increased the number of labour disputes. In 1997, the restructuring of state-owned enterprises resulted in 11 million workers losing their jobs. The number of disputes, individual and collective, has doubled since 1995, but China has neither the experience nor the institutional machinery to handle them. In this context, the Government of China requested ILO technical assistance. In response, in November 1997, the ILO arranged the visit of a high-level Chinese delegation to a project in South Africa to allow them to gain first-hand knowledge of its operation and impact. Subsequently, a project on promoting workplace democracy and improving industrial relations in China was formulated, and it is anticipated that it will be finalized and funded by the end of 1998.

53. There has been an increase in the number of requests for ILO technical assistance in the settlement of labour disputes and in the establishment of collective bargaining machinery in the public service. The latter has been particularly affected by the liberalized policies that are being progressively introduced in many countries. A major challenge is to establish ways of accommodating the interests of civil servants and government administration in line with basic ILO principles.

54. In the area of workers' participation, technical assistance was provided for a tripartite national conference on workers' participation in Mauritius in February 1997 which was attended by 200 participants from government and from employers' and workers' organizations, and other institutions concerned. It identified the major problems hindering the promotion of workers' participation as a means of sustaining the country's economic success, examined various workers' participation schemes in Mauritius, and made proposals for future action. The results of this fruitful national consultation were integrated into a project on the revision and codification of labour laws and the promotion of workers' participation in Mauritius, now being implemented with UNDP funding.

55. In Latin America, technical assistance was provided to Colombia for social dialogue on wages, prices and productivity and the modernization of labour relations. Parallel to support for tripartite social dialogue in the five Andean countries, the ILO promoted bipartite collective bargaining through advisory missions, technical assistance, empirical research, workshops and the publication of a manual on collective bargaining. Two regional projects funded by Spain on the strengthening of tripartite social dialogue and labour reconversion in the Andean countries, and more recently in the Central American region, continued to be implemented. In Bolivia a tripartite agreement on social dialogue, the first in the entire history of labour relations in Bolivia, was signed in May 1998. It constitutes an important step towards using social dialogue as an instrument to tackle labour market reforms.

56. The lack of clear and effective principles and procedures for consultation with indigenous and tribal peoples, dispute settlement mechanisms, just and appropriate compensation, and socio-economic rehabilitation, are primary causes of pauperization and social unrest among indigenous and tribal peoples. In Guatemala a series of workshops, training courses and radio programmes aimed to help indigenous peoples and associations at the grass-roots and regional levels to comprehend the scope and implications of the Final Agreement on a Firm and Lasting Peace and the ratification of Convention No. 169 under the interregional project entitled Indigenous and tribal peoples: Poverty alleviation and democratization. The project also helped COPMAGUA, the Guatemalan Indigenous Confederation jointly responsible for the implementation of the Indigenous Agreement to strengthen its grass-roots promotional and educational campaigns. Training has also been supplied to enhance the capacity to design and negotiate the funding of community-based economic and social projects. In the Philippines, the project has focused on lobbying and promoting dialogue with local and national government authorities and other concerned actors on local policies for the sustainable use and management of indigenous ancestral lands.

Enhancing the employment and access to social prote ction
of homeworkers in the context of globalization

Activities in Asia focused on the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia , resulting in the establishment of a national network of homeworkers. The project also contributed to the creation of an institutional framework for social dialogue at the national level in two countries, the formulation of national development policies on the informal sector, and the enhancement of the socio-economic status and capacities of homeworkers. In the period under review major emphasis was placed on developing innovative social protection schemes, especially in the context of the current Asian financial crisis, and promoting international linkages between homeworkers' organizations.

In Latin America studies in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and Peru have been finalized. The goal was (i) to ascertain the magnitude and trends of this form of employment in the manufacturing and service sectors, while assessing the suitability of national employment surveys and statistics; (ii) to determine the socio-economic profile and needs of homeworkers; (iii) to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of existing regulatory frameworks; and (iv) to obtain the views of workers' and employers' organizations. A publication in Spanish on the research is under preparation. A regional consultation on the findings and possible follow-up is scheduled for October 1998 in Santiago (Chile). Some Asian experts working on this subject will be invited.

57. As regards remuneration, technical assistance was provided in response to constituents' requests (i) to protect workers' earnings; (ii) to enhance the capacity of employers to attract and motivate qualified human resources; and (iii) to help improve macroeconomic management of the economy.

III. Regional trends and priorities

58. The status of the country objectives (COs) was the subject of a paper submitted to the Committee in March 1998.(4) An update on the situation regarding the country employment policy reviews is submitted to the Committee on Employment and Social Policy at the present session.(5)


59. The African region represents on average 39 per cent of the ILO's technical cooperation activities financed from regular budget and extra-budgetary resources.

60. As regards job creation and combating poverty, which are priorities for the programme in 1998-99, ILO technical cooperation activities with constituents are conducted on a number of fronts, such as the increasingly effective integration on employment issues into economic management. Biennial meetings of employment planners promote exchanges of national experience and involve countries in the orientation of and follow-up on the regional programme, Jobs for Africa.

61. In addition, countries in the region are increasingly aware of the need to take account of the employment effects of the choices they make regarding investment, and donors themselves are making positive changes in this respect. This is largely the outcome of studies undertaken by the ILO in countries of the region, discussions held in the framework of two tripartite meetings on the socio-economic consequences of the devaluation of the CFA franc (Dakar, 1994; Yaoundé, 1997), and cooperation with countries and donors (Antananarivo and Dakar), and resulted in the elaboration of a programme of concrete support at the subregional level (AFRICATIP).

62. As regards the improvement of labour information for the elaboration of employment policies, the organization of consultations at the subregional level and with donors on employment and training observatories provided an opportunity to make concrete responses to the needs expressed by many countries for improvements in employment and training information, which are essential to accurate decision-making and to efficient planning.

63. Training is also coming to be regarded by increasing numbers of countries in the region as a major instrument for the implementation of employment and enterprise promotional policies. Their main concern was the adaptation of existing systems to a greater and more diversified demand for them both within and outside the modern sector, taking account flexibly of the needs of SMEs and the informal sector, and promoting the involvement of enterprises themselves. They were also concerned that training should make a greater contribution to improving the productivity of enterprises and of the national economy.

64. As regards the promotion of democracy and workers' fundamental rights, social dialogue and tripartite cooperation are in several countries increasingly turning to the objective of instituting frameworks for tripartite consultation on a permanent basis. ILO support, provided in West Africa thanks to cooperation from Belgium, is extending to Portuguese-speaking countries, and requests for programmes of assistance are being made by all subregions.

65. As regards equality of opportunity and treatment for women and underprivileged groups, technical cooperation activities have brought a number of results, including support for the formulation and implementation of national and sectoral policies on the promotion of women (resulting from the Fourth World Conference on Women), policies for the socio-economic integration of the handicapped and victims of conflict. Programmes to assist these target groups are formulated and executed in various countries. Interventions in which there is a shared interest are developed on the lines of the guidance document concerning community-based vocational rehabilitation, and on methodologies and strategies for the reintegration of groups affected by conflict.

66. As regards child labour, considerable progress can be noted in improving awareness among constituents of the problems this poses, but much remains to be done to eliminate its extreme forms. African countries are aware of the problems, and are favourable to the new Convention.

67. As regards the reform of social protection systems, technical cooperation has been varied and has involved many studies, auditing missions, advisory services and the organization of training courses and seminars at the national and subregional level, and has helped bring positive developments in existing systems, identify the problems, and finding the solutions in a broader framework, taking account of the population as a whole, and not only workers in the modern sector. Moreover, better understanding can be noticed among many countries of their situation regarding workplace health and safety, as they have become aware of the problems in this area, and particularly of the links between improvement of the working environment and productivity improvements. Support programmes are under way or in preparation in a growing number of countries.

68. RBTC resources are also used as seed money in many projects that are under way or in the pipeline, in cooperation with IBRD/ADB (combating poverty, social security, employment observatories, etc.), UNDP (reintegration of victims of conflict and vulnerable groups) and bilateral donors (e.g. social dialogue).

69. As regards the involvement of employers' and workers' organizations in the technical cooperation programme, since 1996 a new approach can be detected to the promotion of social dialogue through specific programmes targeted at the tripartite partners, the creation and strengthening of frameworks for cooperation and the initiation of subregional exchanges. Demand for such support services comes mainly from the major regional groupings.


70. While demand for ILO technical cooperation remained high in the Americas during 1997-98, the level of new project approvals in 1997 for the Americas decreased slightly from 7.4 per cent ($8 million) to 6.1 per cent ($7.5 million). This was due in part to the fact that the activities undertaken as a result of the first country objective plans, prepared in 1994 and 1995, were in the final stage of implementation and the MDTs started working on preparing a second country objective (CO) review. In addition, for countries such as Argentina and Uruguay it is difficult to obtain multibilateral resources because of strict donor criteria related to GNP. It is also difficult to abstract resources for the Caribbean subregion where most of the planned activities were accomplished by using RBTC resources or by mobilizing national resources. Resources received from UNDP were relatively scarce, but one important achievement was the approval of a project on women's training by the Inter-American Development Bank. This facilitated future negotiations with the Bank, which has now requested CINTERFOR to execute other technical cooperation activities.

71. Since the introduction of the APP and the use of country objectives as the basis for national programming, a sharp increase has been registered in extra-budgetary contributions from governments. Clear examples can be seen in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Uruguay and Argentina. During the period under review, some ILO area offices, together with the counterparts or with technical departments in headquarters, allocated RBTC resources to share the cost of small projects and programmes identified in the COs.

72. Of the 13 action programmes in the Programme and Budget for 1996-97, countries of the region had participated in seven (three on employment issues, three on gender issues and one on social dialogue), including the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women. A mission to launch this programme in Mexico, a selected country for this activity, was undertaken in May 1998, aimed at formulating the National Action Plan in Mexico.

73. The IPEC programme, aimed at creating permanent institutional structures, was an important part of the overall ILO programme in the region. Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru, and the National Committees have been working to consolidate the National Plans of Action. IPEC also developed various action projects on hazardous work in mining (Colombia), brick works (Peru and Argentina), produce markets (Peru), stone chipping (Peru) and shoe shining (Bolivia). The first evaluation of these projects indicates that there is a need to mobilize grass-roots communities with a multidisciplinary approach that includes four basic components: education, nutrition, health and alternatives for income generation. Based on the subregional experience, the second phase of action will continue efforts to consolidate national policies in the region.

74. Assistance to the social partners was a major component of the programme in the region. Workers' education programmes focused particularly on international labour standards, collective bargaining, working conditions, human rights reform and the development of pension systems. Expenses for workers' activities in 1997 rose to 8.5 per cent ($1,120,000) of total expenditure, compared with 6.7 per cent in 1996 ($680,000). New project approvals in 1997 for workers activities rose to $1,178,939.

75. Direct support was also provided to workers' organizations to strengthen their capacity to participate in tripartite social dialogue and socio-economic development. The results of the research and studies undertaken will be important in strengthening workers' organizations in certain technical areas.

76. The Regional Office worked with employers' organizations to strengthening their capacity to participate in formulating national social and labour policies, to improve labour relations and to provide adequate services to their members. Almost $1 million was internally mobilized for employers' activities throughout the region in 1997.

77. As regards resource mobilization, the key issue is to become involved at the very earliest stage of the formulation process, for example, within the Country Cooperation Framework (CCF). This is one way of contributing to the assessment of the social and economic situation in a specific country, while providing, at the request of UNDP, technical assistance and backstopping for nationally executed projects.

78. A noticeable achievement with respect to resource mobilization in 1997 was the agreement signed with the Ford Foundation to fund a subregional project amounting to $425,000 for the MERCOSUR countries and Chile. There is also great interest by the Caribbean Development Bank in supporting ILO activities in favour of CARICOM member States, and work is being done by the ILO Caribbean Office to succeed in this endeavour.

Asia and the Pacific

79. Approvals for this region increased by 9 per cent compared to 1996, and stood at more than $20.8 million. In terms of geographical distribution, Asia had the second highest level of approvals after Africa. With respect to the ILO's priority objectives, there was a clear focus on employment and poverty-related issues, reflecting the demand for action in this area. Ensuring effective action in this field will remain one of the main challenges for the ILO in the region for some time to come. The percentage share of expenditure for employment and training activities increased from 21.7 per cent in 1996 to nearly 30 per cent in 1997, followed by poverty alleviation (21 per cent -- 25 per cent in 1996) and enterprise development and working conditions with about 15 per cent each (down from 18 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively in 1996).

80. RBTC resources were used for a wide range of activities to assist constituents. An important function of RBTC has been to serve as seed money for developing projects and programmes that can attract the required levels of extra-budgetary support. One example is the project on employment opportunities for women, which is currently being developed in the Pacific subregion as an outcome of RBTC-financed training for young women for employment promotion. Despite its quantitative limits, RBTC has also been valuable in organizing cost-sharing arrangements, both within the ILO and with constituents.

81. As regards the issue of the social responses to the financial crisis in East and South-East Asian countries, this was the subject of a high-level meeting held in Bangkok in April 1998 in response to a recommendation by the Twelfth Asian Regional Meeting (Bangkok, 9-11 December 1997).(6) Further information on activities in this area are the subject of a special report submitted to the Governing Body at its present session.(7)

82. Attention was given to improving linkages between the country objectives and the ILO's action programmes and global programmes. They are seen to be supplementing other planned country activities, and often stimulate interest among both recipients and donor countries in follow-up activities. Thus, for example, the action programme for the development of export processing zones (EPZs) in China, generated demand from the Government for future activities in that area. Global programmes such as STEP, More and Better Jobs for Women and major ILO programmes such as ASIST (Advisory Support Information Services and Training for Asia and the Pacific), have generated considerable interest at the country level and among donors.

83. Following extensive consultations, the ILO was able to attract UNDP funding for the preparation of a project document on women's employment concerns and working conditions in Pakistan. A National Plan of Action for More and Better Jobs was then formulated and has also attracted interest from other donors.

84. Several projects focusing on employers' and workers' organizations either started or continued during the reporting period. In Bangladesh and India, a project funded by Norway on integrating women in private sector activities through employers' organizations continued to be implemented, covering the training needs of women entrepreneurs and gender equality issues. Norway is also funding a project on employers' organizations and cleaner production, which is operational in India, Sri Lanka, China, Philippines and Indonesia. Following an initial orientation workshop, several training courses were carried out at the enterprise level. A DANIDA-funded project on Human resource development for adjustment at the enterprise level is being implemented in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Philippines. Project outputs so far include two training manuals, which were tested at a workshop.

85. The efforts being made in some countries to establish a UN-wide framework for action under the UNDAF exercise provides an opportunity to pool resources with other UN agencies and attract other donors. Such exercises are taking place in Viet Nam (recently completed), Philippines and Thailand.

86. Contact between the ILO and the international and regional financial institutions has been intensified as a result of the heightened presence of representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the country level following the Asian financial crisis. At the policy level, the ILO's Regional Office is engaged in a dialogue with the ADB and the international financial institutions on the social consequences of structural adjustment programmes, and seeks to encourage dialogue with the social partners and ministries of labour.

87. Turin RBTC funds were made available for subregional workshops on an Introduction to pension schemes held in Malaysia, and on Strengthening dispute settlement mechanisms in South Asian economies, held in Nepal. Capacity building in the field of international labour standards was promoted through individual fellowships for government officials. Support to employers' organizations was provided in the form of a workshop at the Turin Centre on employers' organizations in Asia and the Pacific in the twenty-first century.


88. The objective for this region is to reach a level of extra-budgetary approvals that would secure the implementation of the programme planned for the 27 countries, supported by the area offices and the multidisciplinary teams in Moscow and in Budapest.

89. Prospects are encouraging in Europe. The level of approvals doubled in 1997 compared with 1996, totalling $8,249,379 or 6.8 per cent of total ILO approvals. The main multibilateral donors in the region are Belgium, Finland, the Flemish Community, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. The ILO was able, in 1997-98, to mobilize $7.1 million for Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Governments of Japan, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium and from UNDP. A number of new projects are to be submitted for funding in Albania, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Tajikistan. In Uzbekistan, along with the World Bank and the UNDP, the ILO participates in the establishment of the Uzbek Social Transformation Fund, comprising three different subprogrammes; small enterprise development, employment promotion in infrastructure, and a micro-credit scheme.

90. In Tajikistan, with financing from the donor community, the ILO will implement a $2 million project for social rehabilitation and the reintegration of refugees and displaced persons. A subregional project enhancing women's employment and equality during economic transition, covering Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan is being submitted to donors for funding. As can be seen, technical cooperation in the countries of Central Asia and Europe is an increasingly powerful tool for achieving an efficient active partnership with the constituents. In this respect it might be noted that technical cooperation usually produces better and more tangible results in countries where there is a permanent ILO presence. Alternatively, consultation with technical advisers locally responsible for the execution of the activities, or with national correspondents could be advantageous.

91. In countries emerging from conflict (Bosnia, Albania and Tajikistan), the ILO is proactive and very successful in ensuring its presence at the early stage of developing technical cooperation programmes of interest to recipients and donors and directly linked to the ILO's core mandate (reform of labour legislation and labour institutions; employment promotion through the creation of small and medium enterprises; training and reinsertion of the disabled into the labour market).

92. The resource mobilization strategy in the region focused on the outcome of successful technical cooperation projects, approaches and methodologies, which were disseminated and attracted donor interest in several countries (i.e. income-generation and self-employment in depressed areas). The countries of this region covered by both area offices and MDTs will benefit from ILO global programmes such as IPEC (which will be extended to other countries), STEP (already implementing activities in Azerbaijan and Russian Federation), More and Better Jobs for Women, ISEP and the World Programme on Safety and Health, when operational.

93. The ILO should enhance its efforts to attract more external assistance for technical cooperation programmes in the field of institution building to develop employers' and workers' organizations; reinforcement of tripartism and social dialogue; employment and active labour market policies, training systems and labour administration; small enterprise development and entrepreneurship, and poverty alleviation and social protection.

Arab States and the Middle East

94. Approvals in 1997 amounted to $7.4 million, reflecting an increase of 67 per cent from $4.4 million in 1996. Approvals in the fields of employment, small enterprise development and vocational rehabilitation accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the total approvals. The technical cooperation programme in the region mainly addressed the ILO objective related to employment promotion and poverty alleviation. In Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen, the ILO's programme helped to strengthen the capacity for labour market monitoring. In Lebanon a project completed during the period under review produced employment data that provided a substantive basis for the formulation of policies and programmes on employment promotion. The Office also implemented a project in the West Bank and Gaza designed to help the Palestinian Authority to establish a employment strategy in the medium term that included institution building on employment issues. The technical cooperation programme also contributed to employment promotion and poverty alleviation for the disabled in this region through vocational rehabilitation, the development of small enterprises and the promotion of income-generating activities.

95. Promotion of employment is one of the highest priorities identified in the country objectives for Lebanon: in collaboration with UNDP, an SPPD project to formulate an appropriate strategy for employment promotion and sustainable economic growth was prepared. The combined efforts of the ILO and UNDP ensured the timely launch of studies within the framework of this project.

96. A number of activities were undertaken in the region in support of employers' and workers' organizations. In order to promote tripartite structures, regional and subregional seminars were organized to meet the needs and interests of the Arab States. In cooperation with the Arab Labour Organization (ALO), the ILO held regional meetings on the role of workers' and employers' organizations in Tunis and Dubai. Three ILO/ICATU subregional meetings on the importance of social dialogue, workers' education and trade union rights were held in the region to promote cooperation between workers' organizations and with the ILO. During 1997 a number of workshops and seminars were held at the national level.

97. A major priority for the RBTC programme in the Arab States was to enhance the capacity of employers' and workers' organizations to effectively participate in tripartite dialogue. In this connection, particular emphasis was placed on issues such as fundamental workers' rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the social impact of economic globalization. These activities contributed to the achievement of the ILO's objective related to the promotion of democracy and workers' rights.

98. Notable during the period under review was the completion of studies on the situation regarding child labour in selected countries in the region. The results are being used to prepare strategies and programmes to combat the most intolerable forms of child labour.

99. As regards gender issues, one major activity was a regional seminar on the promotion of micro- and small enterprises for women, focusing on the creation of an enabling business environment and on the required support, such as credit schemes, training, marketing and promotion. Within the framework of the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women, the action plan for the West Bank and Gaza was formulated.

100. Within the region, the West Bank and Gaza received the largest share of the technical cooperation programme. Projects in the field of vocational rehabilitation, employment promotion and small enterprise development were funded from extra-budgetary resources, while those related to labour administration and employers' and workers' organizations were financed through RBTC.

101. The ratification of international labour standards was promoted in nearly all technical cooperation activities in the region. Particular emphasis was placed on enhancing the social partners' understanding of international labour standards in specific technical fields. Assistance to workers' organizations focused on improved understanding of international labour standards related to fundamental workers' rights, such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.

102. Close contacts were maintained with the local representatives of traditional donors. At the same time considerable efforts were made to diversify extra-budgetary funding. Experience in the West Bank and Gaza points to the need to involve UNDP representatives and other donors both on technical (formulation, monitoring and evaluation) and substantive issues.

IV. Workers' and employers' activities and
technical cooperation

103. Technical cooperation projects implemented by the Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) are based on direct requests from workers' organizations and needs identified by the ILO, both in the field and at headquarters, and from international, regional and national trade union bodies. All such assistance addresses the ILO's priority themes: support for democracy and fundamental workers' rights, promoting employment and combating poverty; and protecting working people. Within this context, the main issues of the technical cooperation programme in 1997 and 1998 have been the strengthening of representative, independent and democratic trade unions and the enhancement of their capacity to participate effectively in tripartite dialogue with a view to promoting workers' legitimate interests.

104. As a result of the technical assistance provided to the organizations, an increase in the participation of workers in tripartite consultations has been registered in all regions. Trade unions have demonstrated greater vigilance in monitoring respect for, and the effective application of, international labour standards. They are also better aware of the social consequences of structural adjustment programmes and of the impact of economic globalization on the world of work.

105. Activities during the period under review focused on the following main subject areas: general workers' education; workers' organizations and the global economy; child labour; new technologies and trade union work; the informal sector; home work; and contract labour. In all of these areas, assistance was provided to workers' organizations either in the form of substantive projects or ad hoc activities, including seminars and workshops, advisory services, study grants and educational materials.

106. Recognizing that the delivery of coherent and sustained workers' education programmes is crucial in establishing strong, representative and well-functioning workers' organizations, institution building and general workers' education continued to be an important part of the ACTRAV programme in 1997-98.

Chart 11. ILO regular budget (RBTC) and extra-budgetary expenditure for workers' activities, 1997

Chart 12. ILO regular budget (RBTC) and extra-budgetary expenditure for employers' activities, 1997

107. In addition to assisting trade unions in enhancing their capabilities in basic trade union skills, such as collective bargaining and organizational management, the programme also placed special emphasis on the involvement and participation of women workers. This was consistent with efforts to include gender and equality concerns in all ILO activities, as indicated in section V: a number of workshops were carried out in 1997 on the role of women in trade unions in Yemen and, as a component of wider programmes, in Kuwait, Lebanon and Syrian Arab Republic.

108. Certain programmes targeted specific vulnerable groups. For example, in the field of child labour, an interregional project continued to work with the relevant organizations developing national and international trade union strategies to combat child labour. Another project provides assistance to strengthen trade union action on women and child labour in selected South-East Asian countries. In India, technical cooperation assistance was provided to promote the integration of women into rural workers' organizations, and similar projects have been carried out in Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the Jobs for Africa programme the groups targeted are the poor and the disadvantaged. Workers' organizations are expected to participate fully in the national network advocacy, influencing decision-making on employment creation and poverty reduction at the national level, strengthening at the same time their own capacities and empowerment.

109. Technical cooperation resources have been used to promote the rights of women workers. In the case of Brazil, country objectives identified by constituents and the ILO addressed the issue of equality for women in employment and equality of opportunity. The ILO was called on to ensure the proper dissemination of information concerning women workers' rights within specific components funded by the governments concerned, or by specific regional projects such as that on assistance to promote basic international labour standards for rural workers' organizations in Latin America, initiated in 1996.

110. While continued efforts have been made to diversify funding sources for workers' activities, ACTRAV's technical cooperation programme still highly depends on regular contributions from a limited number of donors such as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Italy and the European Union. In 1998, a significant contribution was received from the United Kingdom for activities in Indonesia.

111. While the UNDP and UNFPA accounted for 34 per cent of total ILO technical cooperation expenditure in 1997, only 0.7 per cent of ACTRAV's expenditure was associated with these funding sources. Although direct support to the social partners may not be a priority for these agencies, there are nevertheless possibilities for collaboration at the operational level: joint efforts were made with the UNFPA on population issues in favour of workers' organizations in Central America. The relative vulnerability of the programme in funding terms illustrates how important it is for ILO mainstream programmes to address the needs of the social partners effectively and to ensure their involvement so as to ensure that ILO constituents benefit equally from the full range of ILO technical cooperation activities.

Mastering the challenge of globalization: A trade union agenda

Interest in the impact of "globalization" has moved beyond the boardroom and banking circles. Today the implications of increased economic interdependence between nations is just as likely to be discussed by a group of workers on the factory floor as it is in the financial press. However, the terminology and the interpretations differ substantially. For the financial barons, trade specialists and captains of industry globalization represents the golden age of opportunity and freedom. In explaining the benefits of free trade, increased foreign investment and greater scope for market forces, the proponents of an integrated world economy are likely to mention the following: the jobs created by multinational enterprises and increased international investment; the productivity gains resulting from spreading the latest technology to developing countries; the participation of the masses in stock markets through equity funds; the need to maximize the comparative advantage of different countries; the efficiency gains resulting from "contracting-out" arrangements and more flexible labour markets; and the discipline that these developments impose on governments to reduce expenditure and ensure a favourable investment climate.

By comparison, discussions about the impact of globalization on the factory floor are more likely to focus on how, because of greater competition, they are expected to produce more output with fewer workers; about the longer working hours or extra shifts that have been introduced without any pay increase, about their friends that are now unemployed after their company downsized, or about how management is threatening to move production to other countries if labour costs cannot be reduced still further. Other less fortunate workers will not even have the luxury of discussions within the factory because they face victimization if they are caught complaining or attempting to form a trade union that might protect their basic rights. In industrialized countries, globalization and increased competition are seen as contributing to widening income differentials, the growth of precarious forms of work and less job security, attacks on the social security system, and the erosion of collective bargaining and trade union influence.

Given the competing interpretations and implications of globalization, debates about the topic have been passionate. The international trade union movement has not been a passive observer of this discourse. Most trade unions are searching for ways to counteract the influence that the liberalization of international trade and investment has had on the bargaining power of labour. At the same time, trade unions are concerned to preserve the benefits that globalization can potentially deliver through faster economic and employment growth, more affordable consumer goods, and greater political stability through economic interdependence. In any case, the trend towards economic interdependence between nations is unlikely to be reversed in the near future. What the world of work will look like in the twenty-first century depends to a great extent on the responses that social partners will be in a position to find to the challenges of globalization.

112. The ILO has made an important contribution to the development of growing awareness that social policy issues can both affect and be affected by international trade and investment flows and that the most suitable way to deal with increased international competition is not by lowering labour standards, but by enhancing the productivity of labour through investment in skills development.

113. The ILO has tried to fill this gap through support from the Government of Italy, which funded the project on information technology mentioned above (paragraph 105) aimed at improving the skills of trade unions and NGOs by enhancing their workers' education activities, taking full advantage of the new and cost-effective possibilities offered by information technology. The following outputs are to be produced:

114. During the period under review the technical cooperation programme has helped employers' organizations to begin to adapt to the new competitive and fast-changing environment: employers' organizations have charted clearer development paths and placed more emphasis on establishing information systems and research capacity and on staff development. They have also started to adopt a more strategic perspective of industrial relations. At the same time, the ILO's technical cooperation activities, implemented by the Bureau for Employers' Activities (ACT/EMP) with employers' organizations, has become more focused as a result of the development of medium- and long-term cooperation plans with such organizations. This process involved identifying specific ILO activities likely to have the strongest impact on the achievement of the development objectives of employers' organizations.

115. One particular challenge is that, if technical cooperation is to make an effective contribution to the development objectives of employers' organizations, a substantial investment in staff needs to be made by several organizations. Better qualified and well-trained staff are critical if the organizations are to adapt to the needs of enterprises, and are crucial to any attempt to enhance the professionalism of employers' organizations in the provision of advisory and negotiation services, training, up-to-date and well-analysed information and research material. However, since no institutions as such (e.g. management schools) cater to the development of the staff of employers' organizations, employers' activities need to continue to focus on staff development, partly through the cooperation of developed organizations. This does not discount the need for the organizations themselves to pay particular attention to recruitment and retention policies and on-the-job training.

116. The internal capacity of employers' organizations was strengthened primarily through staff training, study tours to developed organizations, advisory services and assistance in the development of training services.

117. Employers are increasingly expecting their organizations to anticipate needs and provide services to enhance enterprise performance: here it is necessary to identify the socio-economic context in which employers will be operating, the issues that employers are likely to face, and the directions in which they are likely to move in the next century.

118. The Bureau for Employers' Activities has paid particular attention to the renewed emphasis placed on the evaluation of technical cooperation activities by the donor community, the Committee on Technical Cooperation, the Employers' group within the Office itself. The importance of feedback on the way in which activities have benefited constituents has been stressed in all activities.

119. In Central America technical assistance was provided to develop the public relations role of employers' organizations to enable them to deal more effectively with the government, unions and the media. Work also began to set up communications departments in organizations in those countries.

120. Many of the industrial relations programmes focused on the impact of globalization on industrial relations and on developing a strategic perspective on industrial relations, for instance, by linking it to productivity and competitiveness.

121. In the field of environment, a project on cleaner production methods continued with employers' organizations in Mauritius, Zimbabwe, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. The project seeks to match the business goal of efficiency with environmental concerns and industrial relations objectives. In some enterprises in Sri Lanka, for instance, workers and management have agreed to collaborate on cleaner production methods. Workers are therefore being consulted and involved by management at the shop-floor level -- an important achievement.

122. In the area of productivity, technical cooperation focused on the promotional role of employers' organizations; productivity enhancement through strengthening labour-management cooperation and through improved working conditions and safety practices; pay systems geared to performance; information and case studies on new work arrangements; and effective human resource management. Programmes to develop the human resources management skills of executives in enterprises were conducted in Fiji, Thailand and Philippines.

123. Recognizing the importance of the quality of human capital for socio-economic development and enterprise competitiveness, a key theme of the employers' technical cooperation programmes was human resource development.

V. International labour standards and technical cooperation

124. ILO technical cooperation activities will be called upon to play an increasingly important role in the framework of follow-up on the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work, adopted by the International Labour Conference in June 1998: in general, it will have to help member States to ensure a favourable environment for economic and social development; and in particular by helping member States that are unable to ratify all, or only able to ratify some of the fundamental Conventions in their efforts to respect and effectively promote the principles concerning fundamental rights. Human and material means will hence be mobilized, within the limits of available resources, as well as extra-budgetary resources where required. The Office has been called upon to provide technical assistance in 1997 with a view to the ratification of the fundamental Conventions in a considerable number of countries following the Director-General's initiative. A full picture of the activities of the international labour standards specialists in the multidisciplinary teams is given in a separate paper submitted to the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards.(8) However, it is useful to recall here a number of the technical cooperation activities that have mobilized a considerable proportion of RBTC resources for the Office as well as extra-budgetary resources.

125. In Asia, for example, technical cooperation projects have made possible the revision of existing legislation and have thereby promoted the ratification of international labour Conventions. This is the case, for example, with two projects financed by DANIDA concerning workers' education and aimed at the promotion of international standards, and in particular of fundamental standards, in a number of countries in South Asia and Mongolia. Technical cooperation activities and support given by the teams have encouraged the ratification of Conventions Nos. 100 and 138 in Malaysia, for example. In Viet Nam, Conventions Nos. 100 and 111 have also been ratified, and thanks to technical assistance from the Office, China has ratified Convention No. 122 and is in the process of ratifying Convention No. 138. Technical advice has been given to the Governments of Cambodia and Mongolia on the conformity of national labour law with fundamental standards, and mention should also be made of a technical cooperation project currently being executed in Pakistan, which emphasizes workers' fundamental rights and combating child labour. Another project in Cambodia is intended to promote respect for standards in the framework of a job-creation programme financed by the Swedish Development Agency.

126. In Africa there has been a considerable increase in ratifications. Countries in the region have in general accepted the principle of ratifying standards and applying them. However, they encounter many difficulties: limited material, financial and human resources; weak institutional capacity and lack of expertise in certain fields; the complexity of the process of ratification; and inadequate information and communications. ILO technical cooperation activities help to find solutions to these problems either through medium- and long-term activities in the country objectives exercise, or in the framework of support missions requested on an ad hoc basis. Technical support was provided as part of the initiative aimed at the universal ratification of the fundamental Conventions, and also in the fields of industrial relations and collective bargaining, for example, in Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia (Convention No. 154), occupational safety and health (Conventions Nos. 155 and 161); social security (Convention No. 102); working conditions in hotels and restaurants (Convention No. 172); and employment, human resources and the placement of the handicapped (Conventions Nos. 122, 142 and 159).

127. In Latin America national tripartite consultation machinery like that foreseen in Convention No. 144 has been reactivated in a large number of countries through technical assistance supplied to constituents by the four MDTs, in many cases using extra-budgetary resources. Nearly 150 officials of ministries of labour and representatives of employers and trade union organizations, attended a training and information course on international labour standards. Convention No. 111 has systematically been the subject of courses and information meetings, particularly for employment and standards services of ministries of labour in certain countries. Representatives of employers' and workers' organizations benefited from such support, for example, in Brazil. National committees set up in the framework of the IPEC programme are actively contributing to the ratification of Convention No. 138 or to its effective application, and are also participating in the discussions on the new instrument to be adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1999. In Santiago the Second Summit of Heads of State and of Government of the Americas adopted a Plan of Action in April 1998 whereby governments undertook to promote and implement the fundamental standards as essential elements of a productive working environment and for the improvement of industrial relations in a tripartite framework. In the more general area of the promotion of standards in the maritime sector, which is very important in the context of the economic globalization and development of the transport sector, activities were undertaken in Panama for the countries of the region, and in Brazil and Venezuela, closely linked to the application of the maritime Conventions, and particularly the promotion and ratification of the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 [and Protocol, 1996] (No. 147) in the framework of subregional and regional agreements. In the Caribbean, training activities for labour inspectors concerning shipping were organized in 1997 in close cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). More generally, reference should be made to the technical assistance provided to new member States of the Organization in the Caribbean, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, concerning the ratification and application of standards.

128. In the Arab countries, support was given to constituents, particularly in connection with Convention No. 138, in Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen and the occupied territories. Information activities were conducted for all countries in the subregion to promote respect for and the effective application of standards on freedom of association and tripartite social dialogue. The translation into Arabic was completed in 1997 of two important ILO publications on freedom of association and standards and procedures concerning freedom of association. In Europe, technical assistance was provided to Albania and Ukraine in the fields of wage protection (Convention No. 95) and minimum wage-fixing (Convention No. 131), and on social security (Convention No. 102)  to Latvia, where a technical cooperation project is also under way. Technical advisory services were provided on collective bargaining, institutional reform and labour law to Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where for the first time a round table organized by the Office brought together all the actors in the field of social policy. These technical cooperation activities were financed by extra-budgetary resources from the Governments of Luxembourg and Italy and from RBTC resources provided by the Office.

129. Technical cooperation activities were conducted in the Philippines and Guatemala concerning the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), as stated in section II. An interregional technical cooperation project financed by the Netherlands on the theme of training and information on women's fundamental rights is promoting the application of fundamental labour standards at the national level. Finally, other technical cooperation projects, such as labour-intensive public works schemes, remain a highly appropriate and useful means of applying standards on employment policy. The studies executed under the project on "homeworkers in a globalized economy" have opened the way for the possible ratification of the Home Work Convention, 1996 (No. 177) in the countries surveyed.

VI. Gender issues and technical cooperation

130. Over the last two biennia conscious efforts were made to integrate the gender dimension into all ILO programmes, projects and activities. The growing importance given to the mainstreaming approach was demonstrated by the fact that ILO internal funds have increasingly been allocated specifically to this end. A series of training activities for ILO field staff was financed by the Personnel Department, and contributions made by several regional and area offices, both for ILO staff and for constituents. In this year's report gender-related activities are also found in other sections of the report, including section II on overall ILO priorities and section IV on international labour standards.

131. The Office of the Special Adviser for Women Workers' Questions has intensified its collaboration with technical departments at headquarters and with the field structure, through technical advisory services on gender training. An innovative approach in this respect was a tailor-made training workshop organized in Geneva to discuss how gender equality concerns were reflected in the main work items of a number of departments and branches at headquarters, and how this dimension could be more effectively incorporated in their respective programmes. In addition, special efforts are being made to assess the functioning of the focal points system at headquarters and in the field, in order to enhance their advocacy and coordination skills for gender mainstreaming. Two important gender-related consultation and training activities have been organized for ILO staff in Asia: a regional meeting in Bangkok in October 1997, and a workshop organized by the MDT and Area Office in Manila in January 1998. In both cases, strategic plans of action were developed by the participants.

132. The interregional project on Training and information dissemination on women workers' rights, funded by the Netherlands, continued to be a useful means not only of disseminating knowledge about international labour standards to the wider public, but also of developing measures to improve the application of these rights in a national context. In many participating countries, social dialogue on gender equality in employment has been established for the first time through tripartite commissions, which are also playing an active role in the implementation of projects. Information and training materials have been produced and resource persons from constituents have been trained on how to use the ILO training materials in their own educational activities.

133. As already indicated in section III, at the heart of the information and training activities is the dissemination of information on Convention No. 111 to employers' and workers' organizations at the national and regional level. In Brazil, enhanced commitment to combat gender-based discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and treatment between men and women has been achieved at the governmental level within trade unions and the employers' organizations. In the training provided to ILO constituents emphasis was placed on the dissemination of ILO Recommendations concerning the promotion of equality of opportunity and treatment in the world of work, and also on the mobilization of joint efforts to develop tripartite action plans. In 1997 and early 1998, workshops were conducted in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Guatemala, Jamaica, Egypt, Morocco and Ukraine. In the case of Sri Lanka, efforts by the Area Office to support national plans of action following up on global conferences, such as the National Plan of Action for Women in Sri Lanka -- Towards gender equality, were greatly strengthened by the Office's capacity to draw on several MDT specialists in a multidisciplinary approach. In Laos, two training workshops were organized in 1997 on women workers' rights and ILO policies and principles. As the result of a specific project carried out in Pakistan, tripartite action to raise awareness at the national and local levels has been fostered thanks to appropriate training materials adapted and translated into local languages produced by the ILO with the national counterparts.

134. In 1997-98, the ILO implemented several action programmes that included major gender-related activities and activities specifically targeted at women. Their common feature was to create and ensure sustainability by developing instruments such as codes of good practice, manuals, and networks of participating organizations and institutions. These were: Labour and social issues relating to export processing zones, Economic reform and structural change: Promoting women's employment and participation in social funds, Labour administration and equality of rights of women and the interdepartmental programme on Skills and entrepreneurship training for countries emerging out of conflict.

International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women

This Global Programme, which has been formally established in the Employment and Training Department, has so far formulated national action plans for Estonia, United Republic of Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Mexico, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Croatia. All the plans were formulated in close collaboration with the national social partners as part of follow-up on the Fourth World Conference on Women and the World Summit for Social Development. The basic strategy emphasizes the creation of a more enabling environment for women's employment; coherently integrated sets of targeted intervention for specific vulnerable groups of women; and information collection and dissemination on what works, what does not and why, so as to promote the adoption of appropriate policies and programmes that ensure sustainability.

An Informal Tripartite Meeting at the Ministerial Level on More and Better Jobs for Women was held on 10 June during the 86th Session (1998) of the International Labour Conference in Geneva to elicit donor support for the programme. Participants in the meeting, which was extremely well attended, expressed strong support for the objectives and design of the programme and gave encouraging indications regarding financial support. There was general recognition that the programme was intended to pursue a major objective of the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work, that is, the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation. Moreover, even though many participants pointed to the progress made towards equality in their countries, they considered that their national efforts required a broader sustained framework of international activities in order to develop further the potential of women, and therefore, requested technical assistance under the programme.

In the United Republic of Tanzania a participatory project targeting rural women continued to promote the socio-economic status of women and their empowerment. An innovative credit scheme is being implemented and a district women's forum has been established to enhance women's socio-economic well-being and their participation in decision-making at the district level. This experience will serve as a model for further evaluation and for the replication of viable targeted employment promotion and poverty alleviation schemes. In the same field of women's access to credit, the ILO is still exploring the link between market access and resource control, especially from a gender perspective, as access to credit does not lead automatically to empowerment, as the recent evaluations of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh have shown. Surveys have been launched on this subject in India, Bolivia and Zimbabwe.

VII. Critical issues in technical cooperation

136. In response to requests made by the Committee, the following section concerns key issues affecting the performance of the ILO's technical cooperation programme.

Delivery of technical expertise and services

137. The country objectives (COs) have provided a basis for the concentrated effort, prioritizing demand and promoting basic ILO values. This programming exercise also ensures that ILO programmes are responsive to the needs and priorities of constituents. The status of the country objectives exercises has changed since last year's report.(9)

138. The Governing Body recently evaluated the Active Partnership Policy (APP), observing that the country objectives had not been completed in all countries foreseen and that experience of the formulation of the COs and their effects had been varied.(10) In some countries the process had gone extremely well, favouring tripartite consultations and social dialogue and strengthening the capacities of constituents, and funding had been obtained for some of the programmes. The process had gone further in some other countries where tripartite committees had been constituted not only to formulate and implement the country objectives, but also to facilitate permanent consultation between the ILO and its constituents. In a limited number of cases, the process had taken a long time and constituents felt that the objectives had been overtaken by events.

139. As a result of the country objectives exercise, together with the many new challenges facing constituents and the ILO's own obligation to follow up on recent major UN conferences, the demand for high-quality products and services has increased enormously. The Office needs to respond effectively by strengthening its internal capacity to formulate and update country objectives, ensuring effective follow-up on the programmes and, in many cases, directly executing the related activities. Continuous reviews and evaluations are also needed to assess the impact and quality of the ILO's products within the objective-oriented approach.

140. One mechanism used effectively in a number of subregions to achieve reasonable delivery in relation to demand, is the establishment of national networks of consultants on a particular subject. The extent to which this strategy can be used is, of course, highly dependent on the level and quality of resources available over time. A related strategy mentioned in last year's report is to place far greater emphasis than hitherto on enabling various national organizations to continue to deliver services beyond the life of a project. This approach simultaneously serves to strengthen national capacities and expertise among the social partners, enhances the ILO's visibility at the country level and builds up a roster of national personnel who are well-versed in ILO values and approaches. Providing effective backstopping for these networks requires significant support from MDT members (approximately 40 per cent of their time, with another 40 per cent devoted to direct assistance to constituents). In other cases, where there may not be a relevant specialist in the MDT, for example on the financial and actuarial aspects of social security, execution has been ensured directly by ILO headquarters departments with the use of national expertise for very specific tasks.

141. This shows how the ILO continues to search for new modalities to deliver the expertise and services that are appropriate to the new socio-economic context. It has remained focused on maintaining a demand-driven approach, strengthening the social partners and building national institutional capacities. Paradoxically, the notable drop in the delivery rate (measured in terms of actual expenditure in relation to allocations), mentioned in section I, can be partially attributed to certain positive developments in the delivery of technical cooperation. First, the effective implementation of multidisciplinarity and a demand-driven approach, together with a real commitment to national capacity building, frequently entails a slower pace when compared with ad hoc interventions delivered mainly with international expertise. Secondly, the move to achieve greater complementarity between regular budget technical cooperation resources and extra-budgetary sources has meant that the latter could finance activities over a longer period. Thirdly, the emphasis on quality and the development of innovative approaches in ILO programmes has allowed a number of them to attract unexpected additional funding or co-funding for planned activities.

142. With the implementation of the APP and the national programming framework, it has been recognized that it is essential to take into account elements such as the demand-driven aspects of the programmes and the nature, quality and number of services provided to the constituents, regardless of source of funding. As already stressed, the technical backstopping and very tight monitoring and follow-up has positively influenced delivery rates, for example in the Latin American region, where an increase of nearly 31 per cent was registered in 1997.

143. As regards the financial decentralization process, procedures and computer systems have been developed to support the APP and have been implemented in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Full implementation in Europe and in the Arab States is scheduled for early 1999.

144. To achieve the ILO's operational objective of being more effective and efficient, and within this overall framework, a number of measures have already been taken, and others are under review: in 1997 training was provided in various regions on the use of new computer applications linked to the decentralization process. Greater emphasis was also placed on the monitoring of projects and programmes, and backstopping units are being urged to ensure that progress reviews are followed by tight budget revisions, so that the delivery rate becomes a more accurate index of performance. Another major focus of attention was the reporting system at all levels (project, programme, country, subregion, etc.). More efforts should be made to ensure that reports are reflective, analytical, and results- and problem-oriented, highlighting issues such as the contribution to the ILO's priority areas of work and higher programme objectives, and the level of expenditure per group of beneficiaries and constituents. This approach should promote greater transparency in ILO activities, giving constituents and other development partners, including donors, a clear picture of the technical capacities, responsiveness and operational efficiency of the Office in the changing context of technical cooperation.

Design, monitoring and evaluation of operational activities

145. During the period under review, the Evaluation Unit continued to stress the importance of evaluation work and of using evaluation results throughout the Office to maintain the high quality of ILO activities.

146. Evaluation reports were regularly received and registered in the evaluation database. Over 75 per cent of the reports were final evaluations of projects, 21 per cent were interim or mid-term evaluations, and 3 per cent were ex-post evaluations, i.e. the result of missions carried out some time after the end of the projects. Over three-quarters of them were independent evaluations (41 per cent were conducted with the participation of external consultants and 34 per cent by ILO officials external to the projects), while nearly one-quarter were self-evaluations.

147. The routine work of screening draft proposals for project documents and terms of reference for evaluations, following up on planned evaluations, and cataloguing, indexing and abstracting evaluation reports in the evaluation database continued on a regular basis. In addition, in view of the need to maintain a continuously high standard of reporting, the Evaluation Unit began to systematically examine and comment on the quality of the evaluation reports received. This work focused on analysing to what extent the authors of the reports had addressed the main evaluation concerns of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and sustainability. A good sample of impact assessments were found in a number of the evaluation reports reviewed and have been included in this paper in the case studies of the sections dealing with specific technical fields. Some of the evaluation reports, however, were found to emphasize project implementation questions rather than to examine impact issues. In commenting on these reports, the Evaluation Unit indicated how the evaluation concerns could have been addressed within the context of the specific projects. It is hoped that this regular feedback process will reinforce existing mechanisms for disseminating evaluation results and ensure higher quality of reporting in future.

148. The Evaluation Unit's website has become increasingly comprehensive over the year. All evaluation guides are accessible on the Internet. A glossary of evaluation terms has been added to the Intranet in English, French and Spanish. A presentation of the Monitoring, Evaluations and Reporting System (MERS) in English and French is also now available. This leads the user through the key programming, monitoring and evaluation concerns. A number of the thematic evaluation papers that have been presented to the Governing Body are also accessible for downloading.

149. As part of the ongoing support provided to ILO officials at headquarters, field staff and constituents on the design, monitoring and evaluation of technical cooperation programmes and projects, detailed MERS briefing sessions were organized regularly in Geneva and training workshops were held in Bangkok, Colombo, Harare, New Delhi, Pretoria, San José, Sofia and Yaoundé.

Resource mobilization

150. The strategy for resource mobilization endorsed by the Governing Body in November 1997 was centred on three main components: programme development; strengthening and widening alliances and partnerships; and a renewed marketing campaign. In the past year, the Office has made overall progress in implementing the strategy, although most emphasis has been placed on the first component, which is the foundation for success in the other two areas. Since the Office will prepare a separate paper on resource mobilization for the March 1999 session of the Governing Body, only certain key issues will be highlighted.

151. With respect to programme development, a major focus of attention was the further development and promotion of the global programmes, information on which was provided to the Committee on Technical Cooperation in March 1998.(11) This approach, involving a focus on selected key issues of global concern, has helped the Office to set certain priorities in its work programme. Since March, the concepts and operational aspects of the global programmes have been further refined. In this process, it has become clear that the global programmes now need to be more effectively integrated into the ILO's overall structure and programme. One issue to be addressed is the potential role of the global programmes in promoting the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and its follow-up. It is expected that in the coming months these issues will be considered in the context of the Office's preparation of the Programme and Budget proposals for the 2000-01 biennium. Major efforts to improve regional and national programming were also undertaken, and examples such as the regional Jobs for Africa programme are described above. Generally, a major concern of programme development was to ensure responsiveness to constituents' demands and the complementarity of all technical cooperation activities, and to integrate effectively the different dimensions of the ILO's work, taking due account of its overall priorities. Achieving these ends will be critical to successful resource mobilization.

152. The resource mobilization strategy strongly emphasizes closer and more substantive links with the donor community. In this context the ongoing discussions with the UN in the context of the reform of the UN, and with the UNDP and other UN agencies, remain a major issue for the ILO's technical cooperation programme. A separate paper has been prepared for the Governing Body on the operational activities of the UN system from the perspective of UN reform. It will be recalled that the ILO is to contribute to the reform process by building on its tripartite structure and normative mandate.

153. With regard to multibilateral donors, the efforts to strengthen relationships with them on substantive issues is progressing well. Technical discussions have been held with representatives of current and potential financing partners to promote various aspects of the ILO's work. One way in which this has been done has been through technical workshops organized in donor countries. The ILO's Social Finance Unit, for example, presented its activities at a workshop in Oslo. In other cases, the global programmes have helped to attract interest and financing and have been the subject of substantial exchanges. This is illustrated in the contribution by Belgium to the STEP programme and the support of the Government of the United Kingdom for the programme on More and Better Jobs for Women. The ILO's work on child labour continued to be a focus for close collaboration with several donors. A new contribution from the Government of Norway will support a coherent programme in this field, covering activities carried out by IPEC and by the Bureaux for Workers' and Employers' Activities. There will be close collaboration with the donor in implementing this programme. General issues of monitoring, evaluation and reporting and the promotion of a programme approach were important themes in the dialogue with donors. Donors such as Norway, Belgium and the United States have adopted some variant of the programme approach.

154. With respect to the European Union, there are still difficulties in reaching an overall agreement. Despite this, at the field level there have been some successes in working with the EU and the respective national authorities to achieve shared goals. Nevertheless, the Office will have to assess the results of setting up an institutional relationship with the EU and the effective progress made in resource mobilization. The situation with respect to the development banks at the country level has been rather encouraging, as noted in section I above. However, the Office will also have to assess the overall situation and determine its approach to increase collaboration and funding from this source. Regional offices and other field units have been able to establish contacts, and the ongoing negotiations are expected to provide the Office with an overall picture of day-to-day cooperation. In the context of such an assessment, the efforts made so far in establishing links with the private sector should also be included. To date, these efforts have been rather limited, although the private sector is a potentially good source of funds. The ILO's privileged contacts with employers' organizations and their increasing recognition of the importance of social concerns should be helpful in developing new initiatives in this area.

155. The last, but clearly a critical part of the resource mobilization strategy, is the marketing component, on which the Office will have to concentrate its efforts in the near future. Effective communication, especially in reaching potential partners who may be less familiar with the ILO, is at the heart of the strategy. There might be a need for external assistance in this specific field. In developing this strategy, the Office will also build on the expertise of a number of projects and programmes that have worked on appropriate messages and communication components to attract external partners and donors.

Inter-agency cooperation and cooperation with
regional and subregional organizations

156. The maritime sector was a focus for collaboration within the UN system. The ILO was requested to establish a programme specifically tailored to the problems of the maritime industry; subsequently a joint ILO/IMO/UNDCP programme was developed for the International Shipping Federation (ISF) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). One major ILO output was a manual for the prevention of substance abuse in the maritime industry. In the field of port training and strengthening of port and maritime authorities, a number of agreements have been signed or developed with both international, subregional and national organizations:

157. Activities targeting workers with disabilities was another area of UN collaboration. Cooperation with WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF has been strengthened in the field of multisectoral collaboration on equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities. Activities take the form of regional technical meetings, bringing together representatives of governments, employers, workers and disabled persons' associations, organized to provide policy advice on the respective roles and responsibilities of government departments and partners' organizations active in the field of disability. The first such seminar was held in Abidjan in 1995 for countries of French-speaking West Africa, and the second in Bokhara in 1998 for the countries of Central Asia, in close collaboration with the ILO-initiated Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network on Employment and Training (GLADNET) Association. An on-line database dealing with the training and employment of disabled persons is updated continuously. The GLADNET Infobase is accessible, through the GLADNET home page (, to GLADNET members, ILO constituents and other organizations.

158. The ILO continued to collaborate with the WFP, based on the complementarity between the ILO's and WFP's policy objectives deriving from the close linkages between the issues of employment income and food. The ILO and the WFP cooperate to make food-aided development projects technically sound and in conformity with a number of international labour standards relating to forced labour, minimum wages, discrimination and child labour. The ILO inputs are made through reviews of project proposals and field missions. There has been increased cooperation and support to WFP-assisted activities in areas of ILO interest, notably projects dealing with poverty alleviation issues, such as ACOPAM and employment-intensive programmes.

159. The prevention strategy on drug and alcohol abuse promoted by the ILO aims at creating awareness at all levels and integrating relevant elements into ongoing programmes of improving the working environment, occupational safety and health, social security, and workers' welfare. Such an approach was first put into operation with success as part of a joint ILO/UNDCP/WHO project in some 45 enterprises in Egypt, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Sri Lanka. In each country assistance was provided to set up tripartite advisory boards and national teams for project implementation. Training was organized for management and union representatives.

160. Current efforts being made in some countries to establish a UN-wide framework for action under the UNDAF exercise provide an opportunity to pool resources with other UN agencies and attract further resources. Viet Nam, Philippines and Thailand carried out the UNDAF exercise. This issue was discussed in detail in the paper submitted to the Committee on Technical Cooperation in November 1997.(12) In the Philippines, the ILO's involvement in the preparation of the UNDP common country framework has facilitated comparison with the ILO's country objectives to determine areas of UNDP interest that should expedite the approval of appropriate project proposals. Similarly, there are considerable parallels between the country objectives and the CSN/CCF in Indonesia, where the growing trend towards national execution has made it possible to make full use of this advantage for inter-agency cooperation and resource mobilization.

161. Responding to a need expressed by other international organizations (including OECD and the WTO), the ILO commissioned a report to establish variables for labour statistics in the hotel, catering and tourism sector that can be used realistically by the national statistical bureaux of member countries. The project, funded from RBTC resources, is relevant to member States as the new variables will, once they are adopted by OECD and the statistical bureaux of member countries, help improve the use of employment potential in the hotel, catering and tourism sector at the national level.

* * *

VIII. Conclusions

162. As a result of the Active Partnership Policy and of the new programming framework, the ILO has reached a good level of technical cooperation activities directly linked to the major priority areas and objectives. Contributions to the ILO's overall objectives have been made through a process of in-depth analysis, selecting major topics and issues after consultations with constituents.

163. The aim of this effort was to strengthen tripartism and social dialogue. Workers' and employers' organizations are better aware of the social consequences and the effects of the globalization of the economy on the world of work. They have demonstrated greater vigilance in monitoring respect for, and the effective application of, international labour standards. Increased participation by the social partners in tripartite negotiations has been registered worldwide. Technical cooperation activities have contributed enormously to this end, enhancing the ILO's visibility and impact.

164. In the field of employment, the ILO has contributed both at the micro- and macroeconomic level with important field employment reviews and meetings on regional integration and the effects of globalization on employment and labour; and with activities for the progressive integration of informal sector workers into the modern sector. The initiative on fundamental rights has allowed the ILO to be present not only in efforts to combat child labour and promote equality, but also to act as a reference organization on issues concerning the globalization of the economy, as stated above. Working conditions are not only matters for tripartite negotiations and collective bargaining, but are also a prerequisite for the entire changing model of the world of work. Greater participation and responsibilities for employers and workers in different sectors of the economy are still the key to addressing the issues of improving working and living conditions. The ILO has moved ahead in a number of other sectors, such as maritime issues and upgrading the skills of homeworkers, where new projects are expected to be formulated and implemented.

165. The ILO has been asked to be more proactive, efficient and able to evaluate the impact of its programmes. Even though ILO constituents recognize that the ILO has constantly improved its working knowledge and experience in this field, it is clear that much remains to be done to improve the assessment of technical cooperation activities and programmes along the lines of the demand-driven approach working directly with constituents. This will bring further improvements in the quality of the ILO's technical cooperation programme, favouring empowerment and ownership by constituents; thus contributing effectively to other national programming exercises carried out by the UN system and other funding institutions.

166. Finally, future technical cooperation activities will take full account of the indications and recommendations made concerning follow-up on the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work, adopted by the International Labour Conference in June 1998.

Geneva, 11 October 1998.

1. For a more detailed discussion of the Employment-Intensive Programme, see GB.273/ESP/5/1.

2. 1 US$= RMB 8.27.

3. GB.271/TC/2.

4. GB.271/TC/5.

5. GB.273/ESP/5.

6. GB.272/4.

7. This will be the subject of a supplementary report of the Director-General.

8. GB.273/LILS/6.

9. GB.270/TC/1.

10. The report of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy is contained in GB.273/TC/2.

11. GB.271/TC/4.

12. See GB.270/TC/3, Further developments concerning operational activities in the UN system.

Updated by VC. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.