GB.274/14 and Corr.
FOURTEENTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Report of the Committee on Technical Cooperation
1. The Committee on Technical Cooperation met on 12 March 1999, chaired by Ms. Diallo (Government, Senegal). The Employer and Worker Vice-Chairpersons were Mr. Hoff and Mr. Sombes respectively.
2. The Committee had the following agenda:
3. Commenting on the first agenda item, the Chairperson recalled that in November 1998 the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy had presented its conclusions to the Governing Body, which had then requested that the Officers of the Committee, together with the Office, prepare, for the March session, proposals for follow-up on the report and for a system of continued monitoring and evaluation of the APP by the Governing Body. The paper concerning the second item on the agenda gave a clear overview of the progress made on this crucial issue for the Organization; it indicated what remained to be done and raised fundamental issues such as communication and the necessary resources for implementing an even more effective resource mobilization policy. Item 3 provided information on the activities undertaken by the global programmes ISEP, STEP, WOMEMP and IPEC. The fourth and last item on the agenda was the presentation of a thematic evaluation of technical cooperation work undertaken in the area of occupational safety and health, a field that constituted a central part of Strategic Objective No. 3 of the Programme and Budget for 2000-01.
4. In her introductory statement, the representative of the Director-General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) underlined the importance of the work done by the Committee over the last three years. Through its work, the Committee had become an example of sound communication and collaboration between the Office and the Governing Body, and had proven that it was possible to develop a dynamic atmosphere based on quality work, good will and transparency. All the members deserved congratulations for the seriousness with which the work of the Committee had been carried out, in a true spirit of tripartism: consensus on many issues, but also agreeing to disagree on some issues.
5. In his introductory remarks to the discussions of the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01, the Director-General had clearly indicated his commitment to a well-balanced, well-focused technical cooperation programme, in line with the four strategic objectives. The papers submitted to the Committee had been prepared before the programme and budget proposals and before the Director-General had made any policy pronouncements. The papers might therefore in certain cases reflect this.
6. The Office had tried to follow up on the decisions and conclusions of the Committee and to advance the debate as much as possible in the circumstances. Even in periods of transition, operational activities which had an impact on people's lives had to continue. The Office had, as a result, tried to avoid a fixed approach that would have meant adopting a wait-and-see attitude. A solid debate was needed to provide useful input into the fashioning of new structures so as to guarantee the attainment of the strategic objectives of the Organization and ensure its relevance on issues relating to measuring the impact of programmes. Restructuring was expected in the Office, but this should not prevent Members from giving guidance. In this regard, she drew particular attention to the part of the executive introduction to the programme and budget where the Director-General stated: "the ILO's efficiency can be judged in terms of its positive or negative impact on the life of individual women, men and children". The Committee had special responsibility in this regard. By its terms of reference it was "to give guidance to the Office on priority setting, the extent to which programmes had assisted in the promotion of active participation by employers' and workers' organizations in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of technical cooperation programmes and projects". The Committee was hence an integral part of assessment by giving feedback on whether, in the opinion of its Members, ILO programmes had made a difference on the ground as part of a strengthened monitoring and evaluation function. In spite of the period of uncertainty, she was sure that the Committee would agree that it was important not to lose the momentum which it had so laboriously built up in the recent past.
7. In June the International Labour Conference was due to hold a general discussion on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation. The resolution adopted at the 73rd Session (1987) of the Conference concluded that it would be desirable for the Conference to review the technical cooperation programme regularly, and the last discussion had taken place in 1993. As a result of the busy agenda of the Conference in 1998, the item was now included on the Conference agenda for 1999. The point of departure for this year's report would be the conclusions contained in the resolution concerning the role of the ILO in technical cooperation, adopted by the Conference in 1993. The report was intended to be forward-looking so as to allow the Conference to provide guidance and direction for the future. The report would review the major technical cooperation programmes and projects undertaken since the last Conference discussion and, citing the lessons learned, would submit new orientations for the future. The report would analyse the ILO's strategic responses to new challenges, and advance proposals for the way ahead.
8. Chapter 1 of the Conference report would provide a quantitative picture of ILO technical cooperation for the period 1993-97. The 1993 resolution concluded that the ILO technical cooperation programme should focus on three major areas: support for democratization; poverty alleviation which, inter alia, included employment creation; and the protection of workers. Chapter 2 of the report reviewed programmes and projects focusing on these priority areas by highlighting the approach adopted to analyse the major activities undertaken -- especially with regard to methodology and impact -- so as to suggest the way forward and to raise points for discussion. While the presentation would be thematic, the report would also provide country- and region-specific examples. The past decade had witnessed unprecedented structural, political, economic and attitudinal changes, and the ILO had had to formulate strategic responses to these new challenges. Chapter 3 gave a description of these responses and discussed possible refinements, corrective measures and new ideas. The issues to be covered would include: the APP; global programmes; resource mobilization; programmes of the Turin Centre; monitoring and evaluation. The last section would put forward proposals concerning the technical cooperation activities envisaged in relation to the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up. The report would conclude with some thoughts on moving ahead into the twenty-first century and by raising a number of issues on which the Office might receive guidance and direction from the Conference.
9. Consultations with the Transition Team had been intense. The Conference debate would offer the Committee members the best possible opportunity to provide guidance to the Office, in line with the ILO's four strategic objectives. In the preparation of the Conference report, the Office had consulted the various groups and had tried to incorporate as many views as possible. The Office would continue the dialogue once the Conference report was available to ensure a constructive discussion in June.
10. The Employer Vice-Chairperson recalled that he had proposed postponement of the Conference discussion to the year 2000. That would have permitted a more productive debate that could have profited from the new direction, initiatives, elements and changes envisaged by the new Director-General. The purpose of a discussion at the Conference was to find new ways and to take decisions so that the Office could act on them. He wondered whether there had been adequate consultation between the Transition Team and the Office during the preparation of the report and whether the views of the Director-General would be reflected in the report. To avoid going to the International Labour Conference without clear information on the new policies, it was necessary to invite the Director-General to address the Committee and hear his views on the matter.
11. The Worker Vice-Chairperson expressed support for the Director-General and welcomed his new orientations for a more effective Organization. He also welcomed the opportunity presented by the forthcoming discussion on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation at the Conference, since it should send a strong signal for the budgetary guidelines for the 2000-01 biennium, which would be decided in November 1999.
12. The representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran looked forward to the results of the intensive studies undertaken by the Office on technical cooperation activities. He asked Mr. Hoff whether his comment was a suggestion for a possible postponement of the Conference discussion on technical cooperation.
13. The representative of the Government of Canada echoed the question by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She also acknowledged the difficulty faced by the Office in preparing the Conference paper while changes were taking place and with a new framework for the programme and budget. She wondered how the Committee could plan a discussion in November if the discussion at the Conference were to be postponed.
14. The Employer Vice-Chairperson considered that it would be better now to move ahead with the Conference discussion as planned. However, in order to have a realistic discussion in June, some written guidance from the Director-General on his ideas about technical cooperation was needed. He repeated his wish for the Director-General to address the Committee in this respect.
15. The representative of the Director-General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) reassured the Committee that the Office had worked very closely with the Transition Team. However, it was important to recognize the unfolding situation in respect of the discussions of the programme and budget proposals. She was convinced that the Director-General, in his reply to the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee, would provide his views on the future of technical cooperation. The document that had been prepared followed in general the direction given by the Director-General in his programme and budget proposals. Postponing the Conference discussion would imply changing a decision taken by the Governing Body, which would present its own set of difficulties. Holding the debate in 1999 provided an opportunity to influence the nature of the structures that would have to be put in place to pursue the strategic objectives of the Organization. A written note would be prepared to complement the technical cooperation document for the Conference, if this was found to be necessary in the light of the unfolding situation. The Office would ensure that the documentation was updated to ensure a meaningful discussion at the Conference.
16. Mr. Anand (Employer member) suggested that the Committee's concerns be transmitted to the Director-General so as to ensure that some of the more critical points were addressed in his reply to the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee.
17. The representative of the Government of Italy expressed his trust in the Office. He looked forward to receiving the Conference paper as soon as possible.
I. Effect to be given to the recommendations of the
Working Party on the Evaluation of the
Active Partnership Policy
18. The representative of the Director-General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) recalled that the Committee had recommended to the Governing Body in March 1997 that an independent evaluation of the APP be undertaken by a tripartite working party of the Governing Body. At the 273rd Session (November 1998) of the Governing Body, Members had had an opportunity to discuss the findings.(1) The discussion had focused on several features of policy implementation:
19. After extensive discussions the Committee had reached consensus on a number of conclusions and recommendations for the future:
20. Following the Committee's discussion the Governing Body had requested the Officers of the Committee, together with the Deputy Director-General, to work out for the current session a proposal for follow-up on the report and to propose the establishment of an evaluation methodology for the APP and a system for ongoing monitoring by the Governing Body. The Officers of the Committee consulted their groups and members of the Working Party in November 1998 so as to prepare a concrete proposal for decision. The proposal contained in document GB.274/TC/1 was the outcome.
21. Any monitoring mechanism should be cost-effective and be uncomplicated. The Office sought views on how to proceed further, particularly in view of the anticipated changes in institutional structures both at headquarters and in the field, not only in respect of monitoring and evaluation, but also in the management of all components of technical cooperation, including delivery, impact and feedback.
22. Active follow-up on the recommendations of the Working Party had been partly handicapped by the need to wait for new policies to unfold with the change of leadership in the Office. Nevertheless, some progress in completing and updating country objectives had been made. The exercise had been completed in 92 countries. Communications had been sent to the regional departments clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the different components of the field structure in respect of specific tasks.
23. The table in the Office paper set out a number of suggested follow-up activities on the report of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy, indicating clearly the problem to be solved and where action was needed -- by the Office or with constituents. The Committee's recommendations on the report of the Working Party would greatly facilitate any restructuring exercise.
24. The Employer Vice-Chairperson considered that the tabular presentation was helpful and would make it easier to follow progress in the future. He had been among the group mandated to determine how to comply with the decision of the Governing Body in November 1998 and felt, with the others, that it would be advisable to establish an uncomplicated system for monitoring technical cooperation and the implementation of the APP. During the summer and autumn of 1999 a more precise methodology would be developed by the Office to ensure that the evaluation fit into the overall structure. In the new structure, the unit responsible for monitoring and evaluating the technical cooperation programme would presumably be better equipped and institutional memory would be preserved. These issues should be reviewed no later than November 1999. The Employers' group was very concerned with the personnel policies of the Office and requested that careful attention be paid to this issue during the reorganization.
25. The monitoring methodology described in the paper was well prepared and the Employers' group would participate in such a system. The proposal envisaged a minimum number of working days, excessive travel had been eliminated, and the officials participating in such a system would be on site. Thus, in monetary terms, it should not be an expensive exercise. When the new Governing Body was elected in June 1999, four members from each group would be selected for the follow-up evaluation activities. Such a team would experience the implementation of the Active Partnership Policy at first hand, improve the quality of the Committee's work in the future, and increase the ILO's relevance in the field. Preliminary arrangements could begin in the summer through education and awareness-raising, and work could begin any time after the Governing Body meeting in November 1999. He reiterated that the proposals presented to the Committee enjoyed the wholehearted support of the Employers.
26. The Worker Vice-Chairperson expressed satisfaction with the Office paper. He underlined the importance of further discussion on how to continue with the evaluation of the APP. Evaluating only one project per region would not be adequate; the group would appreciate receiving a list of projects early to enable them to make the proper selection for evaluation. An essential component was missing, namely the monitoring of the headquarters level, which should be an integral part of any evaluation policy.
27. As regards the country objective exercise, he stressed the importance the group attached to tripartism at all stages, from the preparatory process to the implementation of activities. Workers' participation should be ensured in all activities. Excessive geographical coverage of the multidisciplinary teams ran the risk of rendering the field structure rather inefficient on the whole. He stressed the need for a comprehensive mechanism to be decided at the Conference in June.
28. The representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, speaking on behalf of the Government group, stated that they had studied with interest the proposal to establish an evaluation methodology for the APP and a system for ongoing monitoring by the Governing Body. However, a decision to this effect was premature. The Director-General had announced a comprehensive overhaul of the system of regular monitoring and evaluation of impact and efficiency; the group preferred to await the outcome of that comprehensive review and have at hand the conclusions of the forthcoming Conference discussion on technical cooperation. They would then return to the current proposal in November 1999.
29. The representative of the Government of Germany, fully endorsing the statement made by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, wondered whether the effectiveness of MDTs could not be better assessed by evaluating projects outside the location of the multidisciplinary team. He attached great importance to the terms of reference for a continued evaluation of the APP and proposed that it be discussed in the Committee. Referring to the suggested follow-up activities, he questioned whether country objectives should not play a more decisive factor in the selection of RBTC-financed activities as well as for extra-budgetary efforts. In that regard, donors should be provided with the country objectives for the countries to be supported. Furthermore, the composition of the MDTs should better reflect the actual needs in the region as reflected in the country objective documents.
30. The representative of the Government of the United Kingdom agreed with the statement made by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was premature to establish a methodology, and he looked forward to further discussion at the Conference in June 1999. He appreciated the new user-friendly format of the document and requested that the notion of a time-frame be added. Suggesting that the country objectives be placed on the Internet, he concluded by emphasizing the strong need for technical cooperation, particularly for the least developed countries.
31. The representative of the Government of Senegal, speaking on behalf of the African Government members, commended the future-oriented approach and practical outlook of the follow-up activities presented in the document. However, he regretted the absence of a time-frame to tackle the identified problems. Concerned with the wide geographical coverage of field offices, he hoped that the Office would take a closer look at this issue, paying due consideration to the new programme and proposals. Continuous evaluation of the APP should be conducted as an uncomplicated exercise, and the regular budget should provide the necessary resources for it.
32. The representative of the Government of Hungary expressed appreciation for the work done by the Office to develop a methodology for monitoring the Active Partnership Policy, as its effectiveness and efficiency was of great importance. His Government was interested in and committed to participating in the Office review of ILO technical cooperation.
33. The representative of the Government of Canada supported the statement made on behalf of the Government members. Referring to the forthcoming discussion on technical cooperation at the Conference and the need to take the outcome of that discussion into account, she stated that the establishment of the monitoring mechanism should be postponed until November; the exercise should be seen in the bigger framework of monitoring and evaluation to be set up by the Office. She commended the Office for the tabular presentation, which clearly set out the responsibilities for the Office and constituents, underlining the element of partnership in the APP and the shared responsibility for its success. She agreed with the representative of the United Kingdom that the chart should be further developed to include a time-frame.
34. The country objectives were an important instrument for priority setting and resource allocation, and as such, depending on their current status, country objectives needed to be finalized, reviewed or revised. She agreed with the representative of the Government of Germany on the utility of coordinating regular budget and external funds.
35. Mr. Anand (Employer member) expressed shock at the proposals by some of the Government members. He drew the attention of the Committee to the fact that the Director-General, in his Report, had invited a greater degree of monitoring by the Governing Body for the benefit of the Organization. There was no reason to postpone a process based on a Governing Body decision. The proposed monitoring system was intended to be a "light" exercise which would not detract from the proposed review of technical cooperation, and he appealed to them to reconsider their position and to move forward.
36. The representative of the Government of Bangladesh congratulated the Office on the excellent documentation. The Area Office in his country had been unable to assist constituents adequately since the abolition of the post of Deputy Director. He also pointed out that, even with the inclusion of IPEC, technical cooperation projects and programmes had drastically declined in Bangladesh over the last two decades. This was an unsatisfactory state of affairs. He urged the ILO to initiate technical cooperation projects and programmes in Bangladesh in order to provide tangible benefits to the country and make ILO activities truly meaningful and visible. He thanked the Government of the United Kingdom for its concern for the poor countries: the suggestion made by the latter for emphasis on the developing countries deserved consideration.
37. The representative of the Government of Sweden supported the statement made by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The suggested methodology for monitoring by the Governing Body was indeed light, perhaps excessively so.
38. The representative of the Government of China expressed support for the statement by the Government group and his appreciation of the value of the Active Partnership Policy. He pointed out, however, that late financing delayed the execution of technical cooperation projects which in turn made it impossible to meet deadlines. He supported the idea of setting up new MDTs.
39. The representative of the Government of Algeria expressed support for the statement by the representative of the Government of Senegal. The ILO was being judged by its daily work and the APP was the ideal tool for spreading excellence and the values of the ILO throughout member States. The APP needed continued supervision in its application and methodology; the African MDTs needed strengthening. Noting that many African countries had not finalized their country objectives, he urged that the exercise be undertaken for all countries.
40. Mr. Rampak (Worker member) reiterated that the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the Working Party had been approved by the Committee on Technical Cooperation after long discussions. As such, he fully endorsed the proposals contained in the follow-up report and feared that additional delays would be caused if the proposals were not accepted. He expressed the need for a review of the structure of the regional offices and called for a similar exercise for headquarters. On personnel problems, Mr Rampak had observed that some headquarters staff were refusing transfers to offices in the field, thereby causing considerable delays in filling vacant positions. He further mentioned cases where one country had had to wait two or three years for a visit by an MDT member. Citing a reference to ILO Circular No. 505 in the report, he urged that it be made available to the members, as not all members of the Committee were familiar with it. The members of the Governing Body should not politicize the issues. The Workers' group was concerned at the comments by certain members of the Government group. He reiterated that the Governing Body had received a mandate on which work had been conducted and approved by the Governing Body, and as such he saw no reason for not continuing the exercise. The sooner it was completed, the better it would be for the ILO.
41. The representative of the Government of South Africa endorsed the statement by the spokesperson of the African Government group. His delegation supported the proposed methodology for monitoring the Active Partnership Policy by the Governing Body, but emphasized that the proposals should be placed in the context of the discussions to be held in the Conference discussion on technical cooperation. The participatory approach would ensure transparency and objectivity in the evaluation and monitoring of the APP. The monitoring and evaluation process should also gauge the extent to which the views of constituents were reflected in the country objectives. The role of the various parts of the field structure in implementing the APP needed clarification; otherwise there could be a negative impact on the evaluation exercise. His delegation supported, in principle, paragraphs 6-9 of the report and agreed that terms of reference for the exercise should be prepared. With regard to the matrix on suggested follow-up activities, he proposed that deadlines and/or time-frames should be added.
42. A representative of the Government of Senegal supported the methodology for monitoring the implementation of the APP as proposed in the report. It was not necessary for entirely new monitoring and evaluating structures to be created. He suggested that the ILO's operational structures should assume responsibility for monitoring and evaluation of the projects and programmes by revising existing methodologies. The discussion in June would help to give guidance on this issue. He emphasized the importance of technical cooperation and the role it played in strengthening national capacity. Consequently, he noted that the quality of services delivered was extremely important and stressed the importance of adequate and competent human resources, the lack of which would severely handicap the definition of strategies and programmes for development. He urged the Office to help strengthen national capacity: greater use should be made of national execution whenever feasible, since this modality favoured efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.
43. The representative of the Government of Austria considered that one of the most important innovations in the ILO had been the introduction of the APP and the partial decentralization of technical cooperation, and noted that considerable success could already be detected. He recommended the continuation of the policy despite certain shortcomings which were to be expected. Given the latter, he welcomed the Working Party's efforts and he agreed with the contents of the report and the proposals for making improvements. Concerning the issue of setting up further mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, he agreed with the setting-up of tripartite teams for the various regions. He considered that even if the sampling was limited, the mere possibility of being singled out for evaluation would help to improve performance. However, in view of the anticipated restructuring of the Office, he advised that the exercise could be better targeted if postponed for a while.
44. The representative of the Government of the United States agreed with the statement by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group on the proposed mechanism for involving the Governing Body in the monitoring of the APP. She shared the goal of the Employers' and Workers' groups of the best possible ILO technical cooperation programme, but disagreed with their position on the proposed monitoring groups. While she appreciated the Office's good will in preparing the proposal for involving the Governing Body in the process, she expressed serious doubts about the proposal. She considered it costly, wondered whether the visits would yield adequate information to provide a basis for decision-making, and pointed out that the Working Party itself had indicated that its work had not been scientific. External evaluations and related methodologies should be a routine part of the ILO's functioning. It would also be important to have the results of the review of the ILO's field structure and technical cooperation arrangements envisaged by the Director-General. If such exercises yielded concrete results, they could provide a good basis for monitoring by the Committee. Evaluations would have budgetary implications. She stressed that without evaluation results, there was no basis for deciding on resource allocations. She noted that evaluation was also critical in identifying ways of improving services to constituents..
45. The representative of the Government of Cuba agreed with the statement by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group. She felt that the APP had shown positive results and thanked the Area Office and MDT in San José and Mexico for their support. The June discussions would help define methodologies for monitoring and consequently improve the APP. Additional details would be welcome on the action required by constituents. With respect to restructuring, she proposed that the countries concerned should be consulted and that the criteria for an eventual reorganization of the geographical coverage of the area offices and MDTs should be made known. The country objectives should serve as a guide for technical cooperation activities. Finally, she urged the Office to ensure the completion and updating of all the country objectives.
46. The representative of the Government of Italy supported the statement by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group. He supported the idea of a light monitoring mechanism as recommended in the document, but cautioned that it should not be so light that it became ineffective. Report writing could be done on return to achieve savings on the exercise. He approved the table on follow-up activities, but concerning the action to be taken by the ILO on reviewing and updating the country objectives as and when necessary, he asked whether the Office already had some ideas on the appropriate mechanism to achieve this.
47. The representative of the Government of Namibia endorsed the statements made by both the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the Government group and of Senegal on behalf of the African group. She agreed with the principle of involving the Governing Body in monitoring ILO activities, but felt that the proposals were too superficial and required further elaboration. In this regard, the actual activities that the team would be carrying out should be spelled out so that they could make an informed decision. Concerning the proposed follow-up activities, it was not clear how country objectives were translated into technical cooperation projects and programmes. To rectify this, she recommended that the Office make available to constituents the official project proposal framework. She stressed the importance of national capacity-building. The MDTs seemed understaffed: the linkages between the MDTs and the regional offices were unclear and apparently weak, particularly vis-à-vis the coordination of technical cooperation. Consequently, she hoped that the new evaluation system would cover all field activities, including those of MDTs and regional offices. The system should also evaluate technical cooperation using benchmarks and output-oriented criteria.
48. The representative of the Government of Japan agreed with the statement by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group. She welcomed the table showing follow-up activities and hoped that the Office would ensure that action was taken in the future. She appreciated the Office's difficulties in filling various vacancies and felt that a new staffing policy might improve the situation. Decentralization was important, but she cautioned that relationships within the field structure should be clarified. The Office should also be careful not to duplicate roles in the process of decentralization. On the role of the regional offices, she noted that needs might differ from region to region and that a careful assessment should be made of what work could be effectively done and which concrete steps could be taken.
49. The representative of the Government of India supported the statement by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group. In view of the forthcoming Conference discussion on technical cooperation and the proposals for monitoring and evaluation which would be proposed separately by the Director-General, he wished to consider the proposals in November. The proper selection of officials and their training and retraining were essential. Cohesiveness was needed in the MDTs and directors should be allowed to promote such cohesion. The monitoring process should permit an examination of the working of the APP and should further the objectives set in the regional and area offices and MDTs. The area offices and MDTs should ensure sustained dialogue with social partners in setting the country objectives and information flows. Headquarters staff should be encouraged to take up field assignments. He also advocated the use of national personnel where possible. Finally, ILO area offices should interact with government ministries and departments in member States through a "nodal" ministry, such as the ministry of labour, which could arrange assistance from the various sources.
50. The representative of the Government of Egypt endorsed the position expressed by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group and by Senegal regarding the postponement of a decision on establishing an ongoing monitoring system by the Governing Body for the APP, taking into consideration the forthcoming Conference discussion on technical cooperation and the proposals for monitoring evaluation that would be proposed by the Director-General. As regards the plan of action on follow-up, she underlined the importance of setting up standing tripartite committees at the regional level and holding meetings with ILO area offices, as well as reviewing field structures so as to make them more efficient in implementing the APP. It was important to resolve the issue of filling vacancies in the MDTs while evaluating the impact, successes and shortcomings of the activities being implemented. As regards the directors of area offices, these should not be selected from among staff with no practical field experience, since training was not a substitute for practical expertise or acquired efficiency.
51. The representative of the Government of Swaziland also endorsed the proposals made by the African group and strongly supported the need for periodically reviewing the MDT functions as well as their geographical coverage. Country objectives constituted a basis for the ILO's priority-setting at the field level, and were useful to monitor social policy. He asked what were the criteria for the distribution of resources both from the ILO's regular budget and the extra-budgetary allocations for technical cooperation projects.
52. The representative of the Government of the Russian Federation underlined the importance of further developing and strengthening the APP and expressed satisfaction with the ILO's technical cooperation programme. Continuous evaluation of the APP was important, but he agreed with the representative of Canada that it was too early to take any decisions on this. Rather, the Committee should await the outcome of the review of the monitoring and evaluation system in the ILO announced by the Director-General. The June Conference would also be an opportunity to debate the issue further.
53. Mr. Suzuki (Employer member) suggested inverting the order of the last two columns of the table in the Office paper in order to better reflect the respective role of constituents and the Office in issues related to the APP.
54. The representative of the Director-General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) thanked the Committee for their very positive reactions to the report. She was pleased that members had found the report useful, and that they had appreciated the manner in which the report had garnered a large number of ideas in a convenient format, which should facilitate their contribution to the ongoing discussions in the coming months. In spite of the transition, the Committee had nonetheless managed to provide valuable insights for continued progress. She assured the representative of the Government of Bangladesh that, even in the face of dwindling ODA resources, efforts would be made to step up technical cooperation in his country. The Office agreed that country objectives continued to be a very important means of getting the appropriate information, which would ensure that the ILO's programmes remained relevant to its constituents. She drew attention to the fact that in March 1998, 62 country objectives had been finalized; in March 1999 the figure was 92. She realized that ideally the figure should be 100 per cent, but the situation in some countries did not facilitate completion of the exercise, one example being where the tripartite structure was not in operation. An increasing number of countries were also experiencing civil strife.
55. The Office took seriously the need to update completed country objectives in view of the dynamic nature of the development scene and the concomitant changes in the needs of constituents, and would ensure that this was pursued vigorously.
56. The representative of the Government of Germany had requested that the country objectives be placed on the Internet; PROPAR/TEC was in the process of developing its website and these documents would form an integral part of the available data. She reassured Mr. Rampak (Worker member) that Circular No. 505 would be circulated for the information of members, but pointed out that it was likely to be amended in view of the changes likely to take place in the structure of the Organization. The representative of the Government of Egypt had made a very interesting point that countries needed to establish tripartite committees to assist the Office in monitoring technical cooperation programmes. This should be taken up seriously, since it would facilitate action. Several members had raised the lack of a time-frame in the table submitted to the Committee. The Office intended as soon as possible to convert the document into an action plan, which would cover that deficiency. With respect to the reorganization of the field structure, the work of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy would be a useful contribution, influencing positively the decisions at issue, as roles and responsibilities needed to be driven by the needs of the constituents.
57. It was for the Committee members themselves to determine what would be the best mechanism for continuing monitoring of the Active Partnership Policy by the Governing Body. It was not an issue to be resolved by the Office; the Committee and the Governing Body would need to reach a decision on the matter. She was confident, however, that the proper way forward would be found.
58. The Employer Vice-Chairperson regretted deeply that the decision on the monitoring exercise would be postponed. However, even though there was a clear majority in the Committee to support the proposed monitoring system, it was preferable to have a final decision to put the system into operation in November by consensus. He expected that all comments made in the past and at the current session would be taken fully into account for any internal decisions taken before then. This applied in particular to restructuring, which should continue to bring the ILO closer to its constituents.
59. The Worker Vice-Chairperson supported the proposal by Mr. Hoff and drew attention to the Conference discussion in June. The Governing Body would take a decision in November in the light of that discussion.
60. The representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, speaking on behalf of the Government group, pointed out that further consultations were still necessary. He also referred to the forthcoming discussion on technical cooperation at the Conference. As regards the APP, the momentum achieved should be sustained to ensure further improvement.
61. The Chairperson concluded by observing that everybody in the Committee acknowledged the outstanding importance of technical cooperation and the Active Partnership Policy; continuous dialogue was necessary for decision-making.
Statement by the Director-General
62. Responding to the request for him to share his views on technical cooperation and his thoughts on future directions, the Director-General, Mr. Somavia, addressed the Committee.
63. The Director-General stressed the importance he attributed to technical cooperation and to the Committee's discussion: his views had been expressed in the programme and budget proposals. He described the process whereby he had organized his work during the transition, focusing on the preparation of two main documents: the programme and budget proposals and his Report to the International Labour Conference. His method was based on consultation, and he had been acquainting himself with the Office and its functioning. Regarding technical cooperation, he had his own views, but was also listening and consulting within the house, with Governing Body members, and with outside consultants. Since the process of reflection was not over, he felt that it was premature to suggest any position on future directions. However, at an appropriate time, before the International Labour Conference, he would draw his conclusions, make the necessary consultations and prepare a text for the Conference discussion on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation.
64. The Employer Vice-Chairperson indicated that the decision to have a full debate on technical cooperation at the Conference had been taken some time previously. It coincided with the arrival of the new Director-General and his intention to reorganize the Office. The Conference Committee would discuss the policy for technical cooperation for the following five years. He sought reassurance that the Director-General would be in a position to provide an input to the discussion before the Conference.
65. The Director-General stressed the importance of holding the debate on technical cooperation at the International Labour Conference in 1999, not only for the Office but also for the donor community. He assured Mr. Hoff that a paper would be prepared at an appropriate time before the Conference that would serve as a basis for that discussion.
66. The Worker Vice-Chairperson was very pleased to see the importance that the Director-General attributed to technical cooperation, and reiterated the support of his group for new directions. Given the importance they attached to the Active Partnership Policy, he stressed the need for continuous consultation on the issue in order for the group to see their views reflected properly.
67. Mr. Trotman (Worker member) expressed concern at the apparent procedure that was being proposed. The Workers' group sought a partnership role, particularly in conceptualizing and structuring technical cooperation programmes for the next millennium. The Committee had an obligation to assist the Office in preparing a document that in June would lay the foundation for the expression by the Conference of a clear mandate in this area.
68. The representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, speaking on behalf of the Government group, thanked the Director-General for his presence and statement. He looked forward to the results of the extensive studies under way on various aspects of technical cooperation, as indicated in paragraph 125 of the programme and budget proposals (Volume 1), and were confident that those studies would help the Committee on Technical Cooperation undertake its work.
69. Mr. Anand (Employer member) asked the Director-General for his views and guidance on the proposed methodology for monitoring of the Active Partnership Policy by the Governing Body.
70. The Director-General took note of Mr. Anand's question. He thanked Mr. Trotman and invited other members of the Committee to contribute with their views. He stressed his willingness to move forward on the basis of partnership and consultation.
71. The Committee invites the Governing Body, taking note of the proposal on evaluation methodology and its modalities as described in document GB.274/TC/1, and recalling the decision made earlier to establish an evaluation methodology for the Active Partnership Policy and a system of ongoing monitoring of the APP by the Governing Body, recognizing that the Office is in the process of undergoing organizational changes and awaiting the outcome of the programme and budget exercise, to decide that the concept is maintained in principle and that further discussion be held at the Governing Body's session in November 1999 with a view to following up on the decision taken by the Governing Body in November 1998 taking into account the changes referred to above.
II. The ILO's resource mobilization strategy:
72. Introducing the Office paper, the representative of the Director-General (Mr. Trémeaud, Assistant Director-General) stated that, as requested by the Committee in November 1997, the paper gave an overview of the implementation of the resource mobilization strategy. He emphasized that the overall environment continued to be increasingly difficult, in particular because Official Development Assistance (ODA) kept declining; in fact, over the last five years the ODA had declined by some 30 per cent. Nevertheless, the Office had maintained its volume of technical cooperation, although figures sometimes showed big fluctuations. In this respect, he was pleased to note that the share of resources made available by the multibilateral donors had remained at a high level of more than $60 million over the past few years. The Office was now working with 22 donor countries and the efforts to strengthen partnerships with them were showing good results. The situation with respect to the UNDP was less stable, and showed a more erratic pattern. After the good results in 1996 and 1997 when the Office had made a special effort to seize the opportunity of accumulating unspent resources by UNDP, the new approvals for 1998 were again at the much lower level of earlier years, below $20 million, since this situation no longer prevailed. The Office would continue its efforts to increase collaboration with the UNDP, both at the central and country office level, but it recognized that the overall funding situation of the UNDP remained uncertain. He referred to the need for the Office to make more regular budget resources available for resource mobilization. Although a start had been made on the work required for staff training, information sharing, and the marketing component of the strategy, the demand on the staff of the bureau in the Office responsible for implementation of the APP had been very high in respect of other work requested by the Committee. He referred in particular to funding to allow the Office to reinstate the capacity to work with the development banks, and to establish the capacity to attract funding from the private sector and other non-governmental sources. He hoped that these funding requirements could be kept in mind during the discussions on the programme and budget for 2000-01. He noted that the strategic objectives and related InFocus programmes provided an overall programming framework which was likely to facilitate the resource mobilization efforts. The Office intended to provide, in future reports, further information on trends, more figures and statistical tables.
73. The Employer Vice-Chairperson thanked the Office for the paper and remarked that the resource mobilization strategy should obtain the required support in view of the changes taking place in the Office. He requested that future progress reports contain more complete information in terms of statistics, including in the form of tables. He suggested that the Office identify the units and programmes which had attracted more funds than could be implemented. Such cases needed to be analysed to provide useful insights into successful fund-raising methods as well as into weaknesses in delivery mechanisms.
74. Commenting on bidding for bank-related projects, Mr. Hoff stated that in his opinion there was nothing to stop the Office from engaging in such bidding and he urged that efforts be made to move ahead. As regards new partnerships, there were obvious possibilities with the private sector, with which the Employers' group maintained good relations, and it was important to seek appropriate ways to approach this sector. He also emphasized the importance of fully involving the decentralized structure in resource mobilization efforts and of providing the necessary training, including on bidding. In that context, he noted that it was important to identify individuals who had the capacity for fund-raising. Furthermore, the responsibility for coordinating fund-raising should be placed with one single unit, which would also need to have experience in technical cooperation. He suggested a reallocation of resources from ILO offices in western Europe to those in eastern Europe.
75. The Worker Vice-Chairperson praised the Office for the results obtained in its fund-raising efforts in a very competitive environment, and expressed his appreciation for the paper. He stated his full support for the statement in paragraph 4, which called for the strategy to take into account the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up. With respect to the global programmes, he noted that his group did not consider these as magic instruments for fund-raising and that these programmes should not diminish the resources now made available by the multibilateral donors for workers' and employers' activities. He asked the Office to involve his group in developing a possible global programme on social dialogue and industrial relations, as mentioned in paragraph 12 of the paper. He also requested that the social partners be involved in the resource mobilization efforts for regional projects and programmes.
76. With respect to funding from UNDP and the development banks, it was very unlikely that these institutions would finance workers' activities. He called on the Office to make sure that funding from these partners would respect the tripartite nature of the Organization. This would also need to be kept in mind with respect to funding from the private sector, which should be linked to a "blind trust clause". As far as funding possibilities from workers' organizations were concerned, these would be more favourably inclined to fund activities at the country level rather than global programmes.
77. The representative of the Government of Egypt stressed the importance of country objectives for resource mobilization. This was particularly true at the field level, and ILO field offices should play a major role in this respect. The staff of these offices should be properly trained in resource mobilization techniques, and it should be ensured that they had the capacity to engage in this work. As pointed out in the paper, experience at the field level, especially with UNDP, showed the relevance of this approach.
78. The representative of the Government of Poland, recognizing the needs of the countries of central and eastern Europe which were scheduled to join the European Union, as well as the level of increasing ILO activities to be envisaged in this region, underlined the urgent need to strengthen ILO-EU cooperation. Poland would fully support efforts in this direction, and sought more information on this topic in the report to be presented to the Conference in June.
79. The representative of the Government of Canada welcomed both Mr. Trémeaud's remarks and the paper, which she recognized had to be developed in a context of uncertainty with regard to the programme contents now under discussion in the context of the programme and budget for 2000-01. Nevertheless, the three basic components of the resource mobilization strategy remained valid. The paper provided interesting information and raised a number of issues which would need to be addressed further during the Conference. Of primordial importance was a clear and coherent programme framework as the cornerstone for resource mobilization. The efforts under way to organize the work of the Office along four strategic objectives would give a consistent message about the ILO's comparative advantage and reassure donors of value for money in funding ILO programmes. Country objectives were no doubt critically important in the context of resource mobilization.
80. Appreciating the encouraging trend in the diversity of donors, she maintained that although seeking funding from the big financial institutions was rightly seen as a good way of tapping funds, before investing in a unit for this purpose, a cost-benefit analysis was necessary to ensure the soundness of such an investment. Welcoming the efforts in resource mobilization from the private sector, she stressed the need to ensure that such funding did not disperse the priorities of ILO technical cooperation. While appreciating the general approach to marketing, she noted that the latter should be seen as part of a larger public relations outreach programme by the Office. More figures, trends and statistical tables in future reports, as mentioned by Mr. Trémeaud, would be welcome.
81. The representative of the Government of Japan stated that her Government provided funds for ILO projects when it recognized ILO expertise in a particular field. From the donors' perspective, ILO activities funded in this manner should be given much more visibility. The donors were also interested in funding activities because they were relevant to and given priority by the beneficiaries. It was therefore important to take this into account in programme development. The new InFocus programmes were in this regard a good approach. The ILO should not just have the expertise, but also the capacity to deliver technical cooperation activities. To assess the latter, a well-functioning evaluation system was required.
82. The representative of the Government of the United Kingdom acknowledged the importance of the resource mobilization strategy, and emphasized that fund-raising had to be consistent with the overall programme of work. He requested that the Office provide further information on the funding of the InFocus programmes, including from the regular budget. To ensure the basis for successful resource mobilization, he pointed out that good delivery capacity was absolutely essential. He requested further information on internal capacity-building, information-sharing in the Office, and external relations.
83. The representative of the Government of Senegal, speaking on behalf of the African group, congratulated the Office on the quality of the document presented and noted that progress had been made in working with UNDP and other partners. He expressed his appreciation for the funding made available by the multibilateral donors for the Office's technical cooperation programme. On behalf of the African group he appealed to donors -- especially the European Union -- to support the Jobs for Africa programme, which had received a $3 million contribution from UNDP. This would ensure continued economic growth and employment creation in the region. He also sought to expand collaboration with the Turin Centre, in particular in relation to the bidding required to obtain funding from development banks. The part of the strategy involving the development of partnerships with the private sector and NGOs had the full support of the African group, provided that the Office ensured that the funds were appropriate for use by the ILO.
84. The representative of the Government of South Africa endorsed the statement by the representative of the Government of Senegal on behalf of the African group. He expressed optimism by noting that the ILO was on the right path for resource mobilization, especially since donors were attracted to programmes that were relevant and visible. Problems identified in the APP should be addressed in order to maintain present funding levels and attract additional funding. He expressed his approval and appreciation of the global programmes ISEP, STEP and IPEC and noted that the Director-General had underlined the importance of mainstreaming gender issues. In this context, he also urged that sufficient resources were deployed for the More and Better Jobs for Women programme. Only ten countries were so far participating in the Jobs for Africa programme and he urged donors to expand the funding for the programme. He also encouraged the Office to seek partnerships beyond the traditional donors and expressed the hope that it would continue to work with the UNDP by noting that UNDP funding had been a major reason for reversing the downward trend in funding. Finally, he requested the Office to speed up the clarification of the role of the field structure, as it would be beneficial for the resource mobilization strategy.
85. The representative of the Government of France emphasized the importance of this issue and pointed out that additional funding for the ILO was essential to carry out its objectives and respond to the demands of its constituents. In this respect, resource mobilization would only be effective and successful if programmes were relevant, and their added value widely recognized by the donors. He expressed concern for the reduction of 2 per cent in support activities proposed in the programme and budget for 2000-01, and asked for clarification in this regard. He fully endorsed the introductory statement by the representative of the Director-General regarding the need to increase the allocations for marketing and communication for an effective resource mobilization strategy.
86. The representative of the Government of India congratulated the Office on the quality of the paper and the efforts made in respect of increasing the extra-budgetary resources of the Office. He observed that with respect to paragraphs 17 to 20 of the report, the UNDAF exercise would be very suitable to pull together the efforts of all United Nations agencies under the United Nations Resident Coordinator. He suggested that this matter be taken up in discussions with the United Nations to ensure the good functioning of the UNDAF exercise.
87. The representative of the Government of China thanked the Office for the comprehensive report and the efforts undertaken to mobilize resources for the expansion of the technical cooperation programme. He supported the remarks made in paragraph 13 of the paper and noted that country objectives indeed constituted a solid basis for programme development. It should be recognized that this called for good and frequent communication with member States to assess the needs of recipients. Finally, he stressed that the mandate of the ILO, including the responsibilities assigned to it by the World Summit for Social Development, should be more systematically communicated. This would allow the issue of unemployment to become a focus of attention for the international community, including the donors.
88. In his reply, the representative of the Director-General (Mr. Trémeaud) noted with satisfaction the useful suggestions and comments made by the members of the Committee. Concerning the requests for additional information on the results of the resource mobilization efforts, he proposed to integrate the internal report on multibilateral donors into the annual technical cooperation report discussed at the November session of the Governing Body. This report could also include the various statistical tables requested. He noted that a number of speakers had reiterated the need for closer relationships with the World Bank and other development banks on resource mobilization. With respect to new partnerships with the private sector, a careful review was to be undertaken, for which the advice of the Employers' and Workers' groups would be sought. As far as UNDP was concerned, ongoing efforts were being made to understand and to the extent possible regulate the fluctuations in approvals, and to ensure active contacts at the field level. Further efforts to come to a satisfactory conclusion on the framework agreement with the European Union would be undertaken after the elections to the European Parliament in June.
89. In view of the remarks by a number of speakers on programme development, he considered that the proposed programme and budget for 2000-01 provided a sound base for resource mobilization. The strategic objectives and the InFocus programmes would provide a coherent framework in which the global programmes, which had proved to be successful in attracting resources, could be integrated. With respect to improving programme delivery, he noted that the Office was studying the possibility of reintroducing an appropriate internal monitoring system that would enable the units in the field and at headquarters to follow the delivery rates more closely. He endorsed the many views expressed that a solid delivery record was essential for donor confidence and resource mobilization.
III. Global programmes (including IPEC):
90. The representative of the Director General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) introduced the Office paper on this subject. The first report on the programmes, presented to the Committee in March 1998, had described the general conceptual background to the new global programmes, noted the elements of the IPEC experience which had informed new programme development, and had given substantive information on the programmes which had been launched or which were in the pipeline. The programmes were intended to be major initiatives through which the ILO could fulfil its obligations, deriving for example from global summits and conferences. They were expected to adopt comprehensive, integrated and multidimensional approaches which would take advantage of scale to maximize impact, efficiency and visibility in key areas such as the promotion of fundamental rights at work, quality employment and social protection.
91. The new InFocus programmes described in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 would have a direct bearing on all the global programmes. Taking this into account, the paper did not cover the pipeline global programmes, such as those on occupational safety and health, or industrial relations and social dialogue, since it was likely that they would be subsumed under some other framework based on the new programme and budget. Although already operational global programmes might be similarly affected, the Office nonetheless still felt it useful to report to the Committee on their activities.
92. She highlighted elements of the reports on the individual programmes. Beginning with IPEC, she referred to the increased country coverage achieved in 1998 with Madagascar, Mali, Paraguay, South Africa and Uganda having signed Memoranda of Understanding, thereby bringing the total number of formal partnerships to 34 countries. At the same time, IPEC was also cooperating less formally with 31 other countries. First-time donors in 1998 included Austria, Finland, Japan, Poland, Switzerland and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation. She thanked these as well as the traditional donors -- France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States -- who had made additional commitments in that year. She referred to IPEC's substantive activities, as described in the report, in the areas of advocacy at the policy level, action against the worst forms of child labour, mainstreaming successful approaches, monitoring and social protection, and improving the knowledge base. She also drew the Committee's attention to an important section on future strategic priorities and challenges.
93. Turning to the international programme on More and Better Jobs for Women (WOMEMP) which focused on the elimination of gender discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, she remarked that the positive statements made during the Governing Body meeting on the subject of gender had been most welcome. WOMEMP was an important vehicle to realize the good intentions expressed by many members. WOMEMP was poised to take off concretely with the completion of national action plans for Estonia, Pakistan, Mexico, Burkina Faso, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many other countries had expressed interest in joining the programme, but the Office's capacity to respond positively hinged on securing the necessary funding. In this regard, she assured the Committee that a great deal of effort had been invested in resource mobilization for the programme, and thanked the Governments of the United Kingdom and Finland for the resources which they had committed to it. In view of the forthcoming Beijing+5 meeting, she urged the donor community to support WOMEMP so that the ILO would be in a position to boast of the achievements of this programme, which had a critical contribution to make towards improving the condition of women. There had been strong regular budget support for WOMEMP as an expression of the Office's commitment. It was also intended that those resources should serve as seed money to attract extra-budgetary financing. Recalling that such an approach had been advocated by many members of the Governing Body, she hoped that the Office could now look forward to increased levels of extra-budgetary support.
94. The programme on Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP) constituted concrete follow-up on the Social Summit. It aimed to reduce the number of those excluded from any form of social protection with respect to whom traditional mechanisms for the provision of such protection currently appeared inadequate. The programme had even greater importance in the light of the need to pay urgent attention to the negative consequences of globalization and structural adjustment programmes. She described certain activities undertaken by STEP in the past year, such as those focusing on the development of the knowledge base, including documentation of experience in providing social protection to the excluded in a wide range of countries, and the development of networks of micro-insurance practitioners and actors. She thanked the Government of Belgium, the main source of funding for STEP to date. The resource mobilization efforts for STEP would continue.
95. The International Small Enterprise Programme (ISEP) was in its infancy, having been launched only in mid-1998. It was highly relevant to job creation, since it sought to expand the efforts of the Organization to promote small enterprise development in both the formal and informal sectors. The report listed a large number of programme activities which promised good outputs in the future.
96. Mr. Anand, speaking on behalf of the Employer members, expressed general support for the four programmes. However, since STEP and WOMEMP were still in the very early stages of implementation, it would be better to examine them in March 2000. Therefore, his observations were restricted to ISEP and IPEC. He proposed that the two programmes should be dovetailed and treated within an integrated programme approach to promote greater efficiency. Concerning IPEC, he felt that considerable progress had been made and he thanked donors and the participating countries for the support given to the programme. Referring to paragraph 3 of the report, he suggested that it would have been useful to have had information on the actual and targeted level of core funding. As regards the description in paragraph 5 concerning IPEC's involvement in promoting Convention No. 138, he proposed that, while providing support for child labour activities, governments may be asked to consider ratifying the Convention. He welcomed IPEC's cooperation with various organizations in civil society, mentioned in paragraph 6. However, he urged that a special effort be made to work with national organizations. He thanked IPEC for the support provided to the IOE for the publication of the employers' handbook on child labour, but called on IPEC to develop a programme under which additional support would be provided to employers, including the translation of the handbook into various local languages in support of employers' initiatives on child labour, particularly in the informal sector.
97. The strategy of workplace monitoring was an element of the strategy of removing children from the workplace, and training was essential to the reintegration of children into society. He described the lessons learned from the Sialkot experience, including the vital importance of introducing a vocational training component into the programme. He commended IPEC's receptiveness to this approach.
98. Concerning the various IPEC committees at national and international levels, he felt that the participation of the social partners should be enhanced and the frequency of meetings should be at least twice yearly if they were to serve as effective monitoring mechanisms. He referred to the Director-General's address to a meeting of the ministers of the G-8 countries, in which he had drawn their attention to the fact that child labour was a key element of the Declaration and that governments could support the Declaration by instructing the multilateral agencies to apply the Declaration without conditionality. Finally, he noted that the social partners should play an important role in supporting and promoting the programme.
99. The Worker Vice-Chairperson recalled that they had supported the global programmes. However, he drew attention to some salient observations on the programmes made in the context of his group's contribution to the discussion on resource mobilization. In this regard, he reiterated that the Office should avoid developing too many global programmes which would end up competing among themselves and putting a strain on scarce resources.
100. Concerning IPEC, he congratulated the Office for progress made in implementing the programme. He welcomed the expansion in terms of the number of participating and preparatory countries, as well as the number of donor countries. He was also satisfied to see that trade unions such as the CGIL-CISL-UIL in Italy and RENGO in Japan were beginning to provide financial support. He urged donors to follow the recent example of the Government of the United Kingdom and provide core funding. He stressed the importance of having an effective steering committee with a composition that would reflect the increased number of donors and beneficiary countries, and linked to transparent processes at national level. He welcomed the strengthened cooperation between IPEC and the social partners and the links with the international trade union campaign against child labour. He noted that where national trade unions still required assistance to deal with child labour issues, collaboration between IPEC and ACTRAV was essential.
101. He recommended that the kind of activities undertaken in relation to the Global March should continue, with efforts being made to make IPEC results available to a larger audience. The exchange of information and experience should also be ensured. He stressed the importance of national capacity-building, since IPEC could not eliminate child labour through its activities alone. Responsibility for the total elimination of child labour belonged to national organizations, particularly governments. Therefore both IPEC and governments should give high priority to the capacity-building elements of the programme. He also highlighted the important role of IPEC vis-à-vis governments in promoting the ratification of Conventions, especially Convention No. 138, as well as its role in supporting the implementation of the new Convention on child labour.
102. IPEC should play a central role in coordinating child labour activities in the United Nations system, and the Office should analyse the impact of the programmes of other agencies in the field of child labour. It was also time for the Governing Body to discuss a clear identity and command structure for the programme, and there was a need to simplify the structure and have a clear idea of who was in charge of political decisions.
103. IPEC needed to consult with, and gain technical inputs from, other departments, which should also report on their child labour activities to the Committee so that it could have a complete overview of the ILO's technical cooperation activities in this field. Given the expansion of the programme and the increased international interest in it, he proposed that the Committee's agenda should include a report on the ILO's technical cooperation activities on child labour as a whole as a regular item at the March session. The information provided to the IPEC International Steering Committee should also be provided to the Committee for information. He endorsed the Director-General's proposal concerning a management review of the IPEC programme.
104. His group supported WOMEMP, but it had not yet got fully under way two years after its original launch. It needed direct financial commitment from the ILO to attract future donors. He emphasized the importance of reporting in future papers not only on trade union collaboration in the programmes, but also on the extent to which women in unions were involved. The Workers also supported STEP and were satisfied with its recent development. They welcomed the assistance provided by STEP for trade union activities, while signalling the importance of involving trade unions in all stages of the project cycle. They also requested the Office to provide an assessment of the progress made regarding the Commitments agreed at the World Summit for Social Development.
105. The representative of the Government of Slovakia was pleased to note the development of the Start and Improve Your Business training package for eastern Europe under ISEP. He welcomed the initiative and was confident that the MDT for Central and Eastern Europe would provide information on how they could go about putting these to practical use in the countries concerned. They also looked forward to the distribution of the ten distance-learning modules prepared for radio broadcast in eastern and central Europe. In view of the high rate of unemployment, there were fewer means of pursuing an active labour market policy. Therefore, they were interested in participating in ISEP, including through the exchange of information with the Slovak agency for the promotion of small- and medium-scale enterprises.
106. The representative of the Government of Germany regretted the reluctance of donor countries to provide core funding to IPEC and urged them to respond positively to the appeal for such funding. He asked whether the Office had any information on why so few donors were ready to provide core funding. Referring to paragraph 13, he regretted the fact that the evaluations planned for 1996-97 could not be executed because of the heavy workload. He requested information on the coverage and terms of reference of the evaluations planned for 1999. He expressed disquiet about the reference in paragraph 48 to cooperation between IPEC and ISEP, and wondered whether such collaboration stemmed from a lack of adequate funds for ISEP.
107. The representative of the Government of Italy was pleased to observe a number of positive results, including the inflow of resources to the programme. However, contributors would wish to see evidence of concrete results and he therefore recommended that future reports should include more precise data. He would have liked, for example, more information on the Italian social partners' initiative, the funds from which were being used to open a number of schools in Bangladesh, and he requested a more detailed status report. Referring to paragraph 9, information on the number of children withdrawn from work and the countries involved would have been useful. Given the importance of the evaluation function, he regretted that IPEC had been able to execute only two of the planned evaluations in 1996-97. He expressed support for the strategy of strengthening national capacity to execute independent evaluations. He welcomed the Office's intention to execute an overall evaluation of IPEC as expressed in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01.
108. The representative of the Government of India expressed appreciation for the work done by the IPEC programme, noting that his country had participated since its inception. He urged the Office to make adequate funds available for projects found feasible and acceptable by the national steering committees. Alluding to the magnitude of the problem of child labour and the degree to which child labour in hazardous and exploitative situations prevailed, he endorsed IPEC's strategy of giving priority to hazardous occupations. However, he found no merit in targeting selected manufacturing industries as a priority focus of IPEC activities. This part of the strategy was highly donor-influenced and could lead to a distorted approach which diverted the focus away from hazardous occupations and opened up possibilities for the extraction of social and political advantage. He echoed the calls of earlier speakers for increased core funding to combat a donor-driven approach.
109. The representative of the Government of Egypt concurred with the statement by Mr. Anand and stressed that the provision of technical cooperation on child labour should not be linked to the ratification of Conventions. She emphasized that ratification should be voluntary and that the Office's role should be to help member States on the path towards ratification.
110. The representative of the Government of the United Kingdom welcomed the fact that gender had been identified as a cross-cutting issue in WOMEMP, but pointed out that there was a danger that this perspective could result in gender becoming an incidental feature. Gender should be at the heart of the priority-setting process. For this reason, his Government had supported WOMEMP, which brought together, in a high-profile and integrated way, the mainstreaming strategy being pursued by the technical departments. The programme contributed to the implementation of all the key elements of the Declaration: it promoted organized labour, given that the majority of atypical workers were women; elements of its work on the trafficking of women had a direct bearing on the issue of fighting forced labour, while the links with child labour and discrimination were self-evident. New institutional arrangements were hence needed to ensure that all technical departments worked in a coherent way to achieve the common objectives in this area. To this end, he recommended that an InFocus programme on gender should be developed in this area.
111. The representative of the Government of the United States echoed previous calls made in the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee for more regular budget funding for IPEC. She also endorsed requests for more concrete information on results to be provided. She supported WOMEMP: despite the limited resources, a considerable amount of work appeared to have been done, including the development of a number of national action plans. She was interested in the study on export processing zones and asked for more information on the tracer study to which reference had been made in the report.
112. The programme managers responded to the issues raised on their respective programmes. Given the time constraints, the manager of the IPEC programme undertook to provide specific answers and clarification direct to the members concerned. He expressed the Office's appreciation for the support given to the programme. IPEC was not a static administrative unit, but an operational and dynamic entity. The programme was constantly working to test new ideas and strategies that would have a positive impact on the ground.
113. He stressed the importance of core contributions to the programme and, on the question of impact raised by several members of the Committee, he expressed confidence that by the end of 1999 a sound evaluation system would be in place, the results from which would provide the information required to assure IPEC's partners that the programme was moving in the right direction.
114. The manager of the WOMEMP programme highlighted the links between WOMEMP and IPEC with respect to work being done on the trafficking of women, and with ISEP. In the latter case, one area for collaboration was to ensure an adequate focus on entrepreneurship promotion for women in ISEP. She clarified that the tracer study in export processing zones had looked at women who had left the zones. She made a plea for financial support, in particular to be able to meet the expectations raised at national level. She welcomed the proposal by the representative of the Government of the United Kingdom that there should be an InFocus programme on gender in the next programme and budget.
115. The manager of the ISEP programme stated that ISEP was a new global programme, and its focus was a traditional ILO concern. By organizing as a global programme, it was expected that the ILO's small enterprise development activities would be a more efficient vehicle to promote the Job Creation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998 (No. 189) and to respond to the needs of member States. She took note of the concern about the negative effects that could result from competition between the global programmes. As regards cooperation between IPEC and ISEP, she pointed out that it had been developed in an effort to be more multidisciplinary and holistic. ISEP's focus was on promoting alternative employment for families dependent on child labour. She concluded with a call for financial support for ISEP.
116. Since it was the last meeting of the Committee with its present composition, the representative of the Director-General (Mrs. Chinery-Hesse, Deputy Director-General) expressed appreciation on behalf of the Office, and especially PROPAR/TEC staff, for the cooperation and support received from the Chairperson and the Worker and Employer Vice-Chairpersons. She referred in particular to the spirit of cooperation which had helped forge a consensus on the report of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy. She expressed the hope that the current members would continue following the Committee's activities in the future.
117. The Chairperson expressed her appreciation for the rich debates in the Committee and for the documentation provided by the Office. The Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy had made a very valuable contribution to the implementation of technical cooperation activities in the medium and long term. She too highlighted the spirit of cooperation which had characterized the exercise and thanked the members for this. The new programme and budget with its strategic objectives opened up the way to work towards a qualitative evaluation of the ILO's objectives. The Working Party and the Committee had made a significant contribution in this regard. In the programme and budget technical cooperation represented a major means of achieving objectives. She thanked the Office for the high quality of the support given to the Committee and extended particular appreciation to Mrs. Chinery-Hesse and to Mr. Trémeaud. In concluding she thanked members of the Committee and all others involved in its work.
118. Mr. Anand, on behalf of the Employers' group, the Worker Vice- Chairperson and the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Government group thanked the Chairperson for her able work in chairing the Committee.
119. The Chairperson informed the Committee that in accordance with the standard procedures, the report of the meeting would be approved on its behalf by the Officers of the Committee. They would also agree on the agenda for the next meeting.
Geneva, 18 March 1999.
Point for decision: Paragraph 71.