Geneva, June 1999
Report of the Committee on Technical Cooperation
1. The Committee on Technical Cooperation, set up by the Conference at its first sitting on 1 June 1999, consisted of 201 members (85 Government members, 51 Employer members, 65 Worker members). It also included 20 Government deputy members, 37 Employer deputy members and 71 Worker deputy members.(1) In addition, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and 54 non-governmental international organizations were represented.(2)
2. The Committee elected its Officers as follows:
Mr. Rafael Alburquerque (Government member, Dominican Republic) at its first sitting;
Mr. Azad Jeetun (Employer member, Mauritius) and Mr. William Brett (Worker member, United Kingdom), at its first sitting;
Mr. Moriaki Nagae (Government member, Japan) at its fifth sitting.
3. At its fifth sitting the Committee appointed a Working Party to draw up a draft resolution and conclusions based on views expressed during the plenary discussions, for consideration by the Committee. The Working Party was composed as follows: five Government members: Ms. Sosa Márquez (Mexico), Mr. Frederiks (Netherlands), Ms. Sarmiento (Philippines), Mr. Diop (Senegal), Mr. Májek (Slovakia); five Employer members: Mr. Jeetun (Mauritius), Mr. Oshinowo (Nigeria), Mr. van Vuuren (South Africa), Mr. Berggren (Sweden), Mr. Richotte (United States); five Worker members: Mr. del Río Doñe (Dominican Republic), Mr. Douglas (New Zealand), Mrs. Theodorsen (Norway), Mr. Patel (South Africa), Mr. Brett (United Kingdom)
4. The Committee held eight sittings.
5. The Committee had before it Report VI prepared by the Office on the sixth item on the agenda of the Conference, The role of the ILO in technical cooperation, and the Supplement Technical cooperation: A strategic perspective -- Note by the Director-General.
6. In his opening statement, the Chairperson thanked the members of the Committee for the trust shown in him, which he considered an honour for his country as well as for himself. He underlined the importance of the work of the Committee as he considered technical cooperation to be the motor driving the promotion of the values of the Organization. It provided a means of realizing the fundamental rights at work through development and socio-economic progress. Finally he expressed his confidence in all members of the Committee to approach the discussion in a spirit of cooperation.
7. The representative of the Secretary-General welcomed the members of the Committee, the representatives of other organizations and observers attending the Committee. He recalled that the role of the ILO in technical cooperation was placed on the agenda of the Conference in the context of a regular review of the technical cooperation activities of the Organization. The previous discussion on this subject had taken place in 1993. He noted that this time the discussion was particularly significant as it took place on the eve of the twenty-first century and in the context of the new vision for the ILO proposed by the Director-General in his report to the Conference entitled Decent work. Two documents were to be examined by the Committee: the Conference report on The role of the ILO in technical cooperation which had been completed before the new Director-General had taken up his functions, and the supplementary Note by the Director-General, Technical cooperation: A strategic perspective. In fact, these two documents were to be read in conjunction with the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01, already adopted by the Governing Body, and the report of the Director-General to the Conference, Decent work, which contained a chapter on regional dimensions which was of relevance to the subject for discussion.
8. Subsequently, the representative of the Secretary-General outlined the action taken by the Office in response to the 1993 Conference discussion on technical cooperation. As requested, the work of the Office had concentrated on three priority themes: support for democratization, poverty alleviation, including employment creation, and the protection of workers. This work was guided by the wish of the Conference to see technical cooperation as a means to support member States in ratifying and applying international labour standards, promoting tripartism and social dialogue, and providing assistance to the least developed countries. In response to the orientations agreed upon by the Conference in 1993, the Office had prepared a technical cooperation strategy which was approved by the Technical Cooperation Committee of the Governing Body in November 1994. As agreed, these efforts were undertaken in the context of the newly introduced Active Partnership Policy (APP). As part of this policy, the Office had established Multidisciplinary Teams to respond better to the demands of constituents. These teams included specialists on labour standards to increase the synergy between standards and technical cooperation. Likewise, the teams included specialists on relations with employers and workers to enhance tripartism in the design of the Office's technical cooperation activities. At the same time, various measures were taken to improve the management, evaluation and monitoring of technical cooperation and the activities of the Training Centre of the ILO in Turin were further integrated with those of the ILO.
9. He continued by referring to the unexpected decrease in technical cooperation activities since 1993. This decrease had occurred throughout the United Nations system and was to a large extent the result of changes in the financing mechanisms for technical cooperation in the UN system, as well as an overall decline in development funding. In the ILO, the design of global programmes, which aimed at a greater coherence and visibility of key technical cooperation activities, had helped to revitalize the programme. The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) had served as a model for the design of these programmes. The representative of the Secretary-General then referred to the evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy recently undertaken by the Governing Body. This evaluation had noted considerable progress in the ILO's work in the developing countries. The APP had especially resulted in a more relevant technical cooperation programme in which the social partners were playing an enhanced role. The Multidisciplinary Teams were found to have brought the ILO closer to its constituents. However, the evaluation also noted a number of areas for further improvement, notably the need to complete the formulation of country objectives and the need to enhance the Office's capacity to respond to the requests of constituents. The need to clarify the roles of the various units of the Office was also recognized. Likewise, further improvements needed to be made in evaluation procedures and in efforts to increase the visibility of the ILO.
10. Another part of the development had been the new responsibilities entrusted to the ILO by various global conferences, in particular the Beijing Conference on Women and the Social Summit in Copenhagen, both of which were held in 1995. In this context, he also stressed the importance of the adoption of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work by the Conference last year. The Office would continue to make the necessary adjustments to its technical cooperation programme in view of these developments. As such, the Note by the Director-General clearly indicated the new perspectives that he envisaged for the technical cooperation programme of the Office. In this Note, the Director-General strongly confirmed his commitment to develop the ILO's technical cooperation as a major means to create an enabling environment for the realization of the values and principles of the Organization. These efforts were to be placed in the context of the four strategic objectives identified in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01, i.e. the promotion of rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue. In this context the eight InFocus programmes included in the programme and budget would constitute a coherent programme framework for the ILO's operational activities which was to be funded jointly by the regular budget and extra-budgetary resources. The InFocus programmes would, to the extent possible, integrate the present global programmes. Gender and development would be the two cross-cutting themes throughout the work programme of the Office. This strategic approach should allow for the establishment of clear indicators of the success and the impact of the activities undertaken. The technical cooperation activities would be developed based on the needs of constituents and the need to strengthen their capacity at national, subregional and regional levels. The need for a rapid response capacity to situations of crisis was also underlined.
11. In his Note, the Director-General also proposed enhancing partnerships for technical cooperation to increase the ILO's visibility, mobilize the necessary resources and ensure efficient implementation. These partnerships would in the first place include the constituents, but would also include the United Nations system, in particular participation with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Bretton Woods institutions and all others who would be willing to make a contribution to the technical cooperation programme of the Office. These modernization efforts had already started at headquarters and were to include field services in the near future. It was also envisaged to strengthen resource mobilization efforts to allow for an increase in the technical cooperation programme. Finally, the management and the evaluation of the technical cooperation programme were to be improved.
12. The representative of the Secretary-General concluded by soliciting the Committee's views on the three points mentioned at the end of the Note by the Director-General, namely: enhancing the relevance of the ILO's technical cooperation; improving the quality, visibility and impact of ILO technical cooperation; and strengthening partnerships.
II. General discussion
13. On behalf of his group, the Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed the wish to achieve consensus in the Committee, as technical cooperation was of keen interest to all social partners. He referred to the relevance of the discussions in 1987 and 1993 which had led to improvements in the ILO's technical cooperation programme, such as the Active Partnership Policy, the establishment of Multidisciplinary Teams, and the setting of country objectives. However, there was still room for further improvement. He recognized the significance of technical cooperation as a means to achieve worthy objectives, in particular to increase the standard of living in developing countries. In this era of unprecedented social, political and economic change, globalization was putting pressure on developing countries to increase their competitive edge, to enhance their productivity and to spread their knowledge.
14. The Director-General's proposed new direction for the ILO and the four strategic objectives provided a strategic framework to re-examine technical cooperation, which needed to be more focused and demand driven. Its products should be well defined, up to date, and meet the specific needs of recipients. Its shortcomings should be addressed in recognition of the key role of enterprises for employment creation. He mentioned that technical cooperation should not be limited to assistance for ratification of international labour standards, but should enhance the capacity of the social partners to fully contribute to development efforts. It should lead to sustainable results, enhance the capacity of employers' organizations, strengthen tripartite structures, and promote social stability at national, regional and international levels.
15. The Employer Vice-Chairperson indicated that employers wanted to be part of the entire process of technical cooperation as their organizations were well aware of their own needs and had an important network to improve the relevance of ILO technical cooperation activities. Country objectives could be improved and the ILO had an important role in strengthening employers' capacities, which would pave the way for focused and targeted programmes in areas such as human resource development, economic efficiency, and small and medium-sized enterprises. This approach would enable the ILO to achieve fuller partnerships in the future based on the unique advantage of its tripartite structure. The Employers totally supported the vision of the Director-General that country objectives should capture the changing concerns of the ILO's constituents, implementation modalities should draw on national institutional capacities, and programmes should be conceived to reflect constituents' needs through a process of systematic consultations at the regional and subregional levels. He added that this should apply at the country level as well.
16. The ILO should identify its comparative advantages in a dynamic environment and, if necessary, revise, update, and renew its products. Marketing was a key element to improve the ILO's image and attract donor resources. The ILO had been criticized for sometimes providing standard products for various situations in various countries. It should be recognized that products should be adapted to the needs of different countries at different stages of development. Marketing should also help develop networks with other international institutions and attract new resources. Donors' assistance should not be taken for granted. It should be recognized, appreciated, and publicized in order to attract other donors. The marketing efforts also needed to involve better, more transparent communication and information flows, both within the ILO and to the constituents.
17. He noted that the ILO was unique as an organization which had developed the capacity to assist employers, yet the employers' share in technical cooperation remained small. Employers hoped to play a stronger role in the future. In this respect the Director-General's emphasis on building knowledge, research and statistical capacities and economic analysis was badly needed. Technical cooperation needed to be seen as an investment and its auditing, evaluation and monitoring were critical to help ensure that the investment was worthwhile to the Office, the constituents and the donors.
18. On behalf of his group, the Worker Vice-Chairperson began by recalling how much the world had changed since this subject was discussed in 1993 and suggested that the Committee concentrate its limited time on discussing the way forward, and base its discussion on the Director-General's Report to the Conference, Decent work, and on the supplementary Note, A strategic perspective, in order to provide useful guidelines for the five years ahead. While agreeing with several previous statements coming from the Employers' side, he recalled that the Employer Vice-Chairperson had omitted to include in his speech any reference to the Declaration -- just approved in 1998 -- and to international labour standards, which have guided technical cooperation for the last ten years. Recent developments, in particular those linked to globalization and government austerity plans, implemented in conjunction with the Bretton Woods institutions, had been harmful to workers. Therefore, the vision of the new Director-General presented in this supplementary Note was very valuable. The Workers attached particular importance to the Follow-up to the Declaration and to the role of technical cooperation as a means to promote it.
19. The Workers' response to the three points for discussion raised by the Director-General was by and large supportive. The four ILO strategic objectives were endorsed by the Workers, who attached great importance to technical cooperation and its role in promoting the Declaration. The Workers' group also agreed on the need for a more focused approach to achieve longer term objectives which were not restricted to a biennium. The group fully endorsed the need to strengthen the social partners and their capacities at international, regional, and national levels. Such capacity-building should allow for more effective inputs from trade unions, in particular in relation to structural adjustment issues and discussions with the international finance institutions. In this way, trade unions could, for example, provide intelligent inputs to discussions with the Bretton Woods institutions. Some of the disastrous effects of structural adjustment programmes might have been avoided if trade unions had been able to play their role in this manner. Such discussions were also essential to the implementation of the Declaration.
20. The Workers' group fully endorsed the need for increased funding for technical cooperation, although it realized that funding was unlikely to reach again 1991 levels. Its future would centre on multi-bilateral funding, the ability to produce quality programmes and to develop new products such as support to codes of conduct. The IPEC programme was a good example in this context. The importance of the gender perspective was explicitly mentioned, in view of the renewed need for improving the proportion of women in the decision-making process and mainstreaming gender concerns. The Worker Vice-Chairperson cautioned against focusing exclusively on large-scale activities and pointed out that in the case of workers' and employers' organizations, for example, strategic but relatively modest support might have significant impact. He suggested that the Committee should focus its debate on the following areas: endorsing the principle that technical cooperation should support the four strategic objectives outlined in the programme and budget proposals; ensuring tripartite involvement in all facets and stages of technical cooperation; recognizing the need for technical cooperation to support international labour standards in general and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in particular; strengthening relationships with the international financial institutions with a view to promoting ILO values; providing greater emphasis on quality; mainstreaming gender concerns in all aspects of technical cooperation; and giving more attention to the monitoring, evaluation and quality control of technical cooperation.
21. He continued by suggesting an interim review of technical cooperation by the Technical Cooperation Committee of the Governing Body half way between meetings of the Conference Committee on Technical Cooperation. Additionally, the Governing Body could conduct selected tripartite evaluations of particular projects or programmes.
22. In concluding he indicated that his group broadly agreed with the perspective presented in the Director-General's Note. He felt that, if the Committee could reach conclusions on the points raised for discussion by the Director-General, the Committee would have achieved its goal.
23. Following the comments of the two Vice-Chairpersons, the Committee continued the general discussion of the issues raised in Report VI and the Director-General's Note. The discussions included both general aspects and specific topics related to the ILO's technical cooperation. There was wide participation by many members of the Committee, representing the views of the three groups and different emphases according to region. All members of the Committee agreed that the documentation provided relevant information on the role of technical cooperation. The Note by the Director-General was, in particular, found to be an excellent policy document. There was general support for the Director-General's proposal to develop the technical cooperation programme in line with the four strategic objectives of the ILO: the promotion of rights at work; employment; social protection; and social dialogue. This was felt to be particularly relevant in the context of global change.
24. Many members of the Committee stressed the importance of defining country objectives in a tripartite framework, while underlining the need for ILO assistance in this regard. They underlined that poverty alleviation and employment creation were to be given the highest priority and emphasized the continuing need for technical cooperation and the role that the ILO should play in national capacity-building. They welcomed the Director-General's intention to review the Active Partnership Policy, which had sometimes fallen short of expectations, and stressed that country objectives should reflect the priorities and needs of constituents. The social partners should be more systematically involved in the preparation and revision of country objectives. The Office's technical cooperation activities at the country level should be directed at promoting the implementation of ILO values and principles. At the same time, the technical cooperation programme should be responsive to the needs of regional and subregional organizations. There was general agreement with respect to the need for a review of the field structure and for improving and clarifying the links between multidisciplinary teams, area offices and regional offices. The composition of the teams should be reviewed to better reflect constituents' needs and it was suggested that the Office should increase the use of local expertise. The need to increase the overall staffing levels of the teams was noted by many members from the developing regions. Many Committee members urged the Office to forge more effective partnerships with its primary constituents and to extend its external alliances, including with the UN system and the Bretton Woods institutions. They endorsed the intention to strengthen the capacity of the Office to respond rapidly to emergency situations and referred to the effective support already provided to a number of countries following the recent financial crises.
25. The Workers' group expressed concern at previous inadequate practices of tripartite involvement in technical cooperation activities, and proposed that tripartite involvement include involvement in defining the priorities and needs, planning, implementing and evaluating programmes, and introducing a reporting requirement for projects in this regard. The Workers' group expressed support for the Director-General's recognition of the emerging social requirements of regional integration, and tabled a number of suggestions of how this may be effected. These included strengthening tripartism within regional blocs, developing a strong social pillar, providing comparative information within a region and considering frameworks for regional collective bargaining. The Workers' group also stressed two related needs: for the Organization to focus on the relationship between macroeconomic policy and social policy -- including evaluating the trade-offs between monetary, captital-market regulatory and fiscal policy options and their social consequences, and also to build the capacity of ILO constituents, particularly trade unions and employers' organizations in this vital area. Proposals included building a research capacity within constituents, providing a flow of information and analytical tools, disseminating best practice experiences at a global level, providing opportunities for forums of debate and interaction and assembling global expertise as a resource for trade unions, employers and governments.
26. In addition, several members of the Committee endorsed the Director-General's view presented in his report to the Conference, Decent work, that technical cooperation was essential to realize his strategic vision. They also stated the importance of developing technical cooperation activities in a common framework with other ILO activities, whether regular budget or extra-budgetary funded, and endorsed the InFocus programmes as an important element of such an integrated programme and budget. In this context, a number of Committee members expressed the importance of the Declaration and its Follow-up for the future technical cooperation programme. They endorsed the view that ILO technical cooperation should be demand driven but emphasized that such demand should be assessed within the context of the four strategic objectives and the cross-cutting themes of gender and development. Additionally, technical cooperation should receive more regular budget support. Evaluation results should be used for programming purposes and provide material for research. The plan of action to improve monitoring, evaluation and delivery was considered to be of critical importance to successful resource mobilization. A number of Committee members also referred to the need for better integration between the technical cooperation activities of the ILO and those of the International Training Centre of the ILO.
27. A number of Committee members expressed their appreciation for the ILO's cooperation with countries in transition, noting the various areas in which they had benefited from ILO expertise. To obtain further funding for the required assistance, a number of central and eastern European countries urged the Office to pursue closer cooperation with other organizations such as the UNDP and the European Union. The specific needs of countries in transition should be recognized; the European Union and the World Bank had started to show increased interest in initiatives in the field of labour issues in countries in transition. Representatives of the countries in transition called on the Office to respond by developing a programme comprising strategies and projects for job creation and poverty reduction in their countries.
28. The representative of the UNDP concurred with the description in the Conference documents of the major changes which had characterized the past decade and the resulting need for the UN system as a whole to develop a new strategic response. The UNDP recognized the ILO's support to the UN reform process and its active participation. The UNDAF exercise in particular had been an important mechanism to secure country-level cooperation. He observed that, given the UNDP's focus on the eradication of poverty through sustainable human development and the ILO's mandate with respect to employment and poverty alleviation, the ILO would continue to be a major partner of the UNDP.
III. Technical cooperation: A strategic perspective
29. The Chairperson proposed that the supplementary Note by the Director-General be used as a basis for the discussion, point by point. He suggested that a certain number of points arising from the debate be added to the "Issues for discussion". The Committee accepted this proposal.
30. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, referring to the first issue for discussion, "Enhancing the relevance of the ILO's technical cooperation", underscored the significance of the need for relevance of the ILO's technical cooperation activities. Country objectives should focus on priorities of all tripartite partners and should be complemented by regional objectives. As regards the reference to new outputs and products, he mentioned that some of the older products of technical cooperation were not necessarily outdated. Technical cooperation programmes should be adapted, especially by making greater use of information technologies. Referring to the point raised concerning the emerging social requirements of regional integration and cooperation, he pointed out that emerging economic requirements should also be included. Economic and social efficiency should be integrated. He stressed the need for greater efforts to raise awareness of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up.
31. The Employer Vice-Chairperson fully subscribed to the need for improving the quality, visibility and impact of ILO technical cooperation, the second issue raised for discussion in the Director-General's Note. Quality was to be seen as an all-embracing concept, which should include improving ILO technical expertise, its staff, programmes and structure. Concern for quality had to cut across all programmes and activities. He referred to the programme of the Turin Centre as an example of a well-managed quality programme, as it had many quality products, as well as effective monitoring systems and a successful marketing approach. Applied research, rather than pure academic research, and the application of the best practices were important elements for ensuring quality. Referring to increasing the visibility of ILO activities, the Employer Vice-Chairperson felt that the ILO library should play a more significant role as the ILO's central storehouse of information. Information should be readily obtainable and easily accessible, using modern information technology. There was also a need to collect, provide and disseminate information on evaluation. Evaluations should be performed by professionals, preferably external to the Organization. With respect to tripartite involvement at all stages of technical cooperation, he endorsed the view that it was desirable but reminded the Committee that it might not be appropriate in all situations, specifically in the case of workers' or employers' programmes. Finally, referring to the point of strengthening and extending partnerships for resource mobilization, he felt it would be useful to explore more systematically sources of private funding.
32. The Worker Vice-Chairperson confirmed the Workers' overall agreement with the Note by the Director-General. He did not consider that it would be useful to try to establish priorities within the four strategic objectives of the ILO at the global level. As far as the future form and nature of technical cooperation were concerned, he reminded the Committee that the experience of IPEC had been an important learning situation for all involved regarding the management of a global technical cooperation programme and that the lessons learned should be taken into account for the new programmes.
33. The Worker Vice-Chairperson supported the Employers' view on the need to ensure adequate library and information services. Particular attention should be paid to this issue in the programme and budget discussions in November 1999 as the Active Partnership Policy had considerably increased the demand for these services. Noting that a number of Government members had endorsed a review of the field structure, he suggested that the governments cooperate with this review and support the measures required to provide a more efficient and more accessible presence and service structure of the ILO. He recalled that similar exercises in the past had not been successful due to difficulties encountered in scaling down or closing certain offices.
34. Several speakers reiterated their view that all four strategic objectives of the ILO were equally important for its technical cooperation programme, which should be guided by international labour standards, and a concern for the promotion of the Declaration. The two cross-cutting themes concerning gender and development referred to in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 were to be integrated into this overall programme framework. The identification of best practices and lessons learned should be explicitly included in monitoring systems of technical cooperation activities. Performance indicators and accountability were to be included in evaluation methods, the results of which were critical to future programme development. Regarding the third point for discussion on strengthening partnerships, it was noted that partnerships should go beyond donors and include the UN system and international financial institutions as well as civil society partners as a means of extending the ILO's influence and increasing its effectiveness. A number of speakers wished to see a fourth point added to those included in the third section of the Director-General's Note. This point would concern an implementation plan on the reform of the field structure and of the ILO's management structure.
35. A number of speakers reiterated the view that the four strategic objectives and the InFocus programmes should be at the centre of future ILO technical cooperation activities. It was crucial that the critical mass of ILO resources be reoriented for this purpose. In this era of globalization, the ILO could ill afford to ignore the imperative need to develop a capacity for analysing present global realities and their impact on the labour market. Technical cooperation should be adapted to face these new realities; it had to be relevant, meaningful and demand-driven and be particularly attentive to vulnerable groups. The growth of regional economic groupings illustrated the interdependence and interconnectedness of economies. The ILO needed to support regional institutions and assist countries to develop mutually reinforcing strategies for job creation and poverty alleviation. ILO technical cooperation and advice needed to assist countries to strike the right balance between economic efficiency and social justice. Therefore, the ILO should promote the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up by providing technical cooperation. Several speakers referred to the need to establish a special fund to assist the constituents in these efforts.
IV. Consideration of the document submitted
by the Working Party
36. The Chairperson of the Committee, recognizing that the draft resolution and conclusions prepared by the Working Party had been the result of extensive discussions, thanked its members for their inputs and hoped that the time invested in the exercise by the Working Party would facilitate the work of the Committee. He noted that the deadline for submission of amendments, initially set for Wednesday, 9 June, at 5 p.m., had been changed to 3 p.m. on Friday, 11 June. Seventy-three amendments had been received. In accordance with the Standing Orders, the Chairperson of the Committee, after consulting the two Vice-Chairpersons, had determined the order in which the amendments would be discussed. A number of amendments seeking to improve or to clarify the text were accepted for discussion; some were withdrawn.
37. The Committee started its work by discussing the first 15 paragraphs of the draft resolution and conclusions. Two amendments referring to support for the promotion of entrepreneurship and small enterprises as major engines of employment growth were considered. The Employers' group attached particular importance to the issue which also received support from various members of the Government group. The Committee decided to add a paragraph reflecting the consensus. Consensus was also reached on a complementary paragraph to add the word "micro" to "small and medium-sized enterprises" in paragraph 53(7) and refer to the enabling environment for the promotion, realization and implementation of the international labour standards outlined in the previous paragraph.
38. The Committee next considered the issues and amendments pertaining to the ILO's future technical cooperation programme with regard to the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, and the role of the technical cooperation programme in the ratification of core Conventions. The Government members of the Asia-Pacific group wished to see the Declaration referred to in connection with the ILO's strategic objectives. This point of view obtained the support of the Employers' group and the Government members of Mexico, Bolivia, and Senegal, the latter on behalf of the African group. The Workers' group, supported by the Government members of the Industrialized Market Economy Countries (IMEC), were of the opinion that reference be made in this paragraph solely to the Declaration in relation to the framework for technical cooperation. After a formal vote on the issue, the position of the Government members of the Asia-Pacific group was adopted. Following further discussion, the text was further revised to include the notion that technical cooperation is an essential component of the full implementation of the Declaration and the ILO's strategic objectives. Furthermore, the Committee decided that the ILO should support States in their efforts to give effect to the principles and rights of the Declaration, and contribute to the continuation and strengthening of the Campaign for ratification of core Conventions launched in 1995. The Committee also decided that the section of the conclusions on Programme of action for the ILO should reflect that an effective plan of technical cooperation assistance to ensure implementation of the Declaration is necessary. The role of the Declaration and international labour standards was addressed again in the context of guiding principles to improve focus and impact of technical cooperation. The Workers' group and the IMEC group supported that a reference to the Declaration and international labour standards be made in this context. The Asia-Pacific and African groups did not see the need for such a specific reference. Following a long debate and the submission of a number of subamendments, consensus was reached that reference should be made to the Declaration only.
39. The nature of the relationship of the ILO with the UN system, the Bretton Woods institutions, and other international financial institutions was discussed. Government members of the Asia-Pacific group did not see the need for the ILO to intensify its efforts to ensure the active promotion of all its core values as embedded in the Declaration in its relations with these institutions. The Government members of the African group supported this view. Various subamendments were proposed to reach consensus. The Workers' group and the IMEC group expressed their support for inclusion of a reference to core values embedded in the Declaration, as appeared in the draft text. The Government members of Mexico and Bolivia expressed the view that there was no need for a specific mention of the Declaration, and that a reference to all the ILO's core values would be sufficient, a view shared by the Employers' group and the Government member of Senegal. The Employers' group felt that other organizations were under no obligation to take its standards into account in their own programmes. The Workers' group pointed out that there was an overlap in membership in the international financial institutions and the ILO and, as such, their programmes and activities should encourage the promotion of the relevant ILO standards. With consensus, this view was adopted.
40. The issue of emerging economic and social requirements of regional integration and cooperation was taken up in the context of enhancing relevance and effectiveness of the ILO's technical cooperation. There was agreement that the ILO should help to build or strengthen tripartism within the regions, strengthen the capacity of national constituents to address regional economic integration issues, and use its unique expertise to provide economic, social and labour market information and research on a comparative basis. There were substantive deliberations on the need for the ILO to assist regions to develop a strong social pillar. The Workers' and African groups supported the issue; the Asia-Pacific group, as well as the Employers' group, did not subscribe to the motion. Agreement was reached on the Workers' group's proposal that "a strong social pillar" be replaced with "a framework for social development".
41. The discussions that followed concerned the reporting lines for the employers' and workers' specialists in the MDTs. The Employers' group supported the current practice which, to them, was consistent with past decisions. The Government members of the IMEC group expressed the opinion that this matter was within the mandate of the Director-General and that, considering the planned review of the field structure, the International Labour Conference should not impose restrictions on that exercise. This view was shared by the Asia-Pacific group. The Worker and the Employer Vice-Chairpersons pointed to decisions of the 1993 International Labour Conference on this subject which had posed no problems and said that the amendment aimed to continue a practice which worked satisfactorily. At the request of the IMEC group, the Deputy Legal Adviser informed the meeting that the workers' and employers' specialists were international officials whose conditions of employment were governed by the ILO's Staff Rules. Article 9.4 of the Constitution established the international character of the status of ILO officials; article 1.1 of the Staff Rules provided that they were international officials subject to the authority of the Director-General and responsible to him. He recalled that, in accepting their appointment, officials committed themselves to exercising their duties solely in the interest of the International Labour Organization without receiving instructions from external sources. These rules applied to all officials, including the workers' and employers' specialists. The Workers' group pointed out that the employers' and workers' bureaux at headquarters report to the Director-General and, as such, what was being sought was within the legal provisions. Consensus was reached on a subamendment proposed, and the approved text was added at the end of the relevant paragraph.
42. The Government member of Mexico wished to put on record her views on autonomy in technical cooperation programmes (paragraph 53(6)). She maintained that autonomy should not justify failure to submit the appropriate information on technical cooperation activities and participants to the national government and to obtain its agreement.
43. Concluding the seventh sitting, which had been extended to allow the Committee to complete its consideration of the draft resolution and conclusions, the Chairperson expressed his appreciation to the members for their constructive approach towards reaching consensus on issues which at times harboured serious differences of opinion. He also expressed his thanks to the secretariat, which had worked hard and shown great commitment to its work.
V. Adoption of the report, including
the resolution and conclusions
44. At its eighth and final sitting, the Committee examined the draft report and the resolution and conclusions. The Chairperson, recalling the fruitful discussions which had taken place in the Committee, requested its members to consider adoption of the draft report. A number of members proposed editorial changes and corrections to the text relating to specific points they had raised.
45. The Worker Vice-Chairperson drew the attention of the Committee to the final paragraph (paragraph 43) of the draft report, the last part of which did not reflect his contribution accurately and requested that the part be taken out. Expressing his appreciation of the good will and hard work of the secretariat, he suggested that the latter should undertake an analysis of lessons learnt for future meetings. This, he felt, was important for a Committee secretariat which met infrequently (every 5 or 6 years).
46. The Chairperson stated that the secretariat would take care of all the points raised for correction before the text was brought before the Conference for adoption.
47. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed his appreciation for the way in which the Chairperson had presided over the work of the Committee and contributed to its success and thanked the Government and Workers' delegates for their contributions. He thanked the secretariat for their contribution and hard work acknowledging that often the work had to be undertaken under difficult circumstances. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed his thanks to the interpreters.
48. Mentioning that he had learned that the Chairperson was one of the foremost labour lawyers of his continent, the Worker Vice-Chairperson echoed the Employers' praise. He joined the Employers' Vice-Chairperson in showing appreciation for the spirit of good will and compromise that had been shown by the other groups. Finally, he remarked that the Committee's work would not be worth anything unless the Office ensured that the resolution was taken into account in the 1999 Governing Body discussion on the Programme and Budget for 2000-01.
49. Expressing satisfaction with the work of the Committee, the spokesperson of the IMEC group underlined the importance of the strategic direction agreed upon for future orientation and programmes. He reaffirmed the key role of technical cooperation in the comprehensive implementation of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, and tripartism as the foundation for the principal values of the Organization. However, tripartism should not be rigidly applied, so as not to hinder effective and efficient delivery of services, nor limit the participation of other members of civil society, where appropriate. The IMEC group reiterated its concern about improving technical cooperation delivery and emphasized that the Director-General should have full authority to review its management, including the field structure and relationships with headquarters. Finally, he thanked the Chairperson and the secretariat for all its support during the Committee's work.
50. The Government members of Morocco and Peru joined the other speakers in thanking the Chairperson for his direction and leading the debates to a conclusion, and the secretariat as well as the Working Party for its excellent work, a sentiment shared by the Government members of Mexico and Indonesia.
51. The Government member of New Zealand, speaking on behalf of the Asia Pacific group expressed the view that technical cooperation should focus on employment creation and in the context of review of technical cooperation structures, underlined the importance of achieving a higher level of decentralization. He concluded by thanking the Chairpersons of the Committee and Working Party, and the secretariat which he felt had worked under difficult circumstances to help the Committee get through its tasks.
52. The Government member of Senegal, speaking on behalf of the African group, thanked the Chairperson for his patience and acknowledged the work of the secretariat. In his view the fundamental nature of the new technical cooperation policy, focusing on the four strategic objectives, would enhance the quality of the ILO's technical cooperation and be beneficial to constituents, beneficiaries and donors. The Programme and Budget for 2000-01 should provide the framework for implementation of the Committee's resolution and conclusions.
53. The Chairperson thanked the Committee members for their kind words on his conduct of the meeting. He felt that the Committee's work had been successfully concluded because of its members' generosity and willingness to reach consensus in the course of the discussions. He thanked the Employer and Worker Vice-Chairpersons and the Government members and expressed his appreciation for the work of the Chairperson of the Working Party. He commended the secretariat for all its efforts to support the work of the Committee and recognized the high level of the interpretation services. He felt that the Committee had produced a document which was fundamental and essential for the development of the Organization.
54. On behalf of the secretariat, the representative of the Secretary-General thanked the Chairperson for his remarks. He thanked all those who had expressed their appreciation for the work of the secretariat. The latter would certainly draw from lessons learnt during the current sessions for future meetings of the Committee on technical cooperation. He indicated that the Office had followed the deliberations of the Committee with interest and would do its utmost to implement the recommendations.
55. The Committee's report, including the resolution and conclusions on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation, as adopted by the Committee, are submitted to the Conference for consideration.
Geneva, 16 June 1999.
(Signed) R. Alburquerque,
1. For changes in the composition of the Committee, see the reports of the Selection Committee, Provisional Record Nos. 3 to 3H.
2. For the list of organizations, see the report of the Selection Committee, Provisional Record No. 3.
concerning the role of the ILO
in technical cooperation
The General Conference of the International Labour Organization, meeting in its 87th Session (1999),
Having undertaken a thorough review of the ILO's technical cooperation programme on the basis of Report VI, "The role of the ILO in technical cooperation", its supplement by the Director-General entitled "Technical cooperation: A strategic perspective. Note by the Director-General", the Director-General's Report to the Conference, and the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01, and having taken into account the Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up,
Adopts the following conclusions and invites the Governing Body of the International Labour Office to request the Director-General to give due consideration to them for the future technical cooperation programme and, more immediately, to take them into account during the November session of the Governing Body for finalizing the programme and budget for the 2000-01 biennium.
concerning the role of the ILO
in technical cooperation
1. Since the last discussion on technical cooperation by the International Labour Conference in 1993, there have been major changes in the social, political and economic environment.
2. This provides the backdrop against which the ILO will need to develop its blueprint for action in the next century.
I. Future orientation of ILO technical
(a) A renewed commitment
3. The ILO renews its commitment to technical cooperation as a fundamental means of action to achieve its mission and realize its objectives. Technical cooperation, including both advisory services and operational activities, must remain a major instrument of the ILO to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. The role of ILO technical cooperation is to help create the enabling environment, at the national and the international levels, for the realization of the values and principles of the Organization in terms of development, institutional capability, legislation and economic and social policy.
4. It must do so by promoting the four strategic objectives: promote and realize fundamental principles and rights at work; create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income; enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and strengthen tripartism and social dialogue; and the two cross-cutting issues: development and gender, all of which embrace respect for international labour standards and contain the implicit goal of promoting them. Such a commitment implies a greater focus for the ILO's technical cooperation activities and a closer integration -- in both programme and organizational terms -- with the work of the ILO as a whole.
5. These activities have to be carried out within the new and changing framework of an emerging global economy and rapidly evolving national needs. The ILO must assist member States in the adaptation of national economies and national institutions to global change, as well as the adaptation of global change to human needs. The ILO will be called upon to help its constituents in what will be a long period of adjustment and engagement with these emerging realities, in addition to addressing the persistent challenges of poverty elimination, employment creation, gender equality, creation of wealth, promotion of entrepreneurship and security of individuals, families and communities. The ILO must organize itself for this purpose.
6. Effective marketing strategies are important in reinforcing the ILO's reputation as a global point of reference for issues related to the world of work. The InFocus programmes provide an opportunity to publicize the ILO's technical cooperation activities and a means to gain public resonance for the ILO mandate.
7. Technical cooperation programmes that support enterprise promotion and entrepreneurial activity must be continued. Programmes that contribute to the creation of small enterprises must be strongly supported. Small enterprises are major engines of employment growth and therefore contribute to the Director-General's cross-cutting goal of development.
(b) A coherent approach
8. Technical cooperation should have coherence in its focus and implementation. Coherence refers to both how resources are allocated, and to the subject-matter of technical cooperation. In general, resources should be concentrated on more focused programmes. The success of technical cooperation is not measured primarily by the number of programmes implemented, but by the impact of the programmes as a whole. While recognizing this aspect of programme development, it is important to point out that this approach does not negate the role for smaller projects, particularly in building capacity. Rather, it seeks to shift the focus of measuring the success of technical cooperation from quantity to a more qualitative appreciation of outcomes.
9. One vital contribution of technical cooperation is in building the expertise, the capacity and the know-how of constituents. It makes the engagement in the ILO and outside it richer, deeper and capable of far-reaching consensus being forged. In the world we live in, the demands for capacity-building have not only expanded in quantitative terms -- they have grown too in the areas of focus of the Organization and its constituents.
10. Regional integration has become, for some, a contemporary reality. This requires that the emerging economic and social requirements of regional integration receive attention, and are incorporated in the technical cooperation programme of the ILO.
11. It is recalled that the ILO constituents affirmed in 1944, in the Declaration of Philadelphia, that "it is a responsibility of the ILO to examine and consider all international economic and financial policies and measures" against the fundamental objectives of the Organization.
12. In today's world, clearly this is more urgent and more necessary, as the social impact of financial and economic crises in Asia, Brazil and Russia, and the changes in developing countries and central Europe have shown.
13. It is in that context that the ILO needs to build and strengthen a capacity for engagement in macroeconomic issues. There is also a similar need, in addition to the current valuable institution-building and organizational strengthening work of the ILO, to strengthen the capacity of the trade unions, employers' organizations, and governments in order that they are capable, for example, of evaluating the trade-offs inherent in economic policy and globalization, such as employment effects of different monetary policy regimes, the labour market impact of different fiscal policy options, and the social impact of changes in the capital market regulatory arrangements. This will facilitate a deeper exchange and interaction among the three parties and in responding to the Bretton Woods institutions.
(c) Responding to constituents' needs
14. The ILO should adopt a participative, flexible and dynamic policy of technical cooperation, drawing upon the experience of decentralization and regional programmes of the 1970s and 1980s and upon the new global, socio-economic developments. However, to achieve its full potential, the Active Partnership Policy needs to be reviewed and placed in the new strategic context of the programme and organizational change initiated by the Governing Body in March 1999. It must be sensitive and responsive, above all, to regional diversity and the specificity of national needs within, of course, the framework of the four strategic objectives and the promotion of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. There can be no single global model for universal application. Country objectives must capture the changing interests and priorities of the national constituents of the ILO. From the preparatory stage, implementation modalities must draw on national institutional capacities, and programmes must be conceived to reflect constituents' needs through a process of systematic consultations and involvement at the national, subregional and regional levels.
15. The quality and impact of ILO technical cooperation are central to the constituents' concerns. It must be focused to serve the strategic objectives of ILO constituents as a whole, and to maximize impact. It must be realistic in terms of the institutional competencies of the ILO and available resources. Technical cooperation policy must address improvements in the content of substantive programmes, as well as improvements in the management of the process itself. It must re-examine organizational systems as well as seek procedural improvements. Technical cooperation must, in short, be seen as an integrated part of the ILO's activities as a whole, serving not merely to deliver "products" but contributing to the design of those products and to ILO policies in general.
16. The unique composition of the ILO within the UN family as a body made up of trade unions, employers' organizations and governments, is a real strength which can be used to advantage in technical cooperation. This advantage must be used more systematically and more effectively.
17. Specific programmes requiring autonomy excepted, the ILO needs to draw the tripartite constituents into all aspects of technical cooperation. This shall not preclude independent evaluations.
18. This should embrace involvement in a real and substantive manner.
(e) Gender equality
19. When pursuing the four strategic objectives and when implementing the InFocus programmes, it is crucial to secure that gender aspects and questions of equal opportunity are being mainstreamed in all the programmes, thus ensuring that issues of vital importance to women all over the world are not neglected or under-resourced. The gender equality aspect and questions of equal opportunity must be emphasized and integrated in all technical cooperation programme activities of the ILO.
20. The process of tripartite involvement itself should be gender-sensitive, and secure strong and effective involvement of women in all aspects, in order to increase the quality of the programmes and their credibility, and improve the working conditions of women throughout the world.
(f) Follow-up to the Declaration
21. The Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, and the strategic objectives provide a clear framework for future technical cooperation, which is an essential component of their full implementation.
22. It constitutes a pledge by all member States to respect the fundamental principles and rights set out in it, namely freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, the effective abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation.
23. The Declaration recognizes the obligation of the Organization: to assist Members by offering technical cooperation and advisory services to promote the ratification and implementation of the fundamental Conventions; to assist Members not yet in a position to ratify, to promote and realize the principles behind those Conventions; and to create a climate for economic and social development.
24. The ILO must support States in their efforts to give effect to the principles and rights of the Declaration.
25. The ILO's technical cooperation should also contribute to the continuation and strengthening of the Campaign for the ratification of core Conventions launched in 1995, in accordance with the decisions of the Governing Body.
26. The whole of the multilateral system should better integrate its technical cooperation activities. The ILO must become a full team player by fostering partnerships and networking not only in the design but also in the implementation of its programmes. Partnerships are essential to upgrade services and mobilize resources; to obtain multiplier effects; to develop knowledge networks; and to ensure participation by the social partners and the development of national institutions. The core partnership is between the Office and its primary constituents: governments, employers and workers.
27. This is the basis of a series of external alliances: with the donor community and development banks; with the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions; and with national, regional and international bodies for research, analysis, and economic and social cooperation. A special effort must be made to enhance partnerships with the organizations that are concerned with regional and subregional integration and cooperation.
28. The ILO must intensify its efforts to ensure the active promotion of all its core values as embedded in the Declaration, throughout the UN system and the Bretton Woods institutions. Their programmes and activities should encourage the promotion of the relevant ILO standards.
29. Relationships should be intensified to ensure the mutual appreciation of the role played by technical cooperation and the promotion of the Declaration in the development programmes of the international financial institutions.
30. At the country level, the ILO must be active in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to ensure that its constituents' priorities are effectively pursued, while optimizing the potential capacities of the United Nations system as a whole. All these partnerships must be built on a realistic perception of both the common objectives and the specific interests of the partners concerned, so that the ILO can uphold the values and concerns of its own constituents more effectively in a wider arena. The follow-up to major United Nations conferences, such as the World Summit for Social Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), must be an important setting for these activities.
31. As a knowledge, service and advocacy organization, the ILO should, without weakening tripartism, develop relations with other actors in civil society that share its values and objectives.
II. Plan of action
32. Several steps must be taken to carry out a strategic orientation of the ILO's technical cooperation policy.
(a) Improving focus and impact
33. The four strategic objectives, and more particularly the eight related InFocus programmes, approved by the Governing Body, and the Declaration will provide the point of departure and the rationale for all ILO technical cooperation. The evolving requirements of ILO constituents will need to be matched with institutional competencies and resource constraints in terms of the strategic objectives themselves. The broad policy guidelines for operational activities will be provided by the general constitutional mandate of the Organization.
34. The technical cooperation components of the InFocus programmes must be identified. Each of the current global programmes will be reviewed and integrated, as appropriate, with the InFocus programmes, while retaining their project identity where necessary. Extensive tripartite consultations will be undertaken at the national level to ensure that country objectives reflect the specificity of the constituents' demands and are realistic in terms of organizational objectives, capabilities and the resources available. Greater focus will also imply that operational objectives will include activities necessary to promote the concepts and notions underlying the programmes in order to help mobilize public opinion, external support and consciousness-raising and help expand ownership of the results and outcomes.
(b) A new programming framework
35. The strategic objectives provide the basis for a common programming framework which links regular budget programmes with those financed through extra-budgetary resources. The Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 reflect this intention to move towards an integrated programming structure. Such an integrated programming approach will promote operational and policy synergies. It will help resource mobilization by giving the ILO's development partners a much clearer indication of the contribution they could make towards the ILO technical cooperation programme. It will also facilitate the identification of regular budget commitments to technical cooperation programmes.
(c) Consolidating and developing technical excellence
The knowledge base of an institution is the foundation of relevant and reliable advice. The ILO must ensure its technical cooperation projects are of the highest quality. The process of identification of its strengths and limitations both at headquarters and in the field must be reviewed and improved. The appropriate policies must stimulate and enhance the excellence and modernization of the Organization's capacities. The Organization seeks new funds in an environment of diminishing international resources and of intense competition. This demands a strengthening of the knowledge capacity of the ILO in terms of research, statistics and economic analysis. Ultimately, quality in design and delivery is the basic requirement for recipient and donor satisfaction.
37. A vital element of the Organization's programme will be to build and enhance this technical excellence within the ILO constituents, particularly in the area of research and economic analysis. In addition, analytical tools should be provided by the ILO to its constituents. There should be a regular flow of information and dissemination of innovative and new approaches at the global level. Opportunities should be provided for debates and interaction like the recent seminar on the East Asian crisis, assembling global economic expertise as resource for the constituents.
(d) Management of technical cooperation
38. The success of technical cooperation depends on sound management, a coordinated approach, and an effective support machinery for delivery. The process towards more efficient management, coordination and greater transparency and accountability through the establishment of a Senior Management Team organized on the basis of the four strategic objectives has just been initiated. Upgrading the management capacity of the Organization as a whole, including the capacity for technical cooperation, is the key to ensuring clarity of institutional objectives and to securing necessary support services for the ILO's field structures.
39. In the same way, it would be necessary to clarify the respective competence and responsibility between headquarters' external institutions and beneficiary States with better or improved coordination of field activities.
(e) More effective resource mobilization
40. Resource mobilization must be boosted to reverse the quantitative decline of technical cooperation. The strategic approach described above will provide a more transparent map of the ILO's activities and objectives for the donor community.
41. A more substantive relationship with the international development community, including the development cooperation ministries or agencies and the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD must be developed. This must involve not only more systematic contacts with technical specialists in the donor community but also more systematic dialogue with ministries of labour and other relevant ministries, trade unions and employers' organizations so as to involve them more directly in resource mobilization and in ensuring support at the political level. It is important to intensify relationships with the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions. New relationships should be fostered with the private sector, with foundations and with other non-traditional partners, within the framework of the Organization's values and principles. It should be recognized that effective, efficient and timely product delivery are key elements in a successful resource mobilization strategy.
42. Extra-budgetary contributions are by definition voluntary. They normally respond to general policy priorities and preferences established by parliaments in the regular budget appropriation process. It is a function of the Office to integrate donor-driven and demand-driven specificities into a coherent whole to the satisfaction of all, by promoting dialogue between all the parties concerned, and through programme design and innovation.
43. There is a need to produce a report on funding sources for technical cooperation projects.
(f) Developing a coherent and effective
system for programme delivery
44. Certain problems arise from the lack of sufficient clarity of roles and responsibilities between headquarters and the field structure and within headquarters and within the field structure. This problem must be looked into urgently. The aim will be to provide a more efficient and a more accessible presence and service structure of the ILO in the field, which is able to respond flexibly and rapidly to constituents' needs, drawing upon the resources of the Organization as a whole. Wherever relevant, use should be made of expertise over longer periods in major projects as that could have a significant impact on the development of the capacities of tripartite constituents. In addition to technical policy guidelines, headquarters should provide the field structure with information on international comparative experience of various social policy measures, together with assessments of the economic and budgetary implications of social initiatives. The Office must combine an appropriate level of decentralization -- thereby bringing decision-making closer to its clients -- with overall strategic coherence in order to project a clear ILO identity worldwide. Pending the outcome of the review of the management of technical cooperation and the review of the current field structure in full respect of the Director-General's mandate, the long-established practice is respected that employers' and workers' specialists in the MDTs report to their respective headquarters' bureaux while working with other members of the team. This practice is satisfactory to the two constituents concerned and from the employers' and workers' perspectives does not need any change.
(g) Improved monitoring and evaluation
45. Performance indicators are essential for the ILO, its constituents and its partners. Wherever possible, identifiable targets should have verifiable and clear performance indicators. The existing system provides a self-evaluation mechanism which needs to be improved. Thematic evaluations which take place annually and are discussed in the Governing Body should be made more meaningful. Traditional projects have built-in evaluation mechanisms but little impact analysis. There is need to improve mechanisms to evaluate programmes and their impact at the national or regional level. As part of the overall evaluation system to be established within the ILO, methods of systematic and scientific evaluation of technical cooperation with recipient countries should be introduced, and donor and external evaluations should be undertaken as appropriate. This should be followed up with dissemination of best practices and lessons learnt.
(h) Better delivery
46. Concern has been voiced about the ILO's delivery rate of technical cooperation. This is an important issue, as the delivery rate is often an indicator of efficiency and effectiveness in the interaction between the ILO, its donors and recipients. A series of measures, both to define the extent of the problem and to deal with it, must be initiated. To begin with, relevant information and data must be analysed to identify the reasons for slippage. In future, data should also be presented in a more meaningful way to bring greater accuracy and transparency to the implementation of technical cooperation. A delivery-control mechanism must rapidly be put in place. This mechanism should serve as both a control and an early-warning system, as well as improving communication between headquarters, field structure and the constituents. Furthermore, it would be necessary to have recourse to horizontal cooperation for all three constituents so as to make use of its potential to increase relevance and reduce costs of the programmes.
(i) Rapid response capacity
47. The ILO must be capable of responding rapidly to emerging problems, whether these arise from economic crisis, natural calamity, conflict or social upheaval. This will require the ability to monitor developments, plan the responses, mobilize existing ILO capabilities, and coordinate external partnerships and resources. Steps must be taken to develop such a capacity within the ILO. Dealing with such crises will often require a system-wide United Nations response within which the ILO will contribute within its mandate and areas of competence. In this regard, the ILO is requested to liaise with the IFIs to ensure that the social dimension is adequately reflected in structural adjustment programmes and crisis response capacity. At the same time, the Office will work with the constituents in the recipient States in order to strengthen their capacity to respond to these new challenges.
III. Programme of action for the ILO
48. Technical cooperation must remain an essential means of realizing the strategic vision of the ILO.
49. Technical cooperation includes applied research and its dissemination, advisory services as well as the various programmes and projects.
50. In the future, the ILO must:
(a) Enhance the relevance and effectiveness of ILO's
(1) Technical cooperation should support the four strategic objectives: promote and realize fundamental principles and rights at work; create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income; enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and strengthen tripartism and social dialogue; and the two cross-cutting issues: development and gender. In that context:
(2) There should be a common programming framework for all programmes of the ILO, including the InFocus programmes, linking regular budget programmes of the ILO with those financed through extra-budgetary sources.
(3) The gender aspects must be emphasized in all aspects of technical cooperation.
(4) The emerging economic and social requirements of regional integration and cooperation must be taken into account. This will include, inter alia, that the ILO:
(5) An effective plan of technical cooperation assistance to ensure implementation of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up is necessary.
(6) An enabling environment for the promotion, realization and implementation of the international labour standards must be created with a view to ensuring that technical cooperation can assist in the ratification of international labour standards and help the countries which have ratified standards to implement them effectively.
(7) Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which are a major engine of employment generation must be promoted, inter alia, consistent with the subparagraph 6 above.
(b) Improve the quality, visibility, effectiveness and impact
of ILO technical cooperation
51. To do so, the ILO should:
(1) emphasize high quality and more focused programmes as well as efficient and effective structures;
(2) enhance technical capacity through training, making full use of the ILO's International Training Centre in Turin and other centres of the ILO or supported by it and an exchange of experiences amongst constituents;
(3) develop methods of evaluation to assess relevance, impact and efficiency; more specifically, in order to ensure quality and delivery, create and implement systems for monitoring as well as for internal and external scientific evaluations based on verifiable and identifiable targets, bearing in mind the need for the Governing Body to play an active supervisory role in the process;
(4) establish a mechanism to collect and disseminate best practices and lessons learnt;
(5) design communications strategies to increase the visibility of ILO activities and to promote wider partnerships;
(6) specific programmes requiring autonomy excepted, integrate tripartite involvement at all stages of technical cooperation from its formulation to its management and implementation with a view to strengthening the capacity of the constituents. In this context, within existing reporting requirements, establish the form of contemplated and actual tripartite involvement providing that this will not preclude independent evaluation processes when required;
(7) grant a larger role for local experience in the formulation and implementation of technical cooperation.
(c) Strengthen partnerships
52. To this end, the ILO must:
(1) improve the process of interaction with constituents to ensure ILO programmes based on their priorities, tap their resources and involve them actively;
(2) strengthen relationships with the UN system, especially in the context of UNDAF, the Bretton Woods institutions and the regional development banks so that they take into account the core principles and values of the ILO when designing and implementing their activities;
(3) strengthen and develop linkages with other actors in civil society that share ILO's values and objectives without weakening tripartism;
(4) strengthen and extend partnerships with a view to mobilizing resources;
(5) ensure regular budget funding for the major technical cooperation programmes in each of the four strategic objectives, the Declaration and its Follow-up, and promotion of international labour standards.
(d) Establish an implementation plan:
53. The Office should provide:
(1) an implementation plan including a timetable to the November 1999 session of the Committee on Technical Cooperation of the Governing Body for:
(2) a mid-term comprehensive and focused report between the Conference discussions (i.e. within two and a half years) on technical cooperation to be provided to the Governing Body Committee on Technical Cooperation in addition to the regular reports to the Governing Body.
Updated by HK. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.