Since the beginning of the 1950s the ILO has carried out technical collaboration activities across all continents and at all levels of economic development by making use of the vast network of offices around the world.
The years 2008-2009 were marked by the global crisis. The conditions of the most vulnerable populations, which had already been hard hit by the rise in food prices in early 2008, further deteriorated as a result of the contraction in international trade, the collapse in demand and the increase in unemployment due to the economic and financial crisis. The international assistance for development constitutes a fundamental support for the survival of these populations. On the basis of the commitment towards the Millennium Development Goals, the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development (2008), the ILO is at the forefront in responding to the challenges that intend to “eradicate poverty, achieve a prolonged economic growth and promote a sustainable development”.
Technical Cooperation is one of the main operational tools of the Organization for the achievement of the objectives of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, the Millennium Development Goals and to respond to the economic crisis through the execution of the Global Jobs Pact, adopted by the International Labour Conference in June 2009. Many countries do not have the ability to finance measures to stimulate employment and social protection, and for this reason there is a need for new bilateral and multilateral support initiatives precisely to sustain programmes of this nature.
The main objective of the Technical Cooperation activities is the execution of the Decent Work Agenda and of its four strategic objectives (labour rights, employment, social protection and social dialogue) at the national level. This is why the ILO assists its constituents (governments, employees’ and employers’ organizations) in activities designed to make decent work a reality for all men and women. The Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building programmes of the ILO contribute to creating a link between the ILO’s regulatory action and the people.
Technical Cooperation in figures
The ILO currently manages over 1,000 Technical Cooperation programmes in over 80 countries thanks to the support of some 60 donors worldwide.
In 2008 a new record of approved resources for ILO projects, approximately USD 302 million, was reached. It is likely that this result will not be achieved in 2009, partly due to the effects of the international crisis. Nevertheless, the global figure for the two-year period will exceed USD 500 million. A comparison with the previous two years shows a positive trend (2004‑2005: USD 328 million, 2006‑2007: USD 467 million).
The increase in funds and extra-budgetary spending reflects the growing confidence of donors in the ILO’s ability to provide a valid technical assistance in support of its constituents’ commitment to implement the Decent Work Agenda, at a global and local level. The funds mobilized at the local level continue to play an important role in the general budget of the Organization.
For more information visit the ILO’s Partnerships and Development Cooperation Department website
The ILO and the Italian Development Cooperation
The Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs- the DG for Development Cooperation is one of the main donors of the technical assistance activities of the ILO. Between 2003 and 2007 it has financed the Organization’s activities for a total of USD 47 million, making it the fifth most important donor of the Organization behind the United States, European Commission, Netherlands and United Kingdom.
Italy has supported some of the ILO’s most important projects including the global campaign against child labour, the Understanding Children’s Work Program (UCW), the development of small enterprises in the Maghreb region and the promotion of decent work in Argentina. Moreover Italy hosts, and is also the main supporter of, the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin which is the training branch of the Organization.
In November 2008, the Italian Government and the ILO signed a new Framework Agreement on Cooperation for 2008‑2010 with the objective of promoting key areas of the Decent Work Agenda, including the creation of employment- in particular for young people- labour rights, social dialogue, social protection and women’s empowerment.
The agreement is based on the allocation of funds on a yearly basis. The ILO has already received approximately EUR 14 million for 2008. The funds were equally distributed between the activities of the Organization and those of the International Training Centre of the ILO.
In 2009 (EUR 4 million) and 2010 (EUR 2.5 million) the funds were intended solely for the Training Centre in Turin.