Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa (ADWA')

Funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the ADWA’ project works at the policy-making level in order to support evidence- based decisions on key dimensions of the Decent Work Agenda.

Geographical area of implementation: North Africa

Project Background

North African countries are characterized by a shared set of similar labour market imbalances, which include the highest unemployment rates in the world, low levels of economic activity and important levels of underemployment and precarious employment. Even in the most dynamic periods, economic growth has not been able to address these challenges and create more and better jobs.

On the normative front, North African countries have a relatively good record in the ratification of internatinal labour standards (ILS). However, their de facto application remains a challenge across the sub-region.

Moreover, good practices in the effective application of ILS at the enterprise level are often limited to specific sub-sectors of the economy. Therefore, the project will intervene in selected sectors of the automotive and telecommunication sectors to support stronger application of ILS at enterprise level.

ADWA' project- funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)- aims to promote job-rich growth, ILS and their application at enterprise level. These three elements are fundamental for the economic development of the region and are essential to advance towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Project Strategy

A mix of implementing strategies is going to be adopted, including evidence generation (data and analysis), knowledge management and capacity building.

The support provided by the project through targeted capacity building and promotion of ILS will strengthen the overall enabling environment for the creation of decent and sustainable jobs.

The availability of more and better jobs in the sub-region requires concerted initiatives in the areas chosen by the project. The first outcome of the project will support the elaboration and implementation of a proactive job-rich growth agenda. The second outcome will support the defacto application of ILS by providing Governments with normative guidance. The third outcome will take these initiatives to the enterprise level for a cooperation with enterprises in the telecommunication and automotive supply chain to address Decent Work deficits.

Implementing Partners and Beneficiaries

  • Ministry of Labour,
  • Minstry of Justice,
  • Ministry of Finance,
  • Ministry of Planning,
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
  • national parliaments,
  • statistical institutions,
  • ILO social partners at country level, including the Volvo Group and Ericsson.

Development Objective

The overall objective of the project is that the target North African countries enhance their capacity for economic policy reform, enhance the implementation of ILS and address decent work deficits, including for women. This objective will be reached through the following outcomes:

Outcome 1

Improved data collection, data analysis, and data use for economic policy reforms to steer towards job-rich growth.

Outcome 2

Increased ratification, reflection in national jurisprudence, enforcement and knowledge of ILS.

Outcome 3

Deepened engagement of the private sector to achieve Decent Work in telecommunication and automotive sectors.

Geographical Impact

The project intervenes both at regional (North Africa) and national levels,in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and with some specific activities in Algeria.

The multi-country approach also will enable the exchange of knowledge and experiences, generating potential opportunities for South- South Cooperation within the sub-region and beyond. The outcomes and outputs of the project are country and region specific. However, its impact in the medium to long term is expected to go beyond the region: better functioning labour markets, enhanced labour standards and responsive private sector companies will contribute to poverty reduction and more cohesive societies, reducing push factors for migration and increasing investments in human capital.