National employment policy review and formulation

The Employment Policy Department is called upon for technical assistance by numerous countries seeking advice on and support for the formulation of their national employment policies to express their aspiration to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment, as articulated in Convention No. 122.

Recent experience has shown that a piecemeal approach does not work and a first step is to integrate employment goals and targets in national development frameworks that encompass both macroeconomic and sectoral strategies. This needs to be supported by multi-component and coordinated employment policies that are adapted to local conditions and contexts, negotiated by tripartite constituents, and integrated in Decent Work Country Programmes and UNDAFs.

These objectives are pursued through knowledge building, policy advice, advocacy, capacity building and technical cooperation (TC) upon request of ILO tripartite constituents’ needs in terms of employment policy formulation.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida) supports eleven countries and constituents to formulate comprehensive national employment policies that are aligned with the priorities of the national development frameworks: Botswana, Cambodia, Comoros, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Oman and Sri Lanka.

Main objectives of the Technical Cooperation

The TC project is based in Geneva and implemented in the eleven countries in close collaboration with the corresponding field offices of the ILO.
The outputs of the project include:
  1. Research and knowledge development to inform the policy-making process,
  2. Capacity building to increase ILO constituents’ (governments, including ministries of labour, finance and planning and other relevant bodies, and employers’ and workers’ organizations) institutional capacity to participate in policy design,
  3. Facilitation of national tripartite policy dialogue on policy options for employment,
  4. Validation and integration of national employment policies in national development frameworks.
In addition, tools that enhance the ILO's policy advice and the analytical capacity of governments and social partners on how best to enhance the productive employment content in the context of their own national development planning and strategies for poverty reduction are being developed including: a guide for the formulation of national employment policies; a global knowledge base on employment policies; a trade union guide for the formulation and implementation of national employment policies and guidelines on pro-employment public budgeting.


Sri Lanka: The adoption of the National Human Resources and Employment Policy
The ILO has been providing technical assistance for the development of the National Human Resources and Employment Policy (NHREP) for Sri Lanka since late 2010. After a lengthy preparatory phase (policy research, a series of extensive national and regional consultations, and policy formulation) the policy was officially adopted by the Cabinet in September, 2012. A public launch event was organized in the presence of his Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse, at the Presidential Palace on 30 October 2012.

More information is available at:


Further information

  1. Rapport sur l'atelier de validation nationale du Document Cadre de la Politique Nationale de l'Emploi aux Comores (Morni, May 2013)
  2. The Employment Policy Course (Turin, held annually in September)
  3. Rapport de l’activité: Cours sur les Politiques de l’Emploi (Dakar, Avril 2013)
  4. Report: National seminar on "Tackling employment challenges through coordinated action" (Maputo, April 2013)
  5. Report: Second national tripartite consultation on "Employment policy development for Cambodia with a focus on young women and men” (Phnom Penh, December 2012)
  6. Report: High-level national policy dialogue on the theme “Supporting the achievement of productive employment and decent work for all through inclusive and job-rich growth” (Lilongwe, October 2012)
  7. Report: First national tripartite consultation on "National Employment Policy for Cambodia with a focus on young women and men" (Phnom Penh, August 2012)
  8. Employment Diagnostic Analysis on Malawi
  9. Macroeconomic policy for employment creation: The case of Malawi