Measuring decent work

Monitoring progress towards decent work is a long-standing concern for the ILO’s constituents. Yet, the multifaceted nature of the Decent Work Agenda that combines access to full and productive employment with rights at work, social protection and the promotion of social dialogue means that measurement is a complex task. The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization thus recommends that member States may consider “the establishment of appropriate indicators or statistics, if necessary with the assistance of the ILO, to monitor and evaluate progress made”.

Following a Tripartite Meeting of Experts held in September 2008, the Governing Body agreed to test a comprehensive approach to the Measurement of Decent Work during 2009 by compiling detailed indicator definitions and preparing decent work country profiles for a limited number of pilot countries. The 18th International Conference of Labour Statisticians endorsed this approach. In collaboration with the Department of Statistics, other technical units and the ILO’s field offices, the Policy Integration Department is coordinating Office work in this field.

The department is also currently implementing the project ‘Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work’ (MAP) with funding from the European Union. Over a period of four years (2009 to 2012), the project aims to facilitate the identification of decent work indicators that are relevant at the national level (based on the outcome of the Tripartite Meeting of Experts held in September 2008); support data collection; and use the collected data for an integrated policy analysis of decent work in order to make them relevant for policy-making.

Key resources

  1. Decent Work Country Profiles

  2. Decent Work Provincial Profiles

  3. Projects

    The ILO/EC project will work with government agencies (including Ministries of Labour), National Statistical Offices, workers’ and employers’ organisations and research institutions to strengthen the capacity of developing and transition countries to self-monitor and self-assess progress towards decent work.

  4. Workshop reports

  5. List of Decent Work Indicators

  6. Tripartite Meeting of Experts on the Measurement of Decent Work

  7. Governing Body

  8. International Conference of Labour Statisticians

  9. Research papers and guidebooks

    This Guidebook, designed to be a practical resource for collectors and users of labour market information, presents a detailed overview of key indicators for monitoring labour market trends and measuring progress towards national and international goals related to the promotion of decent work.

  10. The central premise of this paper is that it is important for the ILO to settle on a basic core set of decent work indicators and a plan of action for statistical activities. The Office should also seriously consider developing a complementary set of indicators to measure supporting national and international legal frameworks and conventions for the eleven major aspects of decent work identified in this paper.

  11. Evaluations

    Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work: Final Independant Evaluation

  12. Stocktaking of the ILO's Programme on Measuring Decent Work