ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

268th Session
Geneva, March 1997


Report of the Committee on Technical Cooperation

1. The Committee on Technical Cooperation met on 18 March 1997, with Ms. Diallo (Government, Senegal) as Chairperson and Mr. Hoff and Mr. Mayaki as Employer Vice-Chairperson and Worker Vice-Chairperson respectively.

2. The Committee had a single agenda item, concerning its role and working arrangements.

The role and working arrangements of the Committee

3. Ms. Diallo (Chairperson) explained that no paper had been prepared by the Office. A copy of Ms. Chinery-Hesse's opening address(1) to the Committee had been distributed to Committee members the day before to help structure the debate.

4. She invited the Committee to set the scene for a forthcoming discussion at its next two meetings on two substantive issues:

  1. the active partnership policy: the way it had developed and its impact over the previous last five years. In November 1996 the Committee had put the issue of an evaluation of the active partnership policy on the agenda for 1997; it was up to the Committee to say how it would like to see the evaluation carried out;
  2. the place technical cooperation occupied in the ILO: the proportion of technical cooperation in the ILO's work programme, the relationship between technical cooperation and international labour standards, the most efficient ways to incorporate lessons learnt from past experiences into new technical programmes.

5. In her view, evaluation of technical cooperation should occupy an important place in the Committee's work, as should the issue of resource mobilization, where the experience of Mr. Trémeaud would be very useful. She expected the Committee to offer clear guidance on technical cooperation to the Office in the future, and to submit more decisions to the Governing Body.

6. Ms. Chinery-Hesse (Deputy Director-General) emphasized the importance of the Committee's work, especially in the light of discussions in the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee the previous week. The Organization was under great pressure to produce results, to justify the contributions of its member States, and to earn the confidence of the Workers and Employers, who were important partners of the ILO. The initiative that the Committee had taken in November 1996 to be more involved in the ILO's technical cooperation activities was a welcome development.

7. The Committee's terms of reference were set out in the copy of her address before the Committee, together with the ILO strategy for technical cooperation endorsed by the Governing Body at its 261st Session (November 1994). It should be noted that the Governing Body had before it a paper(2) proposing further increases in the frequency of committee meetings and which, if approved, would enable the Committee on Technical Cooperation to meet in both March and November. There did not therefore appear to be any further need for the Committee to discuss the issue of frequency.

8. The Committee's future work would necessarily include an overview of the implementation of the strategy for technical cooperation. One of the key elements in its implementation was the active partnership policy, which was designed to bring the ILO's technical competence closer to its constituents, to make its programmes more pertinent, demand-driven, and with reduced response time. The situation in developing countries was volatile; when asked for advice, the ILO must be in a position to respond quickly. Regarding the request made by the Governing Body to the Director-General for a tripartite evaluation of the active partnership policy in 1997, the Office was in the first instance organizing an internal evaluation workshop for senior officials of the ILO in Turin in April 1997, for an initial assessment of the first five years of its implementation. Arrangements for the tripartite working party which would evaluate the policy were being discussed with the Officers of the Committee. The Office stood ready to give all instance necessary in the most cost-effective manner. The results of the Turin workshop would be placed at the disposal of the working party.

9. The Office was making considerable efforts to improve internal management techniques, including communication and training. She gave as an example a staff seminar scheduled for 11 April, on approaches and methods of delivery in technical cooperation for staff directly involved in designing technical cooperation programmes, or in providing technical advice to programmes and projects. The seminar would examine the distinctive approaches used in several large multi-donor and multi-sectoral programmes the ILO had been implementing for a number of years and which had had to respond to fast-changing social and political environments. An attempt would be made to analyse their technical, institutional, financial and administrative strengths as well as weaknesses to make possible improvements in the quality of similar programmes in future.

10. The Office proposed that the annual report giving a global overview of the ILO's technical cooperation programme remain on the agenda of its meetings in November. The report was necessary as it gave facts and figures which facilitated interpretation of significant trends from the country to the regional level. A new, improved and visually enhanced report format would be devised which would contain more country-based information, giving the Committee more appropriate data with which to take decisions. Issues of resource mobilization could be put in the agenda for the November meeting, offering the Committee the opportunity to monitor the resource mobilization strategy that would be presented in November 1997. This strategy would include partnership at the country level. She hoped that with the lighter agenda more time could be allocated during the November meeting for the discussion of reports of the UN Joint Inspection Unit. The paper on developments concerning operational activities in the UN system could also be discussed in November.

11. The implementation of the active partnership policy was the major item suggested for the March agenda. The report to the Committee should include an in-depth examination of the composition of the multidisciplinary teams, any vacancies in the teams, and the relevance of the specialized fields chosen for each team. An inventory of country objectives and technical cooperation packages available for implementation were additional key topics. The proposed independent tripartite evaluation was not expected to be a single, short exercise, but rather a continuing appraisal process. More time would be allowed in March for the whole issue of evaluation. Member States wanted to be sure that the ILO was applying positive practices to future programme implementation and discontinuing unsuccessful methods.

12. She emphasized that development cooperation was changing. The project approach had given way to a programme approach, centred around themes for which the ILO had a comparative advantage. The ILO had developed successful national programmes under the umbrella of the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), and was building others, such as the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women. She proposed that a discussion on these and other global programmes be placed on the agenda for meetings in March.

13. In her view the distribution of agenda items would be as follows:


  1. Annual report on technical cooperation.
  2. The ILO's resource mobilization strategy.
  3. Operational developments in the UN system.
  4. UN Joint Inspection Unit report.
  5. Internal measures taken to enhance the ILO's technical cooperation programme.


  1. Report on the implementation of the active partnership policy.
  2. Impact assessment/evaluation paper on ILO technical cooperation.
  3. Information on the development of new global programmes.

14. Mr. Hoff (Employer Vice-Chairperson) observed that two issues should be addressed: the role of the Committee, and its practical working arrangements. He recalled that the Governing Body did not study in detail the results of individual Committee discussions. Responsibility therefore lay with each Committee to reach a consensus on decisions that could be sent with confidence to the Governing Body for adoption. This was both an important and heavy duty, but one which now seemed possible in light of the new partnership between the Committee and the Office, and their common goal of revitalizing the Committee's functioning.

15. Addressing the practical arrangements, it was now assumed that there would be two meetings of the Committee each year, one in March and one in November. He agreed in general with the proposal by Ms. Chinery-Hesse that the March meeting contain a detailed evaluation of the active partnership policy in which the Employers and Workers would expect to have an active role, including participation in evaluation at the field level. He called for the publication of the findings of such evaluations well in advance of the meeting so that the members could prepare for a useful discussion.

16. He emphasized the importance of an effective resource mobilization strategy, and underlined the Employers' specific concerns about the ILO's ability to attract funds. He voiced concern at the capacity of some major programmes, notably that for employers' activities, to attract new sources of funding with their current level of human resources. He asked that consideration be given in the new strategy to areas where a relatively small investment in additional manpower might reap large resource returns.

17. He welcomed the yearly, detailed overview of the technical cooperation programme and corresponding allocations, including a complete list of active programmes; breakdowns by technical sector, including headquarters and decentralized programmes; the Turin Centre; and Workers' and Employers' activities.

18. He acknowledged that during the discussions in the Committee, it was easier for the Worker and Employer members to work as teams and to be represented by single speakers, but he asked the Government members to form homogenous groups wherever possible, involving a single spokesperson for the Government group and one for each of the regions, and to focus their statements on topics which concerned the Committee as a whole.

19. Finally, he called upon the Office to dispatch the working papers not less than one month before each session in order to give the Committee members adequate time to prepare for fruitful discussion.

20. Mr. Mayaki (Worker Vice-Chairperson) recalled the reasons for holding the additional meeting of the Committee. First, the November meeting alone did not give sufficient time to go through the agenda and allow an in-depth study of important issues of technical cooperation. Secondly, the Committee meeting was too often simply a forum for an exchange of views and information, without making specific recommendations or decisions. Thirdly, the Committee was not in a position to fulfil its functions properly.

21. The agenda and work programme now proposed by Ms. Chinery-Hesse in her paper were acceptable to the Worker members. The holding of two meetings each year was welcome news, but the structure of the discussions still needed to be improved. It would be desirable to have preliminary consultations to prepare the work and organize statements on a regional basis for governments, to save time and allow the Committee to go to the crux of the issues of interest to all constituents.

22. The Committee had always scrutinized ILO technical cooperation activities a posteriori, but had not had an opportunity to make decisions and recommendations for future work in technical cooperation or study measures taken to implement the decisions and resolutions of the International Labour Conference and regional meetings.

23. Improvements to the presentation of the annual report would be an excellent step. The Worker members fully supported the proposal for an in-depth assessment of several technical cooperation programmes in March 1998, which was a concern of the Governing Body itself. But it should not be an evaluation of an evaluation. Rather, he supported the idea of a thematic evaluation made on a regional or subregional basis.

24. The strategy for resource mobilization came at an opportune moment. In November 1997 there would be a more detailed presentation and procedure, as well as details on the implementation of some of these proposals. He energetically and fully supported a two-way flow of information to and from constituents.

25. The Workers' group fully supported the information and training activities programmed for ILO officials and would like to have information on the outcome.

26. It was desirable that a study be carried out on the active participation of the Workers and Employers in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the ILO's technical cooperation programmes and projects, within the framework of the active partnership policy. In many African countries the labour movement was not always fully involved in the conception or implementation of, or follow-up on, technical cooperation activities. Governments could say when, where and how they intended to involve the social partners. Changes were taking place all over the world; if all the social partners were not involved, the required results could not be achieved. Programmes based on national consensus should be encouraged wherever feasible.

27. He recalled that the Governing Body wanted an independent body to carry out a tripartite in-depth evaluation of the five years of implementation of the active partnership policy. Internal evaluations should be supplemented by independent ones. Donors too should be involved if necessary, and the evaluation team should not only comprise members of the Committee, but also other members of the Governing Body.

28. The IPEC should report annually on its activities to the Committee. The elimination of child labour was an important element of the ILO's technical cooperation, on which the three partners had come to an agreement within the Organization, including in the Committee on Employment and Social Policy. A representative of the IPEC should be kept informed of the Committee's views on this issue.

29. The synergy between technical cooperation and international labour standards should be highlighted.

30. The representative of the Government of Germany thanked the representative of the Director-General for a clear and convincing plan and calendar for the future work of the Committee. He agreed with all the proposals and suggestions contained in her address. He noted that Mr. Hoff had expressed a wish that a Government spokesman should report to the Committee on behalf of the Governments representing the combined views of the various groups who had reached some agreement on the agenda items. That was a very practical suggestion. This would obviate the need for the ritual of individual members having to associate themselves with the views expressed by other speakers. If there were any dissenting views among individuals, then they naturally had to be given the opportunity to express these views.

31. The representatives of the Governments of Brazil, Canada, China, the Russian Federation, Italy, the United Kingdom and the spokespersons for the Governments of Africa and the Americas welcomed the initiative of holding two Committee meetings a year. At a time when the Governing Body was discussing the strengthening of the ILO's supervisory machinery, the role of technical cooperation as the most constructive and effective way to promote international labour standards and as a vital tool for tackling the non-ratification or problems of application of the fundamental Conventions should be stressed. Any contribution towards the strengthening and improvement of technical cooperation programmes carried out by the Office should be supported.

32. The representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and Mr. Anand called for the work of the Committee to provide input to the process of preparing the programme and budget proposals.

33. The representative of the Government of the United Kingdom supported dealing with JIU reports at the November meetings, provided they were relevant and useful. Placing the active partnership policy on the agenda of the March session was also supported. He did not think that the Government members were likely to reduce the number of speakers, although the regions could speak through spokespersons. He called for clear points for discussion and for decision in the working papers and a firm hand by the Chairperson in ensuring effective sessions.

34. Mr. Anand (Employer member) welcomed the new approach to annual reports, which should concentrate on the issues of performance, delivery and objective achievement, and not only data. There should be scope for the sample testing of field activity results by inspection teams, and the format adopted for this should be examined by the Committee. He looked forward to receiving the documentation well in time to enable local conditions to be evaluated in the regions at the national or subregional level.

35. The representative of the Government of Sweden underlined the prerequisites for the Committee in fulfilling its role. A key element would be basic information on technical cooperation, which would also be relevant to the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee. The November report on technical cooperation should include the overall, long-term objectives of the programme, as well as specific yearly objectives which allowed monitoring and evaluation and took into account previous experience.

36. The representative of the Government of Italy referred to international labour standards and technical cooperation as the two pillars of the ILO. The question of priorities in technical cooperation was of particular importance, and global programmes like IPEC and the International Small Enterprise Programme were welcome. In view of these new global themes he expressed concern for the apparent drop in extra-budgetary resources forecast in the next biennium.

37. The representative of the Government of Senegal, speaking on behalf of African Governments, endorsed the proposals for the Committee's agenda. He saw the changes in the ILO's technical cooperation programme as a process of decentralization, basing objectives on the needs of the constituents and ensuring their active participation in the whole process. The report on the implementation of the active partnership policy should therefore enable the impact of the defined objectives to be measured. He therefore supported reports based on regional and cross-cutting issues, examining the achievement of the country objectives. The issue of resource mobilization was critically important and deserved, as proposed, to be given full attention. He also noted that the same issue would be examined in the planned Turin workshop. He commented on the increasing need for reforming existing or establishing new, viable social protection schemes based on mutual associations, the importance of strengthening the regional centres for labour administration and for training in Africa (CRADAT, ARLAC and CIADFOR), programmes aimed at women's employment in both urban and rural areas and the informal sector.

38. The representative of the Government of the United States stressed the necessity for greater clarity in information and joined the speakers who supported an improved presentation of information, including the results achieved. This would lead to further understanding of the true scope of technical cooperation activities in the ILO, and the percentage of the overall budget that was actually not spent on technical cooperation. She expressed her support for the representative of the Government of the United Kingdom and Mr. Anand, who had stated that the Committee's views should also provide input into the programme and budget exercise. She strongly agreed with those who had stressed the need for ILO cooperation and collaboration with other UN agencies, in full respect of their mandates.

39. The representative of the Government of South Africa expressed his support for the proposals put to the Committee. South Africa was a recipient of considerable ILO technical assistance, for which appreciation was expressed to both the Organization and its contributors. The long-term strategy within South Africa was described as poverty alleviation and employment creation. The basis of cooperation with the ILO rested on working closely with the Office, with a vital role for the relevant MDT and all social partners. The active partnership policy was seen as playing a successful and vital role in ILO cooperation with South Africa. He made a distinction between technical assistance aimed at the short term and technical cooperation, described as long-term and requiring a closer partnership. The South African Government in turn was itself providing technical assistance to neighbouring countries in the region.

40. He referred to the 1998 African Regional Meeting which would convene governments, social partners, donors and UN organizations, in particular in the context of the "Jobs for Africa" initiative. Different strategies for combating poverty through employment creation were expected to be required for the various regions.

41. The representative of the Government of Japan said that the documents should be distributed well in advance of the Committee's meetings. He emphasized the importance of putting the six principles for this Committee's work into action and supported the idea that the documentation for the Committee should also include budgetary analysis. Like others, he welcomed close collaboration between the ILO and other international organizations and requested a clear reporting on the ILO's involvement in multi-organizational activities, with reference to the ILO's share of the budget and whether it took the role of the leading organization.

42. The representative of the Government of Mexico, speaking on behalf of Governments of the Americas, wished to see the effectiveness of the Committee's work reinforced, by setting priorities in the Committee or modifying the orientations for the implementation of technical cooperation. Financial aspects should be dealt with without increasing the burden for donors. Special attention was expected to be paid to evaluations, resource mobilization and increasing efficiency. More participation was needed in general, on matters of policy-making, setting objectives and multidisciplinary issues.

43. The representative of the Government of Canada welcomed the enhanced role of the Committee and stressed that it was through technical cooperation that the application of standards in the world of work would be reinforced. She supported the position of the representative of the Government of Sweden on the presentation of the budget.

44. The representative of the Government of the Russian Federation considered that useful proposals had been put forward to change the structure of the Committee, reflecting the importance of its work. Technical cooperation and labour standards were considered the main strength of the ILO and were enhanced by the Director-General's intention to reinforce activities in the regions. The additional resources for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the 1998-1999 programme and budget were well received. The increase in technical cooperation activities also enabled the Organization to react in a more flexible way to requests from the field. The Russian Federation was regarded as a recipient of assistance in the UN context, while seen as a donor in the ILO. A discussion on this status was expected in more detail at the November session of the Governing Body. The overall extension of the Committee's functioning was however welcomed.

45. The representative of the Government of China also welcomed the enhanced role given to the Committee. Technical cooperation is considered to be a key element in achieving the ILO's main objectives. He encouraged the Office to look into every possibility of mobilizing resources for this purpose.

Evaluation of the active partnership policy

46. The representatives of the Governments of Canada, China and several other speakers endorsed the proposals put forward on the evaluation of the active partnership policy. Thorough preparation and studies for the evaluation of the active partnership policy were recommended.

47. The representative of the Government of Turkey commented on the central role played by the setting of country objectives in the active partnership policy, and requested an update on the policy in terms of progress in this respect. The Committee should examine how well the various components of the ILO structure were performing and collaborating in the implementation of the policy and whether there were particular bottlenecks in the structure for the delivery of services and achieving progress towards the objectives.

48. He recalled the significant experience of the Turin Centre in providing training in support of the active partnership policy and technical cooperation, and suggested that the different parties in the country objectives process could benefit from preparatory training activities, supported by the Turin Centre, before the country objectives were developed.

49. Mr. Anand (Employer member) expressed the view that closer links between international labour standards and operational activities had relied on the so-called flagship of the active partnership policy, which as a policy had been neither active nor a partnership at the field level. Reshaping attitudes was an onerous task requiring patience and practice. The quality of services could not always be improved by applying lessons of the past when the future would be so radically different from the past. Consultations with the social partners were of varying quality and levels and generally covered non-policy issues, while national and subregional review meetings should be tightened up to offer a more supportive instrument to headquarters. Special attention should be paid to making the MDTs more effective and improving relations with area offices. It was of prime importance that more results-oriented performance was achieved. Review and reorganization were ongoing processes in the management field, and closer examination of field structures and country strategies had also to be covered.

50. He was concerned at the low priority accorded to assistance to employers' organizations, a major priority in this area being support for informal and small employers, who needed to be incorporated into the mainstream. Employers and workers had to develop as equal but independent partners through active participation in efforts to seek solutions to issues of common concern.

Child labour

51. The representative of the Government of Germany and several other speakers made reference to the discussion in the Committee on Employment and Social Policy on child labour. The report seemed largely a report on the present situation of IPEC. Despite some misunderstanding, agreement was eventually reached that the Committee on Employment and Social Policy, by its very nature, should deal with the economic and social aspects of child labour. The body to deal with IPEC programmes should in fact be the Committee on Technical Cooperation. Specific indications were therefore needed as to how, where and when it should deal with the child labour issue.

52. The representatives of the Governments of China and the United Kingdom also asked that the operational aspects of IPEC be included in the work of the Committee.

53. The representative of the Government of Senegal, speaking on behalf of the African group, along with the previous speakers suggested that the Committee should receive and discuss an annual report on IPEC. The problem of child labour was closely linked to poverty or other problems caused by poverty. The lessons learned should lead to the implementation of appropriate training programmes and to reinforcing the capacities of labour inspection services.

Evaluation of technical cooperation

54. The representative of the Government of Germany thought it would be useful if Office experts could shed some light on what type of evaluation they had in mind, and agreed with the statement by the Worker Vice-Chairperson that there was no need for an evaluation of an evaluation. Donor-country evaluations should be included, as every donor country had a matrix for evaluation. Regarding internal evaluations, the experts who prepared the documentation had to be clear in their minds as to exactly what was taking place in order to put forward proposals. For internal evaluations, which also took place in the regions, there was much room for improvement regarding the involvement of the partners at the subregional level, who should also perhaps be more involved in the work of the Committee.

55. The representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States asked for further clarification on evaluation. The suggestion to examine technical cooperation at the subregional level was interesting, especially as it would allow a comparison of national experience of ILO technical cooperation. In this context the pressure for improved coordination of UN activities at the national level would also be relevant. Concrete examples of such coordination should be covered by the evaluations.

56. The representative of the Government of Sweden, together with the representatives of the Governments of Italy and Finland, welcomed emphasis on evaluation in the proposals put before the Committee. It was the task of the Committee to ensure that internal ILO procedures were adequate. A paper should be prepared indicating future planned evaluations taking into account past evaluation experience.

57. The intention to work more closely at the country level within the UN system was welcomed. This would contribute to a more effective UN and underline the importance of proposals made in the wider UN context. Increased cooperation should be pursued with the multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, as stated in the Committee on Employment and Social Policy.

58. The representative of the Government of Finland, endorsing comments by other speakers on monitoring and evaluation, stressed that effective mechanisms in this regard were also highly relevant to improving the performance of the technical cooperation programme and to improving the public image of the ILO. She welcomed the proposals made for the data to be presented in a more interesting and informative way, examining cross-cutting themes on the basis of country groupings. The idea was welcomed of placing reports of internal staff seminars such as the Turin workshop before the Committee, as these would provide it with enlightening insights into the opinions, ideas and experiences of those who were doing the daily work.

59. The representative of the Government of the United States requested clarification of the Office's proposals regarding the evaluation issue, as other speakers had done, and on the respective roles of the various field offices and their relation to headquarters. While overlap may be necessary to a certain extent, redundancy should be avoided. Any evaluation should focus on effectiveness and on the outcomes of the action undertaken. In particular, it should be made clear what the ILO planned for, and more important, what the achievements were. A longitudinal approach was recommended. It would be interesting to know how many of the people trained in a specific field were still employed some years later and/or whether they were self-employed. She also felt it important that failures should be acknowledged.

60. The representative of the Government of Japan called for case-studies which should serve as a broad basis for the assessment and would raise the credibility of the exercise and allow fruitful lessons to be drawn. External involvement in the evaluation was also worth considering.

61. The representative of the Government of Mexico, speaking on behalf of the Governments of the Americas, considered that a uniform stance was necessary with respect to regional and subregional focuses. Evaluations should not be limited to tripartite aspects, but should take into account various elements such as multidisciplinarity and national contributions. The evaluation of evaluations was to be avoided.

Concluding remarks

62. Ms. Chinery-Hesse thanked speakers for their statements. The meeting had been special. Members had posed a variety of questions as a means of guiding the Committee's future work, and hence specific answers were not required for the moment.

63. Concerning the Office's future reports to the Committee, she took note of the demand that reports should be rich, clear and precise. The Office would explore the possibility of using slides and other forms of technology to make the presentation more interesting.

64. She noted the general support for the twice-yearly meetings. This would allow for more frequent stock-taking, a necessary task given the dynamism of technical cooperation. The additional meeting would mean more time for discussions on individual agenda items and allow the Committee to be better informed through more frequent reporting.

65. She welcomed the suggestions for improving the working arrangements of the groups, but hoped that the fresh perspectives brought by individual country contributions would not be suppressed. None the less, she fully appreciated the usefulness of prior group consultations.

66. The points made by the Government of the United Kingdom on the need for a meaningful, rather than a routine agenda, and for focused reports were well taken. She agreed that the agenda should be reviewed and renewed as required. Thus, for example, the subject of the Joint Inspection Unit should be included only if there was something substantial to discuss. Similarly, she accepted the point that reports on the UN system should be presented in a way that clearly showed the relevance of developments in the system for the work of the ILO.

67. She referred to the general consensus on the need for the Committee's work to provide input into the programme and budget discussions, and suggested that the agenda items proposed in her paper should be examined with this in view.

68. Ms. Chinery-Hesse highlighted the importance attached to evaluation during the discussions. She placed this concern in the context of the prevailing preoccupation with accountability in the UN system. It was through evaluation that both contributors to technical cooperation and recipients of assistance could assess the performance of agencies. She pinpointed some areas in which the evaluation-related information given to the Committee could be expanded, for example by information on the general evaluation work of the Office in addition to the results of evaluations based on cross-cutting themes and evaluations of specific programmes. Generally, the emphasis would be on lessons learned from these activities to guide future programmes. The Office might also usefully consider evaluating the impact of its technical cooperation activities on its constituents, which might not necessarily be of interest to other agencies or donors. As regards the involvement of ILO constituents in evaluations, she recalled the UNDP/ILO agreement, which provided for the inclusion of the social partners in the evaluation of UNDP-funded projects. The ILO might wish to reinforce such arrangements and apply them to all stages of the programming cycle. The ILO used professional external evaluators, and it would also be possible to tap the resources of the Governing Body, whose members would know what was relevant to the concerns of the ILO. She observed that the implementation of the MERS system (Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting System) should generally lead to qualitative improvements in the work of the Office. Finally, she referred to the use that could be made of positive evaluation results, since such success stories could help those who advocated the ILO's case.

69. The evaluation of the implementation of the active partnership policy had been another subject of widespread interest. The ILO's Turin III exercise would provide input into the independent tripartite review and not replace it. The Turin III review exercise would essentially concentrate on the active partnership policy as a continuum of dialogue beginning at the constituent level. It would therefore focus on the use of country objectives. What lessons had been learned? Had they been properly translated into work plans and integrated into programmes by the multidisciplinary teams and technical departments? It would examine the extent to which the active partnership policy had brought the Office closer to constituents and brought the latter into the centre of the ILO's activities. Had the active partnership policy strengthened tripartism? Particular attention would be paid to the internal dialogue and to the level of interaction and consultation between the field structure and headquarters in order to ensure that the entire technical cooperation programme, with its country, inter-country and global programmes, remained consistent with the needs expressed and with the ILO's mandate. Finally, particular attention would be paid to the question of how the active partnership policy could further facilitate resource mobilization with the donor community.

70. The Committee had been clear on its future role as far as IPEC was concerned. Its focus should be on assessing the technical cooperation aspects of the programme and possibly identifying ways of improving its operational approaches. The Committee on Employment and Social Policy had concentrated more on the policy aspects of child labour in general.

71. She referred to the interest of the Committee in quantifying the ILO's overall expenditure on technical cooperation and invited its advice on the appropriate methodology for calculating such a figure. None the less, she provided some estimates, but cautioned that the figures were very rough and should be treated accordingly. It was estimated that, for the 1998-99 biennium, $124 million of the regional departments' regular budget and $50 million of the technical departments' allocations would be spent on technical cooperation. From extra-budgetary sources, $73 million was projected to come from the UN and $140 million from other sources. Therefore, a total of $387 million, or roughly half of all resources available in 1998-99 (total: $771 million -- $558 million regular budget and $213 million extra-budgetary) would be spent on technical cooperation. Thus, 31 per cent of the regular budget would be allocated to technical cooperation-type programmes. It might be possible to refine the methodology for these calculations and to provide more accurate information in future reports.

72. Finally, concerning the agenda for the next meeting, she proposed that IPEC could be reviewed in the context of the new global programmes or as a separate agenda item, if the Committee so wished.

73. The Worker Vice-Chairperson was reassured by Ms. Chinery-Hesse's summary and felt that it reflected the major concerns expressed. He agreed that IPEC could be discussed at the March meeting, but insisted that it be treated as a separate agenda item. Many members had endorsed the role and importance of the Committee in ensuring the links between international labour standards and technical cooperation and felt that this should be underscored.

74. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed satisfaction with the meeting and looked forward to seeing positive action based on the discussion.

75. The Chairman reminded members that the report of the meeting would be cleared by the Officers on behalf of the Committee and submitted to the Governing Body. The agenda for the November meeting would also be finalized between the Officers of the Committee and the Office on behalf of the Committee.


76. The Officers of the Committee, meeting after the closure of its meeting, agreed on the following points:

77. The Committee recommends that the Governing Body request the Director-General to report annually on the operational aspects of IPEC to the Committee on Technical Cooperation at its March session, as a separate agenda item.

78. The Committee --

(a) recommends that the Governing Body:

(b) requests the Director-General to make arrangements for the working party to meet in Geneva in June 1997, November 1997 and March 1998, and for visits to four regions, each by three members of the working party.

Geneva, 21 March 1997. (Signed) A.C. Diallo,


Points for decision:

1. GB.268/TC/S.

2. GB.268/4.

Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.