Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Utilities Sector

The Action Programme Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Utilities Sector was designed to assist governments and the social partners in developing joint strategies and actions to extend and improve the efficiency of these fundamental services. Through capacity building and facilitating the joint design of action plans, the programme aimed to strengthen social dialogue mechanisms at the sectoral level in selected developing and transition countries. The Action Programme was first implemented in Malawi, Nigeria and Peru. In all three countries, the social partners and governments have agreed on steps to establish permanent mechanisms of social dialogue during the design and implementation of utilities reforms. In Nigeria and Peru, high-level bodies coordinated by the Labour Ministries will support these efforts. Experiences from these countries can be used as good practice examples for future action in other countries.

The first meeting of the National Steering Group for the Action Programme in the Philippines was held on 23-24 June 2010 in Pampanga. It was organized jointly by the Sectoral Activities Department and the ILO country office for the Philippines, with the collaboration of the Local Water Utilities Administration of the Philippines. Its members, who represented the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Civil Service Commission, the Cooperative Development Authority, and employers' and workers' organisations, established their priorities in social dialogue and utilities reforms. To assist the activities, they commissioned a baseline study on the state of social dialogue in the water utilities in the Philippines. In March 2011, the constituents validated the baseline study and adopted a plan of action to promote social dialogue in the water supply sector. In June 2011, the ILO held a training-of-trainers workshop.