ILO - Irish Aid Partnership Programme 2016 - 2021: Inclusive growth, social protection and jobs
The ILO and Irish Aid continue their partnership to support inclusive growth through expanding and strengthening social protection, and through promoting employment-intensive investment programs. Programme activities focus on five countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia in Southern Africa and Viet Nam in Southeast Asia. The programme runs from 2016 to 2021.
The programme contributes to the ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All. It further builds on achievements of the first phase of the ILO - Irish Aid partnership on building national floors of social protection in Southern Africa .
The overall goal of the program, across the five countries, is that national governments develop and implement comprehensive, well-designed and well-coordinated social protection systems to provide income protection, promote sustainable livelihoods and enhance productivity of the poor and vulnerable across the life-cycle. The employment-intensive investment program component on the other hand will foster employment promoting approaches to support the delivery of public investments to promote resilience, access to services and employment opportunities for poor and vulnerable people. More information on specific objectives in each country is available below.
The programme will focus on the two areas of social protection and employment through public investment. The goal is that national governments use appropriate, well-designed and well-managed social protection measures and employment promoting approaches to the delivery of public investments in order to promote resilience, access to services and employment opportunities for poor and vulnerable people, contributing to Inclusive Economic Growth.
More specifically the social protection component will focus on:
- Facilitation of political and public debate on social protection with tripartite participation and awareness-raising (aligned with Irish Aid Strategic Social Protection Programme Priority No. 2).
- Building capacities and enhancing coordination for the delivery of social protection (aligned with Irish Aid Strategic Priority No. 3).
- Supporting the development of social protection policy and programmatic framework (aligned with Irish Aid Strategic Priority Nos. 4 and 6).
- Defining appropriate financing mechanisms which are based on the economic and fiscal capacities of each country (aligned with Irish Aid Strategic Priority No. 5).
In the employment-intensive investment program component, the ILO will support governments to incorporate local employment generation as an objective within public expenditure programmes across relevant sectors and to develop appropriate procurement and other procedures and capacities to facilitate this and to develop strategies to support local small scale business capacities. The EIIP component will be implemented at three complementary intervention levels as follows:
- Policy advocacy and support – Pro-poor planning and investment
- Employment impact assessment tool development
- Promotion of decent and productive employment for young people
- Building capacities of ILO constituents, implementing bodies, TEVET institutions and SMES
- Transparent and inclusive procurement systems
- Development of technical and managerial tools, provision of targeted training
- Introduction of innovative technologies and work methods
- Create market linkages and synergies between various local development programmes
- Support implementing bodies in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of projects
- Capture project impact and lessons for knowledge sharing, up-scaling and replication
The main areas of support will be clustered around the three conceptual steps of the ILO Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection, which are: 1) Adopting national social protection strategies; 2) Designing and reforming schemes; and 3) Improving operations. The Project’s core expectation is that improvement in social protection policies, programme design, administrative and institutional capacity, and increased finical commitment have direct and immediate impacts on actual and potential beneficiaries of social protection, in Malawi’s case the poor and vulnerable. More comprehensive and coherent policies, together with increased national ownership and commitment, improved programme design, and enhanced capacity to deliver these programmes are expected to result in increased levels of coverage and quality of Malawi’s social protection system, thereby directly contributing to poverty reduction and resilience building. The specific objectives are listed below:
- A well informed political and public debate on social protection: The project will support policy makers to consider the technical as well as political economy dimensions associated to the planned social protection and broader reforms, including by: a) engagement of both government and development partners in capacity development process with an explicit focus on leadership and transformation (see regional component); b) supporting participatory public debates on social protection issues.
- Institutional coordination and right-based approaches for effective delivery of social protection floors Based on ILO expertise, as well as the training curriculum developed under the project’s regional component, the Project will provide capacity development support on relevant aspects of implementing social protection in Malawi, based on an understanding that enhanced service delivery requires a holistic approach that addresses institutional capacity and governance, delivery structures and processes, as well as a coherent and conducive policy framework. Capacity building will be undertaken with a view towards strengthening the institutional capacity of the Government for the core functions of effectively and efficiently delivering social protection.
- A comprehensive national social protection policy, supportive framework of programmes and prioritised implementation plan Based on the ILO-facilitated review of the MNSSP, ILO will continue supporting the Government-Development Partners task-force for the development of a comprehensive social protection programme that provides a coherent and comprehensive framework for all social protection initiatives in Malawi, including the annual humanitarian response to food insecurity and relevant interventions in the area of agriculture, resilience, and livelihoods. In particular, ILO will support the drafting of the Malawi National Social Support Programme II through the design and implementation of a national dialogue process.
In Mozambique, the main areas of support will be clustered around the three conceptual steps of the ILO Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection, which are: 1) Adopting national social protection strategies; 2) Designing and reforming schemes; and 3) Improving operations. The Project’s core expectation is that improvement in social protection policies, programme design, administrative and institutional capacity, and increased financial commitment have direct and immediate impacts on actual and potential beneficiaries of social protection, in Mozambique’s case the poor and vulnerable. More comprehensive and coherent policies, together with increased national ownership and commitment, improved programme design, and enhanced capacity to deliver these programmes are expected to result in increased levels of coverage and quality of the social protection system in Mozambique, thereby directly contributing to poverty reduction and resilience building.
- A well informed political and public debate on social protection ILO will continue supporting effective participation of civil society organizations in the process of the progressive development and consolidation of a Social Protection Floor in Mozambique through policy instruments, increasing their ability to engage in high level and political discussions, development of Social Protection advocacy tools for civil society organizations, support to social protection budget analysis and training of parliamentarians, decision-makers and journalists on the impacts and benefits of social protection, including through the co-financing of the Social Protection week initiative. In particular, the expected results are: (i) support the participation of civil society organizations in the process of the revision of Basic Social Protection Programmes based on the recently approved National Strategy for Basic Social Security; (ii) Social Protection advocacy tools developed for Civil Society Organisations (CSO); (iii) Social protection budget is analysed and discussed regularly by CSO and disseminated in media; and (iv) train parliamentarians, decision/makers and journalists on social protection concepts and benefits.
- Institutional coordination and right-based approaches for effective delivery of social protection floors The project will aim at ensuring improved institutional and programme level coordination within the social protection sector and between social protection and other social sectors, including ensuring that basic social services, are accessible to the most vulnerable through increased service’s coordination. This will include the evaluation and re-design of processes for issuing fee waivers to access hospital health services, secondary school bursaries well as the selection criteria for beneficiaries in the ADE (Direct Support to Schools) programme with a view at improving rigour and transparency in the selection processes and allow preferential access to beneficiaries of social transfers. The project will also support the effective articulation between different branches of the social protection system (e.g. contributory and non-contributory), by strengthening government efforts to operationalize/empower the existing policy coordination/engagement platforms (e.g. as the National Council of Social Action - CNAS that was established in 2015 and replaced the Coordination Council of the Basic Social Security Subsystem but has not been operationalized) , as well as by facilitating programme level coordination (e.g. integration of information databases for the selection process in the old age and disability grant).
- A comprehensive national social protection policy, supportive framework of programmes and prioritised implementation plan The project will support the mid-term evaluation of the ENSSB II, which will constitute an opportunity to take stock of progress made with the implementation of the ambition vision for 2024 and introduce any necessary adjustment in light of changing environment and emerging opportunities.
- A sustainable and progressively domestically funded social protection financing framework The project will support the domestication of the tax-benefit simulation model developed for Mozambique under the SOUTHMOD initiative, including capacity building and engagement of government and non-government stakeholders on the utilization of the model and development of the appropriate linkages with the policy making process. The project will also support the exploration – through feasibility assessments, actuarial reviews and other studies – of innovative modalities to social protection financing, with a particular focus at integrating financing approaches for contributory and non-contributory schemes in light of the possible synergies and complementarities of different strategies of extension of coverage, including to the informal economy and social health protection.
In Zambia, the main areas of support will be clustered around the three conceptual steps of the ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All: 1) adopting national social protection strategies; 2) designing or reforming schemes; and 3) improving operations. The Project’s core assumption is that improvements in social protection policies, programme design, administrative and institutional capacities have direct and immediate impacts on actual and potential beneficiaries of social protection, such as the poor and vulnerable in Zambia.
- A well informed political and public debate on social protection The programme will support engagement of civil society, workers’ organizations, and employers’ organizations, media and academia in debates around social protection policy. The ultimate purpose of this engagement is to involve broader segments of society in a conversation around the future of social protection in Zambia, with a view to a) consolidate social protection as an important part of the social contract from a rights-based perspective, b) enhance government accountability to citizens in the delivery of the social protection system by empowering monitoring and advocacy capacity of intermediate bodies of society, and c) allow the perspectives of citizens and beneficiaries to inform policy design and implementation.
- Institutional capacity for effective delivery of social protection floors The project will support government efforts to improve coordination in the social protection sector at all levels: institutional, policy and programme. A recent analysis of the gaps and coherence of non-contributory social protection programs pointed to the need to reduce fragmentation in financing, programming and administration to improve cost-effectiveness and increase coverage. There are significant coordination challenges across the different line ministries implementing social protection programmes and including across departments of the same ministries both at central and district levels. The government is supporting a number of initiatives to enhance integration and coordination in the sector, including legislative reform leading to the constitution of a social protection council and coordination unit. The project will give continuity to support provided under the previous phase of the Irish Aid regional project in this area, complementing the support provided by ILO under the coordination pillar of the UNJP on Social Protection.
- A comprehensive national social protection policy, supportive framework of programmes and prioritised implementation plan The project will support the evaluation of the current national social protection policy and the development of the follow-up social protection policy. It is expected that the follow-up policy will contribute to strengthening institutional coordination, reform and integration to achieve higher levels of cost-effectiveness and enhance impact; increasing government commitment to domestic funding and balanced, long-term financing of contributory and non-contributory social protection. The project will aim to reinforce linkages between social assistance and social insurance approaches in the policy framework for the establishment of a universal SPF.
- A sustainable and progressively domestically funded social protection financing framework The project will support the development of a medium-term financing framework for the sector that allows increased coverage of non-contributory social protection programmes and expansion of social insurance. Besides the advocacy work referred to under Immediate Objective 1, technical assistance will be provided at two levels: building the case for social protection spending through evidence and exploring innovative modalities for social protection financing. The evidence building agenda will be targeted towards empowering key stakeholders (MoF, MNDP, line ministries, civil society and academia) with analytical tools that can guide the decision about social protection reform by assessing the benefits of investing in social protection from a social and economic perspective.
The International Labour Office (ILO) has developed and promoted, with the financial assistance of multilateral and non-governmental development organizations and in collaboration with national governments, a labour-intensive and local-resource-intensive approach to public works programmes in Africa and Asia as a strategy for employment generation. The leading role which ILO has played in fostering labour-based methods is recognized by the World Bank and other international and donor organizations.
The labour-intensive approach to the production of assets, goods and other services involves the use of working methods and systems that optimize the labour content, usually through a cost effective combination of labour and light equipment that meets adequate quality standards. Priority is given to local labour inputs, supported where necessary by equipment, rather than to (often imported) equipment inputs supported by labour. Recently the ILO adopted a wider, local-resource-based approach, which integrates local manpower with other human, material, financial, vocational and institutional resources and know-how accumulated in the public and private sectors or at the household or farm level. This approach aims at maximizing the use of locally available resources thus increasing local income-generation. At the same time it minimizes dependence on foreign resource requirements which typically cover the major part of construction costs, leaving maintenance to chronically inadequate national resources.
Infrastructure works providing services to rural communities (e.g. rural feeder roads, irrigation canals, water supply schemes, economic and social facilities for villages) have been found by the ILO to lend themselves well to employment generation through labour-intensive methods. The demand for labour-intensive public works programmes is enhanced on the one hand by deficient and deteriorating infrastructure combined with increasing degradation of environmental resources, and on the other by rapid population growth, low or negative labour absorptive capacity of the modern sector, low labour productivity in agriculture, and the contractionary effects of structural adjustment on employment. An important further point is that assets are only useful to the poor if they are of reasonable quality, and if they are maintained. This is key among the challenges facing TASAF PSSN Public Works Programme. There are various formal mechanisms for trying to ensure quality of the assets.
Initially, the focus of the Tanzania EIIP will be to strengthen the national capacity for the coordination and implementation of TASAF PSSN Public Works Programme in order to expand social protection coverage in rural and peri-urban areas. The ILO will leverage its established working relationship with government institutions and local knowledge to support sector-based technical training centres and higher learning institutions to provide training to regions and Districts involved in the implementation of PSSN. The Programme will support the PSSN by introducing appropriate and local-resource-based technologies that are amenable for the creation of jobs.
This will include (1) Undertake training of Local Service Providers to be used during implementation, including simple measurements, maps and sketches, basic surveying and setting out, task rates and measurements, a menu of PW and steps to be followed during implementation of each intervention, quality control and operation and maintenance; (2) translating the PWP Technical Manual in Kiswahili for easy of understanding sector norms and standards. Print and distribute to Regions, PAAs and Wards level staff supporting PWP implementation; (3) Compiling a data base of experts from ministries, regions, and PAAs based on sectors that will provide support during implementation and building the capacity of Technical Teams in each PAA to support during planning, design and implementation of PW subprojects and conduct information sharing sessions to address challenges experienced.
In Viet Nam, main areas of support will be clustered around the three conceptual steps of the Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection, which are: 1) Adopting national social protection strategies; 2) Designing and reforming schemes; and 3) Improving operations. The Project’s core expectation is that improvement in social protection policies, programme design, administrative and institutional capacity, and increased financial commitment have direct and immediate impacts on actual and potential beneficiaries of social protection. The purpose of the current Project in Viet Nam is to support the improvement of the social assistance system of Viet Nam, notably the implementation of the recently adopted MPSAR (within the work of the UN SP team). More specifically, the Project will contribute to:
- enhance social protection leadership, implement a rights-based approach to social protection, the design of new or reformed schemes (child grant, maternity benefits and social pension extension, among others), explore options for linking emergency assistance and social protection, and develop options for achieving universal social protection coverage in close consultation with MOLISA’s Social Insurance Department;
- develop an adequate legal framework for the effective implementation of the social assistance system and build capacities for drafting future legal texts; and
- improve implementation capacity, governance and administration of the system.
More information on the website of the ILO Country Office in Viet Nam
TRANSFORM is an innovative learning package on the administration of national social protection floors in Africa. The prime objective of TRANSFORM is to build critical thinking and capacities of policy makers and practitioners at national and decentralized levels to improve the design, effectiveness and efficiency of social protection systems.
TRANSFORM aims not only at imparting state-of-the-art knowledge that is appropriate for the challenges faced by countries in the region, but also to encourage learners to take leadership on the change and transformation of nationally defined social protection systems. Through adult learning facilitation methods TRANSFORM helps participants reflect on their individual and collective impact in future implementation of non-contributory social protection programs.
TRANSFORM has been developed by African experts to respond to the specific challenges of building and managing social protection floors in Africa. Institutions and individuals struggle with the inherent complexity of developing a broad, encompassing social protection system. This complexity requires a transformational approach to teaching and knowledge sharing. The TRANSFORM curriculum is organized in a modular structure, and reflects the key building blocks of a holistic and interdependent social protection system.
TRANSFORM is targeted at practitioners in the field of social protection looking to enrich their knowledge base and embark in a leadership and transformation process. It is targeted at stakeholders at both national and decentralized (provincial, district level) who engaged with social protection policy and programme oversight, formulation and implementation.
TRANSFORM is an inter-agency initiative of UN agencies supporting the building of social protection floors in Africa. The establishment of institutional partnerships and alignment of the training package with existing capacity development initiatives in the area of Social Protection in the region is a critical element to ensure sustainability and impact. At the consultative roundtable on the development of the Protocol on the rights of citizens to social protection and social security, and the social agenda 2063, Gaborone, 22-24 June 2016, the African Union officially recommended that this training package is made available to all countries.
The Irish Aid-ILO partnership programme will give continuity to previous Irish Aid investment on the learning package by supporting its consolidation, expansion and application. The project will provide resources for the organization of country-level training sessions on-demand as well as seed funding for the training course to be institutionalized in countries.