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Rizwanul Islam
on Fri, January 11, 2013 at 07.45 pm

Now closed: e-discussion on Jobs and Livelihoods

Details:

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to welcome you to this online discussion on setting jobs and livelihoods at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda, taking place from 11 January to 7 February 2013. To participate, please review the discussion questions below and post your response in the comments box below. Comments are welcome in any of the languages supported by Google Translate.

As the process of shaping the post-2015 development framework gains momentum, and more lessons from experience with the MDGs are digested and assimilated, the topic of employment is coming into prominence.

The global economic crisis has demonstrated that people can be lifted out of poverty through aid and social transfers, but they remain vulnerable and their working lives precarious unless they have access to opportunities for employment and livelihoods with rising incomes, a social protection floor, dignity and respect. In both developing and developed countries, jobs have become a main priority, stimulating innovative approaches and new thinking. Contributions from the ILO and the UN, as well as the IMF and the World Bank, have underlined the critical role of jobs as a catalyst for development, while country experiences show that employment-friendly policies have a lasting impact and can make a difference. Growth alone does not automatically deliver the quantity or quality of jobs that are needed for sustainable development. The challenge remains of how to concretely articulate an “ambitious and realistic” job agenda within a new global framework that fits the development challenges of the coming decades.

This is the first in a series of four e-discussions around the topic of growth and employment in the post-2015 development agenda. The other three will start in the following weeks, looking respectively at growth, diversification and structural transformation; development-led globalization; and environmentally sustainable growth. The recommendations emerging from all those contributions will be incorporated into a report to the UN Secretary-General.

To kick off the conversation, we invite you to respond to one or more of the following questions:

  1. While job creation in general is a priority, the issue of jobs for certain groups like women and youth appear to have assumed greater urgency. What kind of strategies and policies would you suggest for addressing such group-specific challenges?
  2. Most jobs will be generated by the private sector, especially small and micro enterprises. What policies can best stimulate entrepreneurial dynamism and connect increased productivity to improving employment conditions?
  3. Although targets are often articulated in terms of numbers, it is the quality of jobs that makes most difference for development and poverty reduction. Most people in developing countries have a job – either as a wage-earner or as self-employed – but despite often working long and hard they still remain stuck in poverty. The ILO has developed the notion of “Decent Work” to underline both the income and the non-material aspects – such as dignity and voice – that jobs contribute to the well-being of individuals and society. In your view, what policies and institutions are likely to help upgrade the quality of jobs? Are there distinctive approaches that can help labour markets in developing countries get out of informality? How can we best promote fairness and equal opportunity and safeguard human rights, including workers’ rights?
  4. In addition to jobs, social protection is essential to provide protection to workers and their families, especially in the face of external shocks like the global economic crisis. What should be done to operationalize the idea of basic social protection floors at the country level?

In responding to those questions, we invite you to think of the situation in your community or your country; to be practical – what works best and why; and to think long-term – what is the situation now and what is the outlook for the next 5 to 10 years?

We are not starting from scratch. We already had a first attempt at discussing some of those issues at two events held in Tokyo in May 2012 (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/298058) and in New York in December 2012 (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/295360). The outcomes of those meetings, together with a short concept note prepared by the ILO (http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/media-centre/statements-and-speeches/WCMS_193483/lang--en/index.htm) can provide you with background on where we stand.

We trust that this global discussion will contribute additional insights and useful suggestions, raise new issues and help us move forward. We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Rizwanul Islam and Aurelio Parisotto

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parisotto from
Mon, January 28, 2013 at 04.08 am

Dear All,

Better jobs and livelihoods depend on good national policies. We have touched upon many aspects of those policies in the discussion so far, although not all. For instance, macroeconomic , trade and financial policies – which are touched upon in a  parallel discussion –  are important determinants of the quantity of jobs. To the extent that they help move the economy towards a situation of full employment, they can also have an impact on the quality of jobs – as long as that they put people offering their work in a better bargaining position on the labour market, including people more vulnerable.  The nature of the “policy process” is also important, especially the opportunities for people to participate in decision-making and raise their voice for transparency and fair outcomes.  And if we look at the scope for a new global development framework, a critical issue is what kind of support should international action give to national and local initiatives. 

I would like to re-launch the useful discussion we have had so far with a new round of 3 questions on those issues.    

  1. How could action and agenda setting at the global level contribute to policy and action at the country level?
  1. Solutions and good practice might be known but implementation and tailoring to national realities remain major obstacles. The genuine participation of the private sector and trade unions and civil society in policy dialogue could be a way to ensure transparent decision-making and better monitoring of results. What processes have worked in having a constructive social dialogue between these parties? Could international action help?
  2. Finally, some goals for full employment and decent work were included in the current MDG framework. They included the following indicators:
    1. Growth rate of labour productivity (GDP per person employed)
    2. Employment-to-population ratio
    3. Proportion of employed people living below the poverty line (working poor)
    4. Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment (vulnerable employment rate)

Do we need to revisit this list of indicators and make modifications (or additions) to suit real situations, especially in developing countries?

 

 

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 05.25 pm

Thanks for launching interesting debate. So far I have not seen many contributions related to promotion of employment for women and youth. When the aggregate demand suffers, like in the aftermath of economic crisis, it is often women and youth who are hard hit, due to their more precarious nature of employment. In this respect, it would be useful to have specific MDG indicators focused on youth employment and gender equality. In fact, there is one employment indicator – ‘women’s share in non-agriculture wage employment’, which is under MDG3. But if the current MDG related employment indicators can also be disaggregated by age (youth-adults) and gender, this would enhance the visibility of the relevant issues.


As for international support for policy making, based on the country experiences supporting policy-making, when there is a conducive social dialogue environment (i.e. among the government, employers and workers), and where there is a strong political will, policies can be better formulated and debated through consultative processes involving employers’ and workers’ organizations. Once adopted in consensus, the policies, in turn, can enhance the chance of their effective implementation. The ILO and other multilateral and bilateral donors can support this process, through national capacity-building, institutional building and creating opportunities for policy dialogue, while the final policy articulation can remain in the hands of countries.


A number of countries have either adopted an employment policy or integrated employment promotion measures in their development plans and strategies. Sri Lanka, for example, has recently adopted a National Human Resources and Employment Policy, after a lengthy preparatory process also involving an extensive inter-ministerial and tripartite (involving the government, employers and workers) consultation in the country. While policies can only be meaningful, when they are fully implemented, the integration of employment priorities in development agendas at both national and international levels would be very useful.


Accordingly, having internationally agreed MDGs including specific employment indicators disaggregated by age and gender would be essential both for the relevant advocacy and monitoring purposes – to put productive employment and decent work at the heart of growth strategies and policies, i.e. in the development agenda.


 

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 03.42 pm

I think there are issues on the international agenda of denying direct effect on national policies (health, human rights, etc..). However, in countries like mine (Bolivia), economic nationalism may prove an obstacle to the adoption of a global economic agenda. However, the mechanisms of economic integration could be an important means to influence national policies. The need for a country to participate in a free trade area, could push it to adopt social policies for their workers.
Furthermore, in my country, workers' organizations usually do not dialogue, but rather confront and negotiate with both the private sector and the government. The general population has no institutions to act on par with workers' organizations, so their influence on public policy is generally lower. Seeking to strengthen the participation of different actors in the definition of national economic policies, international cooperation could begin to establish and disseminate (among different actors),
economic indicators and "impartial" data about the topic of employment. Which again, could hit economic nationalism.

MARYAM AHMED SABO from
Mon, January 28, 2013 at 09.43 pm

Any action or agenda that has global influence can effectively be use to set up policy and actions at the country level. Eg. Issue of polylimetis. Some few developing countries are still battling with polio decease Nigeria as one of them. However it has now promolgate policy and actions making polio vaccine compulsory for children under the age of five. The objectives is to eradicate the disease as per the global policy. (2) Issue of maternal mortality, it is the global agenda to eradicate maternal death world wide, now it has transformed to policy at country level. At the recent AU summit, the african leaders unanimously agreed to take measures towards eradicating maternal death. Some in Nigeria undertake to provide free maternal care. (3). International actions could help through technical and provision of infrastructure. (4) Obviously, there is need to review, modify , and amend the MDGs indicators to suit the reality on the ground especially in developing countries where people are living before poverty line. In my country Nigeria the ratio of poverty is still 69% despite the MDGs programme. Maryam, Nigeria

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Subject: [World We Want 2015] parisotto commented on the Discussion "Now with new questions: e-discussion on Jobs and Livelihoods"

Ivan Ivanov from
Mon, February 18, 2013 at 04.33 pm

A healthy workforce is a prerequisite for social and economic development and for productivity. Protecting the health of the workforce through access to decent jobs, universally available health services, and social health protection contributes both to sustainable development as well as worker productivity. Hazardous working conditions and unemployment currently contribute to a very large avoidable burden of disease and loss of income-earning potential. Some 2.3 million people die every year from work-related diseases and injuries. Nearly 1 million of these deaths are from 3 key occupational risks – injuries, carcinogens, and airborne particles (2004 data). Most of the world's workforce is employed in "vulnerable" conditions, without adequate health and social protection measures – primarily in the informal sector.


The World Health Assembly in 2007 stressed that the health of workers is a prerequisite for economic development (Resolution WHA 60.26). Promoting and protecting the health of workers needs to be a key concern of sustainable development policies that support a transition to an inclusive green economy, which can help achieve poverty reduction. This promotion and protection, along with health and safety measures, involves reducing occupational health and safety risks across all economic sectors while ensuring that jobs in emerging "green industries" offer decent work.

Ivan Ivanov from
Mon, February 18, 2013 at 04.33 pm

A healthy workforce is a prerequisite for social and economic development and for productivity. Protecting the health of the workforce through access to decent jobs, universally available health services, and social health protection contributes both to sustainable development as well as worker productivity. Hazardous working conditions and unemployment currently contribute to a very large avoidable burden of disease and loss of income-earning potential. Some 2.3 million people die every year from work-related diseases and injuries. Nearly 1 million of these deaths are from 3 key occupational risks – injuries, carcinogens, and airborne particles (2004 data). Most of the world's workforce is employed in "vulnerable" conditions, without adequate health and social protection measures – primarily in the informal sector.


The World Health Assembly in 2007 stressed that the health of workers is a prerequisite for economic development (Resolution WHA 60.26). Promoting and protecting the health of workers needs to be a key concern of sustainable development policies that support a transition to an inclusive green economy, which can help achieve poverty reduction. This promotion and protection, along with health and safety measures, involves reducing occupational health and safety risks across all economic sectors while ensuring that jobs in emerging "green industries" offer decent work.

Satya Prakash Mehra from
Thu, February 14, 2013 at 07.49 am

For any job creation, we have few successful examples to share with the platform. Here we are more or less concerned with the rural communities. The rural people mostly migrate or leave the agricultural practices for the better earnings towards urban areas. To check the migration as well as problem of employment and better opportunities, we assessed the natural talents of the community through their age old practices related to local income generations. Based on such studies, we prepared a model for target sites on the concept of "Conservation Practices for Sustainable Livelihood". Through this linkage, we could able to acheive two major goals - firstly, employment or income generation sources within the rural area; secondly, conservation of local natural heritage.

Few of the early steps of linking such traditional practices with income generation could be read in the EPT 07 available on the link http://www.grida.no/publications/et/ep7/ebook.aspx (Mehra, S.P. (2012): Water conservation through community participation. GRID-Arendal & UNEP’s publication – The Environment Times, Environment & Poverty Times 07: 12-13.)

Human Centric model has been created for the village Chak Ramanagr (Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India) which include the nearby 20 villages with specific target groups categorized as women, children/youth and farmers. The aim of this model is to develop sustainable livelihood through reviving traditional knowledge of income generation by the locals.

Anonymous from
Fri, February 8, 2013 at 10.45 am

In addition to jobs, social protection is essential to provide protection to workers and their families, especially in the face of external shocks like the global economic crisis. What should be done to operationalize the idea of basic social protection floors at the country level?

Strong social protection is one of the five principles of the Uzbek model of market reforms. The principles include:

1) the de-ideologization of the economy;

2) the rule of law;

3) gradual reforms;

4) strong social protection of the population;

5) the state is the chief reformer.

This approach has determined the specific characteristics of the social-protection system in Uzbekistan: a) the state’s decisive role in implementing social protection; b) the extent of coverage of population groups (pensioners, children, low-income families, large families, people with disabilities, and unemployed); c) the availability of diverse forms of assistance.

Current system of state social protection in Uzbekistan takes shape at two levels.

The first (the macrolevel) is as part of a comprehensive social policy whose priority is to provide universal and equal access to educational and health services. Implementation of this priority calls for major commitments on the part of the state in providing free schooling and secondary vocational education, health care for children, as well as targeted national programs in education and health care.

The second (the microlevel) consists of direct payments to recipients, which include the following components: 1) social insurance (including sickness and disability care, unemployment support and pension benefits); 2) targeted social support for socially vulnerable population categories.

The large government expenditures to support the multifaceted nature of social protection have made it possible to avoid a sharp decline in living standards and helped to reduce poverty and create the basis for reducing demand for social allowances.

 

At the same time as the processes of transformation and modernization of the economy, society and institutions have sped up in the recent years, it is time to take a new look at the future of the social-protection system. The new system must enable vulnerable citizens to adapt or improve themselves. It must bring marginal strata of the population into the mainstream and economic activity, thereby changing the portrait of society and shaping new moral values and ideals for it. It is necessary to introduce mechanisms that will help strengthen the protective function and introduce a support-oriented and transformational model of social protection.

In order to prevent social problems caused by implementing of inappropriate model of social protection, it is important to understand that the transformation of the social protection system will produce the desired results only if:

1) It will be carried out in an integrated way and simultaneously with the reforms in the economy and the institutional environment. In addition to transforming social protection instruments, measures must be taken to raise the level of registered employment, create conditions for the capitalization of insurance companies and increase the knowledge and responsibility of individuals themselves in reducing the risks of falling into the group of low-income strata.

2) It will be preceded by serious preparatory work in such areas as: a) the creation of instruments for evaluating and monitoring the level and factors of poverty for various population categories; b) taking stock of the instruments designed to reduce poverty at the macro- and microlevels so as the determine the areas of redundancy of efforts aimed at solving the same problems; c) testing of new mechanisms and institutions by means of pilot initiatives. The quality of the efforts at the stage of preparatory activities will make it possible to reduce the risks and costs that will inevitably arise in the process of transforming the social protection system.

Taking this into account, the recommendations to improve the model of social protection at the macrolevel must be aimed at improving coordination of measures regarding access to social services and social allowances; implementing government policy measures for the integrated development of social sectors; refining the methodology evaluating and monitoring poverty.

 

 

 


Anonymous from
Fri, February 8, 2013 at 10.39 am
  1. Most jobs will be generated by the private sector, especially small and micro enterprises. What policies can best stimulate entrepreneurial dynamism and connect increased productivity to improving employment conditions?

The main goal of the private sector is not creation of new jobs, but to make profit, money. If they feel they need more jobs for more profit they open new jobs. Only socially responsible enterprises may create more jobs with less profit. In developing countries (not only) business is not enough socially responsible. That is why there is a big need for the government involvement.

In Uzbekistan new jobs are created under the Government program, which focuses primarily on the extensive growth of the number of employees. It is not a plan but monitored by the local government authorities program. The main sources of jobs are small business and private entrepreneurships.

One of the important priorities is youth employment.  We have 12 years of obligatory education: 9 years school education; and 3 years vocational education (professional colleges) and academic lyceums. Every year almost half million of students graduate from the professional colleges. How to employ them? The major direction and the key to solving this problem is the use of various forms of cooperation: professional colleges - enterprises. All students have an internship program in one of the enterprises. In 2012, 43% of graduates had internships in enterprises. But, one of the problems of the program is - it primarily focuses on the extensive growth of the number of employees, without reference to the stability and productivity of the employment. I fully agree with Gian (Wed, January 16, 2013 at 09.38 am) “it is important to put at the top of the political agenda employment policies oriented to provide not only job creation but also decent, remunerative and permanent job condition”.

Since July, 2009, Center for Economic Research (CER) and Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Uzbekistan quarterly calculated Business Climate (BCI) and Business Environment (BEI) Indices of Uzbekistan. Calculations of these indices are based on survey of 700 enterprises. Traditionally we ask “Question of the quarter”. One of them was very similar to What policies can best stimulate entrepreneurial dynamism?

The main findings can be summarized as follows.

-         availability of “cheap” capital (loans);

-          availability of raw materials;

-         good quality of the infrastructure (roads, electricity supply, etc);

-         no interference by government officials to business

To summarize, in order to create decent jobs in Uzbekistan business needs conditions as we mentioned above. 

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 10.54 pm

    (Question I) It is essential that policy makers implement specific measures to address women’s group needs in regards to employment.  Women as a group have specific needs relating to social expectations of motherhood, the pay gap, and gendered norms.  First, women provide the majority of unpaid care work for family members and community members. Therefore, when identifying strategies and policies that most efficiently promote employment for women, policy makers must interrogate what types of jobs can realistically be held by mothers.  For instance, mothers that are the main caregivers for children need employment that offers flexible work hours and substantial pay.  Childcare centers that are economically and physically accessible to women should also be available.  Employers should also be prohibited from discriminating against women because of their roles as mothers.  Likewise, women should be offered paid maternity leave because they should not be required to choose between giving birth to children or maintaining their income. 


Second, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides a valuable strategy to address the pay gap between men and women.  Article 11 of the Convention requires that states “take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment…” CEDAW requires that women have “the right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work” (Article 11.1 D).  In the liberal free market system, which dominates the global economy, women and men receive remuneration for their work based on the value of it that is determined by the market.  Supporters of the free market model believe the market is ideal for determining the worth of employees work. However, all people are biased, people run the market, and it operates within a social framework that is prone to systematic discrimination and prejudice. This means that men and women do not have equal ability to participate in the market because women face the added barrier of discrimination because of their sex, and this discrimination is caused by socially determined gender roles. Article 11.1 D of CEDAW requires equal pay for “work of equal value”. The CEDAW Committee produced a General Recommendation for the article that advises states to “consider the study, development and adoption of job evaluation systems based on gender-neutral criteria that would facilitate the comparison of the value of those jobs of a different nature, in which women presently predominate, with those jobs in which men presently predominate” (No. 13.2).  Although the Recommendation is not binding, it encourages states to interfere with remuneration discrimination based on gender biases in the market.  Gender discrimination is created by social perceptions of the value of women’s work and men’s work. The Committee advises that states reconsider what “value” means in a capitalist system that operates not only due to currency, but also because of and for people who are discriminatory and who have gendered social expectations of people. Therefore, “worth” cannot be identified by market determined economic worth only; it must also be identified by social worth, and where this worth is discriminatory, it must be deconstructed and revised.


Third, UNDP’s Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI) provides critical training to policy makers regarding how to mainstream gender into countrywide and local policies.  It is essential that policy makers consider and address how gender is implicit in every policy that is designed and executed.  GEPMI training offers a valuable framework for policy makers to use when drafting policies.  For example, the framework aims to reduce and/or redistribute unpaid care work so that women can more equally participate in the labor market. In addition to GEPMI training, South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund addresses how to redistribute and reduce unpaid care work. Employers in South Africa must deduct one percent of their employee’s earnings and contribute it to the Fund along with an equivalent contribution.  Employees that are on maternity leave, or are ill, or who become unemployed can benefit from to the Fund.  Lower wage earners receive a higher percentage of their earnings than higher paid workers. Women tend to earn less than men, but they manage the majority of unpaid care work.  For this reason the Fund can be viewed as recognizing unpaid care work and redistributing monetary resources in a way that compensates women partially for their unremunerated labor.  Also, men contribute to the fund on an equal level as women do, however, only women can do maternity leave.  In this sense, men contribute directly to women’s maternity leave.


            (Question IV) In addition to addressing the needs of women in regards to paid labor and unpaid care work, policy makers must be gender responsive when they design, implement, and revise social protection floors. Gender sensitive operationalization and revision of social protection floors at the country level is vital to improve women’s lives and thus the lives of community members.  In 2009 the United Nations partnered with the International Labor Organization to launch the Social Protection Floor Initiative.  Different countries are in different levels of development, and they have varying gender relationships.  The initiative makes these concepts central to its operation and it advocates for a global system of social protection that is fine-tuned for each individual location.  Standard social protection floors include, but are not limited to, cash transfers, universal access to health care services, food based programs, investments in schools, and public employment schemes.  The Social Protection Floor Initiative emphasizes the need for social insurance, social assistance, and labor market interventions.  These three methods provide for sustainable development rather than short-lived successes.  For instance, social insurance requires that individuals contribute to a fund so that if they become disabled, or if they have a long term illness, they will have financial resources reserved to help them (such as in South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund).  Social insurance provides direct assistance to vulnerable populations, which can help people rise in economic status so eventually they will not need state assistance.  Labor market interventions, such as anti-discrimination laws and minimum wages, are necessary because they regulate employers so that people who are often discriminated against or who are paid unreasonably low wages because of their identities, such as women, are protected in a biased and discriminatory market. Social protection floors and all other policies must mainstream gender in order to improve women’s ability to participate equitably with men in their community, in the state, and in the market, and so women can benefit equitably from local and international resources. 

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 10.53 pm

Well I am 68 and my working life is all in the past really.  Not that I ever worked in a formal sense.  I stopped teaching in 1975 when I was 31 years old.  Since then I have been a mental patient and discrimination, stigma, disability; have kept me out of labour market.  However over the intervening years I took part in personal development courses, learned to type, sing, computers, photography, played golf, followed the local Dundalk FC soccer team and the local St. Patrick's Gaelic Football team, travelled abroad.  My children are well qualified and well adult at this stage.  I play an active part in my church and have engaged in a lot of community development work where my secreterial skills often prove useful.  But everything I do is more or less strictly voluntary.  The point I want to make is that my life has been satisfactory as far as I am concerned even though I have not had paid employment.

Clearly ancient civilisations like Greece and Rome were based on slavery.  The slaves did the work.  The citizens luxuriated in civic pursuits, pleasure, the arts.  In a sense in modern developed countries the economic system is based on almost universal slavery, the slavery of paid employment.

It's not that I want to recreate an aristocracy in World We Want 2015 or reintroduce feudalism.  Mechanisation shoud be able to free lots of people from the drudgery of everyday employment.  Maybe we should take turns at working?  Perhaps people like mental patients should not be expected to take up paid employment at all?  Man does not live on bread alone.

Perhaps it is just paranoia on my part but there seems to be a strong view emerging in these consultations that the modern economic concept of "growth" will kill the environment in tandem with the system of compound interest on loans.

What I mean is that we must be careful as humanity to choose the right kind of work to do?

Diego Aguilar from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 10.46 pm

Hola, el tema es super importante, ya que debido a los problemas económicos mundiales afecta a la mayoría de las personas que esten laboraando.... el asunto es que que por medio de las preguntas que están aquí formuladas me permito dar las respuestas del tema. 

En cuanto a la respuesta que se puede manifestar en la primera pregunta me parece importante tomar en cuenta a los hombres, que es de gran importancia y además que a nivel nacional no es muy común ver a docentes de género masculino en educación preescolar ya que en Costa Rica solo son mujeres las que imparten en dicha área. Por lo tanto se le debe brindar un camino de oportunidades en cuanto a estrategias para este campo laboral y poder competir en este ambiente. Los desafíos son fundamentales para desarrollarse de manera profesional.    

Al segundo apartado, es fundamental expresar que debido al crecimiento de la competencia de empresas del sector privado las dinámicas en cuanto a las políticas establecidas no es caer en la “argolla” o bien el evitar alianzas con aquellos empleados que rinden satisfactoriamente en dichos sectores. Y puede ser de gran importancia el establecer capacitaciones a aquello trabajadores que no rinden.

Siguiendo con la opinión del tema, a nivel de pre-campañas políticas se establecen propuestas para reducir la pobreza pero conforme se ganan las elecciones, el gobierno deja en el olvido este tipo de propuestas sin lograr el objetivo planteado desde un inicio.

Según el análisis efectuado a las preguntas del foro es importante pensar que la situación actual de Costa Rica se ve perjudicado por aquellas improvisaciones o desordenes que a futuro afectan a los cuidadanos, se ha manifestado los problemas de la caja del seguro en años próximos tendría problemas para el ahorro de las pensiones y que para los futuros pensionados se quedaran sin su pensión. 

Un agrado el poder participar por este medio. 

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 02.48 pm

What should be done to operationalize the idea of basic social protection floors at the country level?

I want to offer a couple of reflections on this question. First on the broad picture, and second on the question of social protection in relation to old age: a core component of a social protection floor. 

First, on operationalising the floor as a whole, there are diverse things to be done put I'll pick out a few that HelpAge has seen in its work over the years. At the centre is galvanising political commitment to social protection. We see time and time again in our work that the turning points in the development of social protection systems are political decisions, that fundamentally link to the evolution of a social contract. Yet, one limit on global discussions on social protection up to now is that they have been generally limited to specific design and implementation issues, mainly focused on government-level technocrats. This is a key piece in the puzzle, but one missing area has been supporting civil society organisations to proactively engage in social protection debates at national level. This is important not only for building the demand for social protection, but also for the role civil society can play in holding governments to account around the deliver of existing entitlements. Fortunately, this is changing with a growing civil society voice around the issue emegering over the last few years. 

So what role can the post-2015 framework play in all of this? It seems like support is growing for some kind of recognition of social protection within the post-2015 agenda. But in order to support he political will on social protection, it's important that the post-2015 agenda not only calls for "social protection" more abstractly, but a "social protection floor". A danger of the broader term is that it can include almost anything including residual programmes that have minimal impact on the pervasive poverty and vulnerability that the majority of the world's population continue to face.  

The concept of a social protection floor is distinct from this, as it sets out a clear level of ambition that is based on a human right to social security. The simplicity of the language means it is something that can be picked up by both civil society and government to clearly state this level of ambition, and government cannot hide behind inaequate "social protection" approaches that fall far of delivering on the social security guarantees that the floor outlines. As demonstrated by the input from Bishwa Nath Tiwari on Nepal, the four guarantees of a social protection from (as articulated in ILO recommendation 202) also provide a practical framework to measure a county's progress, which is a useful tool for civil society monitoring. 

Another particular benefit of the framework of a social protection floor for the post-2015 framework is that it maintains an important balance between the articulation of key outcomes (in this case guarantees to income security and access to services) without prescribing particular approaches and tools. These outcomes are also measurable, another important factor for the post-2015 process.

On the second question of social protection floors and old age, I thought I'd just add some reflections to build on some of the discussion on how these might be designed. As a starting point, it's worth emphasising that old age (where absent from the MDGs) needs to be recognised in this new framework, not least in the context of the population ageing the world is seeing (including in lower income countries). HelpAge has been doing some thinking on the social protection side and we've just released a short brief on the link between social protection floors and pension systems. Find the brief on our Pension Watch site. One points to bring out that I think isimportant for discussions of social protection and the wider issue of jobs and livelihoods is that - while there are a number of ways to design a pension system that guarantees a minimum income in old age - the high levels of informality in most low and middle income countries suggest that the models of social security based on formal payroll contributions will be more problematic. We suggest that the model of a "citizen's pension" will be the most relevant approach to guaranteeing income security in old age (upon which contributory benefits can be built). 

The question of ageing also touches on the bigger issue of jobs and livelihoods. One of the realities that many developing countries  will soon be facing is an ageing workforce. Remember that regions such as East Asia are ageing much faster than Europe and North America have. It's therefore important that all of these discussions look at jobs and livelihoods across the whole life course, and not just for certain groups. 

For more information on some of HelpAge's thinking on the post-2015 agenda, see our discussion paper on building a future for all ages.

Our recent flagship publication Ageing in the 21st Century also provides the context on the changing global demographics. 

Charles Knox-Vydmanov, Social Protection Policy Adviser, HelpAge International


Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 11.28 am

Emprego e subsitencia tem muito está relacionado com segurança social. É verdade que as pessoas trabalham tambem para desenvolver e manifestar suas capacidades, habilidades e talento, mas o conseguir rendimento para a subsitencia é determinante para a maioria das pessoas. É fundamental que haja um sitema que garanta que as pessoas possam continuar a ter uma vida digna mesmo quando já não podem trabalhar, por isso os países devem ter um sitema de segurança social, até porque contribui para que os jovens sintam que vale apena ter um emprego e dedicar-se a ele. A Segurança Social permite os paises conseguirem que os cidadão paguem os impostos porque compreendem para que serve.

No meu país, muita gente vive do mercado informal e emprego precário (temporário) muitas mulheres são  empregadas domésticas sem um contractrato de trabalho. Defendo que o exercicio da cidadania é indispensavel para um emprego digno, já temos sindicatos a lutarem para que haja leís para proteger não apenas as empregadas domesticas mas todos os que exercem outras actividades. Os que trabalhamos em educação de jovens e adultos dedicamo-nos a educação civica para o exercicio da cidadania para que os cidadão influneciem a aprovação de leis e seu cumpromento.

As famílias mais pobres gastam muito dinheiro com saúde e educação, a garantia desses serviços por parte do estado e a capacidade dos cidadão em difender seus direitos, podem melhorar significativamente a vida das pessoas e garantir a paz.

Penso que o fomento do emprego e a possiblidade de obter salário ou outro tipo de rendimento não basta, é necessário políticas socias e o exercicio da cidadania . As pessoas não são pobres apenas por não terem poder financeiro ou económico mas tambem por falta de poder intlectual para melhor gerir o pouco que possuem e o poder de influenciar a aplicação das politicas publicas. Defendo maior diálogo entre governantes e governados desde o processo de elaboração implementação monitoria e avaliação de politicas publicas

Víto Barbosa    

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 11.01 am

Submitted on behalf of STOP AIDS NOW! and Stop AIDS Alliance


HIV work place policies


An issue not addressed yet in this debate on Decent Work, it the issue of HIV affecting the productivity and the livelihood opportunities of people. The GNP+ Stigma Index research in 2010/2011 shows that managing HIV in the workplace is still very much needed. The findings reveal that the workplace is one of the places where HIV-related stigma is highest.


HIV causes higher costs and lower productivity due to:


  • More staff absences, due to employees being ill, looking after relatives, and attending funerals and grieving;

  • Higher staff turnover, and loss of skilled labour and institutional memory, because staff leave due to illness or death;

  • Lower morale, due to the psychological impact of illness and death, having to do absent colleagues’ jobs, and stigmatization; and

Managing HIV enables employers (companies, organizations, governments) to minimize the costs of HIV and to protect their productivity. By reducing stigma in the workplace, encouraging voluntary counselling and testing, and supporting access to care and treatment, employers support their HIV-negative staff to stay negative, and their HIV-positive staff to stay healthy.


Policies that should be stimulated therefore is good employment: companies, governments, NGOs should have health/ wellbeing/ safety policies, in which HIV is clearly integrated.


Ample research shows that HIV work place policy, could be very effective for employers to manage HIV in the workplace. It prevents organizational loss and staff absenteeism and reduces costs related to HIV and AIDS, at the same time increasing staff wellbeing and productivity, and being of support to getting to zero new infections and zero AIDS deaths.


For more information on policies and guidelines: see http://www.stopaidsnow.org/hiv-and-workplace


 

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 10.58 am

Submitted on behalf of STOP AIDS NOW! and Stop AIDS Alliance


HIV work place policies


An issue not addressed yet in this debate on Decent Work, it the issue of HIV affecting the productivity and the livelihood opportunities of people. The GNP+ Stigma Index research in 2010/2011 shows that managing HIV in the workplace is still very much needed. The findings reveal that the workplace is one of the places where HIV-related stigma is highest.


HIV causes higher costs and lower productivity due to:


  • More staff absences, due to employees being ill, looking after relatives, and attending funerals and grieving;

  • Higher staff turnover, and loss of skilled labour and institutional memory, because staff leave due to illness or death;

  • Lower morale, due to the psychological impact of illness and death, having to do absent colleagues’ jobs, and stigmatization; and

Managing HIV enables employers (companies, organizations, governments) to minimize the costs of HIV and to protect their productivity. By reducing stigma in the workplace, encouraging voluntary counselling and testing, and supporting access to care and treatment, employers support their HIV-negative staff to stay negative, and their HIV-positive staff to stay healthy.


Policies that should be stimulated therefore is good employment: companies, governments, NGOs should have health/ wellbeing/ safety policies, in which HIV is clearly integrated.


Ample research shows that HIV work place policy, could be very effective for employers to manage HIV in the workplace. It prevents organizational loss and staff absenteeism and reduces costs related to HIV and AIDS, at the same time increasing staff wellbeing and productivity, and being of support to getting to zero new infections and zero AIDS deaths.


For more information on policies and guidelines: see http://www.stopaidsnow.org/hiv-and-workplace


 

Julia Krzyszkowska from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 08.55 am

WWF Contribution to the UN consultation on Jobs & Livelihoods 


As stated in the ILO Concept Note on the post-2015 development agenda, the road to inclusive and sustainable development leads through jobs and livelihoods. The WWF contribution to the UN on-line consultation on Jobs & Livelihoods recognizes the importance of those issues while emphasizing that they cannot be considered in isolation from environmental sustainability. WWF highlights the linkages between environmental sustainability and jobs and livelihoods. These include the potential for job growth through environment-related investments, the impact of climate change on job markets as well as the growing vulnerability of people, whose livelihoods are reliant on agriculture, fisheries and natural resources.

 

For full text please see attachment.

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 07.31 am

We could deem of better solution for any problem through seeking common ground to look for more suitable and efficacious solution for the problems that come as the fact to the nations around the world. Rising unemployment is a greater challenge in the nations all around the world. Here our collective wisdom and experience will prove to be the most effective step. It is indeed no better initiative than setting agenda’s at global level to influence actions at national level. Example MDGs have been seriously implemented in my country like Bhutan, and it has indeed raised our country’s economic, social, and political status at a new height and also been able to realize the direction of our attention and concerns. Thus agenda setting at global level is really influential for the actions at national level. But it should be set in a way where there are clearly disintegrated activities which will exactly reach to the poorest of nation and to those nations with very high unemployment rate. I mean to say we have to be mindful of diverse nations with varying status in economic, political and social arenas so that the agenda can be adopted by every nation. Some of the suggestion I would like to place here are;


  • Evaluate the economic status of the nation’s, considering the country with the low economic status for setting of the Global Agenda.

  • Ensure pre-training services for relevant experience

  • Greater advocacy programs on the “Dignity of Labour”.

 

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 03.57 am

Dear Rizwanul and Aurelio,


Thanks for initiating the e-discussion on such a relevant theme of current times when we all are facing job insecurity, and also providing a consolidating summary of the comments already posted by colleagues. Based on your further invitation to write some country experiences on the social protection floor, I have prepared a note on Nepal below.  Hope this will further engage colleagues to write about other country experiences.


How far Nepal moved ahead on the road to social protection floor?


Government of Nepal has long realized that spending on social protection is an investment that promotes human development. But it lacks a comprehensive social protection programme. Having suffered from a decade-long violent conflict during 1996 – 2006, and then marred with political instability and other global shocks, Nepal is in the dire need of comprehensive social protection. As a first step, the government has to ensure the social protection floor which consists of the provision of four essential guarantees:  health care for all; income security of children; assistance to unemployed, underemployed and poor; and income security for elderly and disadvantaged populations. Nepal is moving towards the direction but has not yet been much successful. This note briefly outlines and updates the four minimum guarantees, and points out some challenges on the way to ensuring social protection floor.


Health care for all


The National Health policy of Nepal has made a provision of instituting one sub-health post in each of about 4,000 village development committees (minimum population of 10,000). While these sub-health posts offer both curative and preventive care, their focus is on primary health care given the limited resources – both financial and human -- that they have. They provide free healthcare services for all. But as they lack medical supplies their services are not that effective due to low demand in some communities. Further they do not operate with the specialised services for women, children or for other non-communicable diseases. This requires therefore some other targeted health programmes that could cover vulnerable groups of population including women and children and the poor and elderly lacking resources for access to such special health care services. The government has been implementing Maternity Cost Reimbursement Scheme, under which women coming for delivery receive NRs 1,000 for normal delivery and up to NRs 5,000 for delivery requiring surgery.[1]  Besides, there is a provision of Food for Education Programme operating in 17 districts where all the primary school students receive NRs 12 to 15 as day tiffin in each school day,[2] and a provision of edible oil for girl students in 16 districts which are food deficits, have low access to education, and low girls’ enrolment.[3]



Income security for children


Under the Child Protection Grant, introduced by government since FY 2009/10, children aged less than five years (up to two children per family) from poor and Dalit families, and families in Karnali Zone are provided grant of NRs 200 per month per child with a view to improving their nutritional status.[4] Besides, there are education grants: (i) a monthly stipend of NRs 350 given to 50 per cent of girls in primary school, especially those belonging to poor households or excluded groups; and (ii) a monthly stipend of NRs 350 to Dalit students in primary schools.[5]


Assistance for unemployed, underemployed and poor


Food for Work Programme: More than NRs 26 billion was allocated for public work schemes towards improving rural infrastructure and generating employment opportunities for the poor in FY 2008/09.[6] The food-for-work programmes are self-targeted since only the poor are likely to work in these types of programme.


Poverty Alleviation and Employment Programmes:  Major programmes are Karnali Employment Program; Western Upland Poverty Alleviation Project; program on Connecting Local Initiatives with Local Skills; and Nepal Food Security Program. Under the Karnali one-family-one-employment programme, unemployed or people with annual income insufficient to feed the family for more than three months (especially from remote areas) get jobs at per day remuneration of NRs 180 to NRs 350. During the fiscal year 2010/11, a total of 1,222 small projects like trails and mule tracks, motorable roads, toilets, school building, micro-hydro projects were carried out thereby generating 1,717,885 person-days of employment opportunities benefiting the local people.[7]


Poverty Alleviation Fund: implemented with the objective of alleviating poverty, the programme has been expanding and distributed NRs 1850.6 million grants in 2009/10.[8]


Income security for elderly


Old Age Allowance: started as early as in 1994, a monthly stipend of NRs 500 is given to all citizens of 70 years and above in general, and 60 years for Dalits and the residents of Karnali, the remote region of Nepal.


Allowance for disadvantaged (disable) people: This was provided to about 7,000 disadvantaged people. Fully handicapped and disabled are provided NRs 1,000 per month, while partially handicapped are provided NRs 300 per month.[9] This cash transfer is conditional on disability criteria of the Government.


Other social protection measures beyond the social protection floor


Apart from elderly population, the government has also made a provision for some other vulnerable groups of population including widows and endangered ethnic groups. Besides, it has also implemented special emergency social protection transfers providing allowance to disaster affected and conflict affected people.


Conclusion


It seems that the government has already implemented all the four components of the social protection floor. However, they are to cover all the targeted population. The health is to be ensured for all the people, and job security be there for all the unemployed and underemployed and poor. Although the unemployment is as low as 2 percent in Nepal, underemployment is still a big challenge. Further, the proportion of the working poor is as high as 50 per cent (at US$ 1.25/day poverty line) of the working population pointing out the fact that the income that they fetch is too little for their basic survival. Therefore, there is a need for productive and decent employment opportunities in the country.


On the way to ensuring the social protection floor and then moving vertically to ensure other socio-economic rights, there are several challenges including lack of adequate resources, lack of data for effective targeting so as to minimize the risk of exclusion and inclusion. Provision of adequate allowance and grants as well full coverage of social protection floor requires huge amount of resources. An assessment of fiscal space indicates that there is some scope for the government to increase the resources to social protection through increased revenue generation and expenditure management.  What is needed is a political stability and strong political will. The political parties have to rise over their own interest and those of the parties, and join their hands together for the inclusive development of the country protecting the interest of the poor and the more vulnerable groups of society.


Bishwa Nath Tiwari


UNDP-APRC, Bangkok





[1] MOHP. 2007.  The Maternity Incentive Scheme in Nepal: Increasing Demand and Equity.  Ministry of Health and Population, Kathmandu. (Current exchange rate: US$ 1 = NRs 85.00)



[2] MoF. 2012. Economic Survey 2011-12. Kathmandu: Ministry of Finance.



[3] NPC.2009. Annual Programme of FY 2009/10.  National Planning Commission, Kathmandu.



[4] MoF. 2010.  Budget Speech of FY 2009/10.  Kathmandu: Ministry of Finance.



[5] Tiwari, Bishwa Nath. 2010. Social Protection against Global Crises in Nepal: Some Challenges. A Paper presented at Research Meeting on Social Protection in South Asia, 18-19 March, 2010, New Delhi.



[6] MOF. 2008.  Budget Speech of 2008/09.  Kathmandu: Ministry of Finance.



[7] MoF. 2012. Economic Survey 2011-12. Kathmandu: Ministry of Finance.



[8] NPC.2009. Annual Programme of FY 2009/10.  National Planning Commission, Kathmandu.



[9] MOF. 2008.  Budget Speech of 2008/09.  Kathmandu: Ministry of Finance.

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 12.38 am

Propuesta para fortalecer la economía local y generar el autoempleo en las comunidades y pueblos indígenas.

 

Con el fin de caminar hacia un desarrollo con identidad se ha conformado la Red Indígena de Turismo de México, A.C. (RITA) en el año 2002, la cual cobija aproximadamente 120 organizaciones indígenas dedicadas al sector turismo, ubicadas en 16 estados del país, que va desde Colima hasta la Península de Yucatán. Con este modelo buscamos que sea la misma comunidad la que aproveche los recursos que se encuentran a su alrededor, asimismo que trace sus propias acciones a realizar y sea quien administre su capital económico.

 

Desde varios años atrás los pueblos indígenas hemos hallado nuestras propias formas de subsistencia, a través de la caza de animales para obtener alimento, a través de la recolección de plantas, frutos, así como haciendo acciones que han garantizado la continuidad de las zonas forestales, humedales, semidesierto, costas, de la flora y fauna, etc., a la vez se ha tratado de conservar y transmitir todo conocimiento que lleva intrínseco esta forma de vida.

El sistema capitalista por el que hemos sido gobernados las y los mexicanos nos ha impedido que seamos las comunidades y pueblos indígenas quienes a través de nuestra libre determinación definamos y seamos protagonistas de un desarrollo comunitario, basado en nuestros principios y valores, en nuestra cosmovisión y en nuestras aspiraciones colectivas.

La libre determinación es uno de los derechos que debemos ejercer, establecido en la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (UNDIRP, por sus siglas en inglés), no existe motivo alguno para que las empresas privadas y las trasnacionales de la mano con el estado exploten y decidan sobre lo que nos pertenece, sobre nuestro territorio, en donde de manera ancestral hemos sabido hacer uso no consuntivo de la biodiversidad.

A nivel nacional, nos amenazan grandes problemas ambientales, económicos, sociales, políticos y culturales. No obstante, las comunidades y pueblos indígenas a través del “turismo indígena” hemos tratado de fortalecer nuestra economía local.

 

El rol que desempeñamos las mujeres indígenas desde la transmisión de conocimiento tradicional a nuestros hijos es de vital importancia, las mujeres somos quienes nos quedamos en el campo cuando nuestro esposo, padre o hermanos salen en busca de empleo,  no solo quedamos al frente de la familia, sino que somos quienes desempeñamos la tarea de trabajar la tierra, somos quienes cultivamos nuestros alimentos, quienes hacemos uso de las plantas medicinales, entre otras actividades. Las labores que como mujeres indígenas llevamos a cabo día a día son de gran impacto desde el nivel familiar y al nivel comunitario. Asimismo la participación de las y los jóvenes al interior de las organizaciones está siendo cada vez más visible, pero es necesaria la apertura de espacios en donde mujeres y jóvenes puedan compartir saberes y necesidades, en donde se logren generar propuestas conjuntas tanto para fortalecer sus capacidades como para fortalecer e impulsar las acciones que como organizaciones indígenas vienen realizando. Poco se le ha apostado a la participación de mujeres y jóvenes indígenas en los distintos espacios en donde tendríamos que estar presentes.

 

En la Red Indígena de Turismo de México, A.C., se ha creado la Dirección de Mujeres y Jóvenes con el fin de empoderar a las mujeres y jóvenes indígenas de las organizaciones socias, así como maximizar su participación por medio de la apertura de espacios que faciliten el diálogo y la construcción de propuestas conjuntas; lograr el reconocimiento del papel que juegan las mujeres y jóvenes en cuanto a la conservación de nuestra biodiversidad, al rescate de nuestros conocimientos tradicionales y al fortalecimiento de la economía local, a través del ejercicio pleno de nuestros derechos colectivos establecidos en estándares jurídicos internacionales.

Durante el año pasado 2012, tras una serie de talleres con mujeres y jóvenes de las organizaciones socias de RITA se generó una agenda a la cual se le ha atribuido el nombre de “Agenda de Mujeres y Jóvenes para el uso, manejo y conservación de la Biodiversidad”, con la que se busca atender temas como:

Educación; para contribuir al rescate, conservación y preservación de la biodiversidad a través de la educación ambiental, así como trabajar con la revaloración cultural.

Tierra y territorio; involucrándonos en la defensa de nuestras tierras y territorios ya que actualmente los problemas que estamos enfrentando, cada vez se intensifican.

Salud; hacer buen uso, manejo y rescate de la medicina tradicional, a la vez que revalorar y preservar los conocimientos y prácticas ancestrales de los pueblos indígenas.

Soberanía y seguridad alimentaria; rescate, buen uso y manejo de las semillas criollas, tratando de eliminar la inseguridad alimentaria existente en nuestras comunidades.

Incidencia en políticas públicas; garantizar nuestra participación como mujeres y jóvenes en aquellos espacios de incidencia en los cuales se toman decisiones desde el nivel local, nacional e internacional y que se refiere a biodiversidad, cambio climático, soberanía y seguridad alimentaria y derechos de los pueblos indígenas, específicamente de las mujeres y jóvenes.

Existen otros temas de la agenda, lo anterior es por mencionar algunos.

 

Con la labor que llevamos a cabo las organizaciones indígenas dedicadas a este tipo de turismo, pretendemos evitar la migración de las comunidades y pueblos indígenas, generando así el autoempleo a través del turismo indígena, fortaleciendo las capacidades de las hermanas y hermanos indígenas, así como fortaleciendo la economía local. A la vez buscamos caminar como organizaciones hacia el cumplimiento de los ODM, principalmente para Erradicar la pobreza extrema y el hambre, lograr la igualdad de género, lograr la sostenibilidad del medio ambiente; al mismo tiempo abonar a los principales objetivos del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CBD, por sus siglas en inglés), ejerciendo nuestros derechos colectivos establecidos en la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, el Convenio 169 de la OIT y en el CBD.

 

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 04.46 pm

International Movement ATD Fourth World – Response to Questions Three and Four:

 

 

In your view, what policies and institutions are likely to help upgrade the quality of jobs? Are there distinctive approaches that can help labour markets in developing countries get out of informality? How can we best promote fairness and equal opportunity and safeguard human rights, including workers’ rights?

 

 

 


What should be done to operationalize the idea of basic social protection floors at the country level?

 

Introduction

 

The following reflections on access to economic resources and development policies seek to answer questions 3 and 4 of the e-discussion. They are based on the experiences of people living in situations of poverty. These contributions and proposals are the result of a participatory seminar held in La Paz, Bolivia by the International Movement ATD Fourth World to evaluate the MDGs with families from a background of poverty. These seminars are part of a larger participatory action-research project involving eight other countries (Burkina Faso, Madagascar, the Philippines, Peru, Haiti, Guatemala, Brazil and Belgium), with the goals of :

 

  1. Assessing the impact of the MDGs on the most vulnerable populations,

  2. Creating a participatory research methodology that gives those living in extreme poverty the means to contribute their knowledge and experience to the evaluation of the MDGs

  3. Making proposals to the UN for policies and goals in a new development agenda that would benefit those living in extreme poverty

 

In each location, participants living in extreme poverty have identified the MDG-related policy fields of priority concern to them, in order to deliver on the aims stated above. During the seminar in Bolivia, employment emerged as a key area for improvement.

 

Decent Work, Respect for Human Rights and Poverty Reduction

 

The current global economic system perpetuates vulnerability and exploitation of the majority of workers around the world, preventing the possibility of dignified work for all. This system, which puts profits above human beings, often results in a lack of respect for people. It is fundamental that a more humane, human centered economic model be created that alters the rules of the current economic system. Moreover, the formal labor market is incapable of integrating every worker in a dignified manner. This is precisely what leads to many individuals to seek work in the informal sector, often self-employment. Self-employment in the informal sector has its benefits as all income generated belongs to the worker. However, there is no guarantee that this income will cover all expenses and due to a lack of social protections, workers are required to work until old age. Yet this might be the only option for some workers, as access to the formal job sector is highly restricted, especially for people who live in extreme poverty.

 

Complex bureaucracies and a lack of relevant information can discourage job seekers with limited resources. Even when contracts are available workers are frequently offered only a series of temporary contracts that do not provide the legal benefits and protections that are linked to seniority. This situation is attested to in both developing and developed countries. Workers can then be physically and emotional abused, humiliated, underpaid or even forced to work, whilst often in dangerous and unsanitary working conditions. Even when laws against this type of treatment that ensure labor rights exist, they are often not respected or applied in the case of workers who live in extreme poverty. In societies where women, and work associated with women, are not valued female workers are especially vulnerable to these types of abuses and rights violations. The result is that women earn less than men due to gender discrimination, compounding the discrimination they may experience because they are members of indigenous minorities or come from humble backgrounds. Women frequently experience discrimination because they become pregnant or are single mothers. The dialogue that took place during the seminar in Bolivia resulted in concrete policy proposals that aim at improving the quality of jobs and named the institutions best suited for this endeavor.

 

An important policy proposal that could lead to improved job quality of wage earners in the formal sector is the formation of workers' and employers' organizations. These organizations are necessary to maintain social dialogue such as collective bargaining. To make this happen, governments and civil society should favor policies that strengthen unions and workers' organizations so that they can defend access to decent work and social protections. In addition, unacceptable employment practices such as child labor and any type of coercive labor should be abolished and severely punished. The question of informal employment is a multidimensional problem that is not solely an issue in developing countries but developed countries as well (for example, sweatshops and undocumented immigrant labor). Workers in developed and developing countries experience an lack of dignified and safe working conditions, written labor contracts or any social or labor protections. Government and civil society should increase training for all workers, so that they know their rights, as well as respectfully accompanying workers and providing guidance so that they may exercise them. This could be achieved by decentralizing the offices in labor ministries. In addition, countries should implement the recently adopted ILO Recommendation on national social protection floors. But the ILO definition limits the concept of social protection to social security. For a wider concept of social protection countries should implement the recently adopted Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

 

In the case of the informal sector, bringing these jobs into the formal realm in an overly hasty way may not work. A first priority should be creating decent working conditions for those in the informal sector and then gradually bringing them into the formal economy. This can be achieved through legislation that promotes the creation of cooperatives and other forms of organizing for independent workers, giving them the power to lift themselves out of the informal sector. These workers' cooperatives, including women's organizations, would allow workers to set minimum standards for their industry. It is also important to create or strengthen those bodies that help such cooperatives to function successfully. Efforts should be made to transform informal self-employment into decent independent work that provides access to social security. Public policies need to support and encourage small producers, whether rural or urban, craftsmen and recycling projects. In cases where these policies exist public authorities need to assure that they are fully implemented.

 

The best way to promote fairness and equal opportunity as well as safeguard human rights, including workers' rights, is the existence of strong workers' organizations. This organization must go beyond trade unions as trade unions generally only represent workers in the formal sector. Organizations that represent women workers, landless laborers, immigrants and cooperative are essential to represent and protect all groups of workers, and influence their employers as well as their local governments. Many countries have already adopted new regulations that aim at putting an end many of the injustices mentioned above and elsewhere. However, for families living in extreme poverty these laws are often not fulfilled. Therefore we must put in place effective regulations and mechanisms that do not leave the most vulnerable in the most precarious situations. Governments should create bodies within their Ministries of Labor and Education tasked with evaluating and affirming the knowledge of workers' own experiences that prevent them from defending their rights, knowledge that is today unrecognized and marginalized. For all the above proposals to become a reality and be successful the full and effective participation of the most vulnerable workers is indispensable.

 

 

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 02.39 pm

Firstly I must congratulate the mdg net team for initiating discussion on a very important issue. Problem of un-employment is more serious in developing countries and with the passage of time it is becoming more acute. The issue takes peculiar shape in different countries. In Pakistan for example, apart from youth and women, the rural population is more vulnerable. The ppor rural population has access only to low quality public education. When it comes to the job market, they are in a competitive disadvantage. Keeping in view this very fact, I suggest the indicators need to be revisited and revised. It is also important to see what proportion of rural population is employed in comparison with their population size.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 01.22 pm

We, the Migration Health Division of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), would like to make the following comments to the discussion on Jobs and Livelihoods:


Migrant labour has become crucial to the economies of many countries worldwide, for instance in the mining sector, the construction industry, or in health care and domestic work. Today, an estimated 105 million persons are working in a country other than their country of birth, contributing to development through various channels, such as transferring social and financial remittances to relatives at home, investing in the economy of their countries of origin, facilitating trade and knowledge transfers between countries of destination and origin, and so forth. However, migrants frequently work in so-called 3D-jobs (dangerous, difficult and demeaning) in hazardous environments, which are often characterized by discrimination and insecurity. They therefore face multiple hardships and health risks, and are often not covered by social protection measures such as sick leave, unemployment benefits, health insurance, and mandatory leave days. For instance, according to a new ILO study (2013)[1], there are more than 52 million domestic workers worldwide, most of them migrant women, who are employed in conditions which make them particularly susceptible to abuse and exploitation that can result in long-term physical and psychological harm. During the global financial and economic crisis (2008/2009) and in its aftermath, migrant workers very often were the first to lose their jobs and thus being unable to support their families. In addition, the economic downturn exacerbated anti-migrant sentiments in many countries of destination around the globe, being reflected in the aggravation of exclusionary politics across all sectors, including the health sector.


To leverage the development potential of labour migration, i.e. to capitalize on the knowledge, skills and financial assets of migrant workers, migrants need to stay healthy, as this is a prerequisite for them to be able to live a successful and flourishing life and contribute to development. The post-2015 development framework on growth and employment should address the specific protection needs of this sizeable global workforce and acknowledge that the impact of labour mobility on development can be enhanced by increasing social protection measures for migrants and their families:


Pre-departure standardized health assessments, often mandatory for obtaining a work visa, should comply with international ethical practices, which include informed consent by the migrant, the confidentiality of medical results, and providing migrants with access to counselling and follow-up treatment and support services. Monitoring and licensing systems or codes of conduct for recruiters and other labour market intermediaries should be promoted, which take compliance with ethical practices into account. Pre-departure orientation seminars for migrant workers should integrate health promotion (including on sexual and reproductive health, hygiene, nutrition etc.) knowledge on health benefits, the importance of occupational health and safety measures, and the peculiarities of the health system in the country of destination, amongst other. Limitations to travel, work or reside abroad based on medical grounds of excludability, such as positive HIV status, should be progressively abolished. Cross-border social protection schemes, such as portable pensions or healthcare insurance, should be made widely available for migrant workers and their families, and cross-border recognition of qualification and skills should be facilitated in order to avoid deskilling (“brain waste”). In countries of destination, migrant workers and their families should have access to social protection, including access to health promotion and care.


A particular development concern has been the migration and mobility of health professionals, especially from developing countries. The 2006 WHO World Health Report estimated a global shortfall of almost 4.3 million health personnel, with 57 countries (most in Africa and Asia) facing severe shortages. Migration of health professionals occurs due to a multiple set of reasons, including relatively low wages, poor working conditions and lack of further professional development opportunities in countries of origin, and growing demand for health professionals in developed countries, as a result of accelerating demographic changes in combination with inadequate domestic health workforce planning. While the freedom to migrate for health professionals needs to be respected and safeguarded, especially developed countries need to ensure that health worker recruitment policies do not counteract global development goals by depriving developing countries from much-needed health personnel. In this regard it is important that all countries implement the WHO Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, which was adopted at the 63rd World Health Assembly in 2010.


The Migration Health Division of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports an equity-based approach to migrant health which includes the following dimensions:


  1. Ensure the right to health for migrants;

  2. Avoid disparities in health status and access to health services;

  3. Reduce excess mortality and morbidity among migrant populations;

  4. Minimize the negative health outcomes of migration.

Please also confer to the Position Paper we submitted to the thematic consultation on health: “The importance of migrants´ health for sustainable and equitable development”, available for download here: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/292902.  


Best regards,


Caroline Schultz


The Migration Health Division of the International Organization for Migration


(contact us at mhddpt@iom.int and cschultz@iom.int in case of further questions on this topic)


Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 07.55 pm

BUEN DIA A TODOS LOS LECTORES.


Educación de calidad y vinculación con el empleo en jóvenes indígenas.


Agradecemos haber abierto el portal donde  muchos jóvenes de  distintas latitudes  se puedan expresar libremente sobre sus necesidades y anhelos.


Me tema  que pretendo poner énfasis es sobre las cuestiones de  juventud indígena, un sector por demás olvidado y rezagado  en diferentes formas.


Pero hay dos cosas fundamentales que son necesarios y son las que propongo.


Es necesario realizar un profundo análisis sobre lo referente a jóvenes indígenas, su tipo de educación y su forma de insertarse al mercado laboral, muchos de  nosotros los jóvenes no podemos acceder  a una escuela que tenga los estándares mínimos de calidad en educación superior,  debido a las condiciones de pobreza y marginación en las que nos encontramos, muchos jóvenes habitan en regiones muy lejanas al centro de educación superior, además de que su prioridad que tienen es subsistir, en ayudarles a su familia con el sostenimiento de  la casa y gastos, lo cual provoca que muchos jóvenes trunquen sus deseos de poder entrar a una escuela superior, mismo que al no tener oportunidades de estudiar, genera migración de muchos jóvenes (hombres y mujeres) dejando sus lugares de procedencia para obtener trabajo en las grandes ciudades, generando así el desapego de sus creencias y tradiciones.


Esta  migración a su vez genera  que las comunidad se  queda solo con gente adulta y grande mientras los jóvenes salen  las capitales buscando oportunidades de crecer, las cuales por su condición de indígena y por no tener estudios superiores técnicos o especializados.


El otro tema relacionado a esta situación con los jóvenes indígenas es la  que tiene que ver con su calidad de educación.


La educación intercultural  como medio para la realización de acciones que permitan su empoderamiento, su libre determinación y toda de decisiones, a partir de una educación basado en competencia propias, lenguajes y costumbres, y que esta no sea como la educación tradicional que rompe los esquemas del libre pensamiento y la capacidad del joven a tomar decisiones por su propia determinación, a ser autodidacta, a ser propositivo y sobre todo valorar su medio que lo rodea como una percepción socio intercultural. Y no visto desde un ámbito de educación tradicional de realizar actividades y memorizarse las lecturas solo para obtener una clasificación.


Este proceso de aprendizaje  fue utilizando  por la universidad autónoma indígena de  México con buenos resultados. Sin embargo las políticas de gobierno las ha ido cambiando.


 

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 07.44 pm

Los trabajadores independientes, aquellos que ofertan trabajos como plomero, electricista, lavandera, cocinera, albañil, etc.; son una gran mayoría de jóvenes mujeres y varones que buscan a alguien que les oferte el trabajo para la jornada. Ubicados estos jóvenes en dos puntos distintas calles de la ciudad de Cochabamba corazon del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, siendo las calles lanza sector mercado Calatayud donde se encuentran los varones y calle 25 de mayo sector mercado 25 de mayo se encuentran la mujeres jóvenes; quienes desempleados pero con habilidades y conocimientos quieren ganarse el pan del día.


La situación de estos jóvenes cuando adquieren el trabajo después de tanto buscarla, deben enfrentarse a situaciones de vulnerabilidad de sus derechos en donde muchas veces si se accidentan no son asistidos a hospitales y también son discriminados por sus rasgos culturales (sean indígenas o afrodescendientes), también se suma injusticias en los pagos, entre otras situaciones de la jornada laboral que me fueron contando estos jóvenes.


Existen jóvenes y mujeres de las calles mencionadas que terminan la jornada resignándose el no poder conseguir un trabajo. Esta realidad la pude observa y efectuar algunas entrevistas con fines periodísticos después del tercer aniversario del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, en la que el presidente Evo Morales en su informe al país dio a entender que estamos en una bonanza económica después de la nacionalizaciòn de los hidrocarburos y otras empresas estratégicas del Estado, sin embargo hay una cruda realidad y voces de jóvenes que me dijeron que hay discriminación laboral. Lo que hace que el gobierno actual y los que vayan a venir se pongan a trabajar en esa realidad concreta con políticas integrales que devengan de todos los polos concéntricos de desarrollo no solo en lo magro (departamentos) sino a nivel de organizaciones de jóvenes, etc.


Sera la oportunidad para el Estado y no me refiero al gobierno, el de que podamos trabajar en uno de los trece pilares que el Presidente expuso al legislativo en el día del Estado Plurinacional, en la que menciona la erradicación de la pobreza para el 2025 bicentenario del país. Entonces la propuesta específica es como ya les dije a estos jóvenes al igual que mi persona, se organicen y se legitimen como gremio de plomeros, albañiles, lavanderas, etc., para así mediante los medios de comunicación se pueda generar presión y también presentar sus acciones. Lo cierto es que el primer paso ya lo están dando  con organizarse entre ellos y ellas para así podamos captar alianzas con los gobiernos locales, regionales y organismos de cooperación.


 

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 06.49 pm

Soy Martin Miguel Ballivian afroboliviano, en esta oportunidad quiero visivilizar una realidad que la voy investigando de manera independiente, es el empleo independiente o informal que se suscita en Bolivia especificamente en Cochabamba, donde se puede observar a una gran multitud de jovenes que ofertan trabajar de albañiles, plomeros, pintores,. electricistas, etc, en un Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia que el pasado 22 de enero festejo tres años de aniversario y en la que el presidente Evo Morales presento 13 pilares para el bicentenario de mi pais el 2025, en el primer eje enfatiza la reducciòn de la pobreza y que segun el gobieno esta agenda Estatal eliminara en un 100 por ciento dicha situaciòn. Ante esta situaciòn en la actualidad por lo que converso con varones y mujeres de una diversidad de comunidades y culturas que ofertan sus habilidades, no tienen la oportunidad de trabajar CON SEGURIDAD SOCIAL Y ECONOMICA, las entrevista que realice son elocuentes muchos de ellos dicen que los empleadores vulneran sus elementales derechos, creo firmemente que el Estado Plurinacional, nosostros (as) la sociedad civil y la cooperaciòn internacional podemos hacer mucho, yo ya empece a incidir con este grupo animandoles a uqe se organicen y puedan mediante una emisora radial en la que trabajo como periodista puedan dar su voz atraves de un programa en la que puedan denunciar vulneraciones y poder ganar el pan del dia. Jovenes de las americas una realidad como lo que comento se da en varios paices. Sera importante y es la propuesta central generar  una organizaciòn de jovenes emprendedores y liderazgos y liderezas para que vivamos en interculturalidad, ojo,  para mi la interculturalidad visto desde dos perspectivas la de la convivencia y la critica, ya que esta ùltima significa que como jovenes desempleados podamos exigir nuestros derechos como ciudadanos.

Mahesh Chandrasekar from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 02.02 pm

Livelihood Resource Centres for persons with disabilities, as “one-stop-shops”, provide training, career guidance and links between employees and employers.


Organization/Project: Leonard Cheshire Disability


United Kingdom


Livelihood Resource Centres, as “one-stop-shops”, provide training, career guidance and links between employees and employers.


 


 


Livelihood Resource Centres (LRCs) are delivered through local partner organisations and have six core components: 


• Screening, assessment, counselling and referral


• Networking, sensitising trainers and employers, and community outreach


• Skills development – training through recognised training institutions


• Supporting people to enter waged employment


• Supporting people to enter self-employment through training and loans or grants


• Information sharing and advocacy with trainers, employers, governments and the community


 


The “one-stop-shop” model has worked in Leonard Cheshire Disability’s other programmes and now works in livelihoods. LRCs are unique in providing the full range of support that disabled people need when looking for jobs or becoming self-employed. Partnering with mainstream training institutions means that people get recognised qualifications. The “soft skills” training, including interviewing, writing CVs, communications, etc. help make the project successful. Training also meets the needs of local employment markets and people’s own interests and talents. For self-employment support, the microfinance model used by LRCs includes savings and insurance, thought to be effective at poverty reduction.


 


Dates and figures


The project started in four South Asian countries in 2005. In the pilot phase, 1,279 people with disabilities completed the training programmes, and 893 (70%) entered employment or started their own businesses. With further investment from other private sector and institutional bodies such as Accenture, the EU, USAID and the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, the programme was started in 25 locations in 10 countries in Asia and Africa.


 


Implementation in the following countries


Centres are to be found in: Asia: Bangladesh, China, India, Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; and Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.  The first LRCs were started in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


 


Further information and reading


http://www.jobability.org

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 05.08 am

Dear Frends,

I do agreed with the main text of course need to more oppen opportunutes for Women and the youth as they are very honner and creative and commited for any kind of work.

Regarding the opportunity will oppen them have jave paralel humen rights protection mecanisem  too as in my country Women are the ,ost velerenebel in the present cantext.

Nedd to generate more job opportunitees of the private secter is good.But In the privet sectot job are normally insecure in my contry also there is  socioal  will thw privatw sector job are not wel recodnized compare to Government sector.So there shuld be speacioal arrange ment or the adjustment for the private sector development  with humenitarian approch.

Best,

Geetha.

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 02.12 am

Thanks for Invite.  A very good point raised " the issues of decent jobs". I think we need to identify and find existing indecent jobs and convert it in to a decent job.  For example, cattle rearing is considered as indecent job in educated world but it is needed.. it should be improved by including less labrious techniques in it. or we can discuss later on the issue.

Actually villagers or poor people are not looking for decent jobs but they are looking for organised jobs. for example many agricultural labourer work in urban area as construction labourers. both required hard physical work, but construction work is little more organised in compare to agriculture labour work (they get regular and timely payments). So we need to convert many existing unorganised and indecent jobs in to a organised and decent jobs.

Thanks,

Pramod Sharma Indore MP India.

Griet Cattaert from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 09.54 pm

We all agree - full, productive and decent employment is the most important source of income security - decent work is the only sustainable way out of poverty. But sustainable growth requires good health, nutrition and education, which can foster transitions from low productivity and subsistence level activities to highly productive decent jobs and from the informal to the formal economy. Social security, well designed and linked to other policies, enhances productivity, employability and supports economic development. As an effective automatic stabilizer in times of crisis, social security contributes to mitigating the economic and social impact of economic downturns, to enhancing resilience, and achieving faster recovery towards inclusive growth.”


80% of the global population has no access to comprehensive social protection. Social protection programmes tackle multiple dimensions of poverty and deprivation (decent work, education, health care, food security, income security) and can therefore be a powerful tool in the battle against poverty and inequality. Social protection can play a fundamental role in creating more inclusive and sustainable development pathways. In the absence of social protection, people, especially the most vulnerable, are subjected to increased risks of sinking below the poverty line or remaining trapped in poverty for generations.


Social protection is an important instrument for the pursuit of at least six of the eight present MDGs by ensuring universal access to key essential services in quality basic and maternal health care, education, nutrition and environmental health. However, the importance of social protection for equitable progress as mapped out by the MDGs has been recognized in full only recently. Indeed, advantage in access to decent work and social security has been an important reason why better-off nations and population groups achieved stronger progress between 1990 and 2005 than did countries and people with weak access to equitable growth and social protection.


The post-2015 UN development agenda requires a new approach to international and national development, taking the multiple interlinked global challenges that exist even more into account. It is therefore of paramount importance that, in view of the multiple roles that social protection can play in social and economic development, the post-2015 UN development agenda will acknowledge the critical role extending adequate social protection plays in furthering key outcomes, ensuring the inclusion of all groups in development and society as a means to combat inequality, vulnerability and poverty. The post-2015 debate needs a renewed and comprehensive focus on poverty, inequality, income distribution and social inclusion. Fiscally sustainable social protection schemes based on strong legal and regulatory frameworks should be an integral component of national development strategies to achieve inclusive, equitable sustainable development.


For more information: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/Think%20Pieces/16_social_protectio...

Muhammed Muqtada from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 09.03 pm

The following refers to the last of the 3 questions added to this e-forum, on one of the MDG goals i.e.  “Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people”. Four indicators are given to measure progress towards achieving the goal : growth rate of GDP per person employed ; employment-to-population ratio ; proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day; proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment.  Asking whether we “ need to revisit” this list of indicators would warrant a serious dedicated forum to discuss the analytical and empirical content of the goal itself as well as its indicators. I presume appropriate evaluations are available and/or consultations are being undertaken, and that some feed backs are available from country-level planners.  Some quick thoughts :

 The summary  MDGs 2012 Progress Chart, by regions, prepared by UN/DESA  show moderate, large and very large decent work (DW) deficits, curiously adding a (green) colour legend to state Southern and Eastern Asia who have large deficits would be expected to meet the targets by 2015. There are several issues here. First, is there a composite index (of the values of the 4 indicators ) that would allow such a conclusion; second, the indicators are rather geared to showing progress toward full employment, not DW, whereas the Chart shows deficits in DW ! If the latter were to be retained as part of the goal in the post-2015 Agenda, then selected specific indicators would need to be added (eg on rights at work; equal pay for equal work; other conditions of work). Alternatively, DW could be considered as an (independent) sub-goal.

 On the indicators themselves, there needs to be further rethink. Based on my modest recent experiences of working on employment policy reviews at the country-level, I have found a relatively low awareness with respect to this Target 1 (b) of MDG , either (i) due to ambivalence ( let us first grow and create jobs—full employment will come when it will come); or (ii) lack of appropriate data, especially in establishing trends (eg on working poor), and difficulties in monitoring them. In some cases, country reports on MDG progress do not contain much on this goal.  Very few countries have labour force or other dedicated surveys to monitor the indicators. Apart from the measurement difficulties, policy makers feel inadequate in their understanding of the relative weights of the 4 indicators, and how they add up to a positive movement towards full employment. Moreover, monitoring the indicators is one thing, pursuing progress in them is another (unlike other contextualized MDGs, which are addressed through greater donor and/or national fiscal attention). It must be noted that should good trend values be  available on all the four indicators, useful analysis could indeed be conducted to frame positive policies (Cf Sparreboom and Albee, Towards decent work in Sub-Saharan Africa : monitoring MDG employment indicators, ILO, 2011). This would require a degree of institutional capacity at the national level.

There also needs to be conceptual clarity on the indicators : (i) the treatment of “working poor” and “vulnerable population” as different indicators. Is the former not a vulnerable group ? (ii) the vulnerable group is currently measured as the proportion of own account workers and  unpaid family workers. As well known own-account workers  is catch-all category that can contain a significant portion of productive, well remunerated self-employed (esp micro, small enterprises), whether in formal or informal sectors. In fact, promotion  of self-employment or micro enterprises constitutes a major national and international campaign. There has to be some distinction between vulnerable and non-vulnerable in this group (iii) in developing countries, where open unemployment is nearly constant (due to definition used) and unrepresentative of the vast surplus labour, employment-population ratio is hardly going to capture the true growth of employment.

The four indicators thus need to be reviewed, especially in the light of the experience gained in their monitoring.  The national-level ambivalence towards them needs to be addressed. Additional indicators such as detailed sectoral wage movements could capture important developments in the labour market , to provide indications of labour shortages in the economy and its subsectors. Formal sector job growth could be another.

The above discussion assumes that the goal  would be retained in the post-2015, and would be phrased the same way as now. This must be also a matter of intense discussion, in this and other e-forums, especially since the means to pursue full employment, and hence the indicators, are caught up in diverse ideological tussles.

Anonymous from
Mon, February 4, 2013 at 04.07 am

I fully agree with this post. The four indicators have not gained traction in many countries. I guess a major reason for this is the lack of conceptual clarity. Like the author of this post, I personally see major difficulties with the indicators:

  • GDP per person employed is an imperfect measure of productivity and tells us nothing about how productivity gains are shared with workers.
  • There is no optimal employment-to-population ratio - a high ratio in countries like Nepal reflects the dominance of subsistence agriculture and the informal sector, while a low ratio in India is largely due to the low participation of women in the labour force.
  • Working poverty is a mixture of an household indicator (poverty is defined on a household basis) and individual employment status, which poses certain challenges. For example, an individual can be working poor because they have a large number of children not because they lack a decent job. This begs the question - does working poverty tell us more than looking at standard poverty measures (and how employment determines poverty)?
  • Vulnerable employment is the most difficult indicator - it assumes that these workers are vulnerable, which may be the case, but should not be assumed ex-ante. Ultimately, vulnerability is an outcome of different factors, and it would be good to identify those rather than assuming them. Finally, this indicator excludes casual workers who are often the most vulnerable (in terms of income, access to social protection, poor working conditions, etc.)

Naturally, it is easier to highlight deficiencies than come up with solutions. The main challenge is the fact that employment indicators do not present simple linear relationships with well-being and welfare. Moreover, these indicators were chosen because of data availability. Important dimensions to consider for the post-2015 agenda are (none are without problems):

  • Share of regular wage employment in the non-agricultural sector (like the indicator for women under Goal 3) - though this indicator reveals the degree of structural transformation, there is no optimal share
  • Gap between female and male labour force participation rate - the goal would not be a zero gap, however?
  • Youth unemployment rate (or ratio of youth to adult rate) - this phenomenon is more relevant to middle-income countries.
Tulu Tilahun from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 02.31 pm

Before all I would like to thank the initiators of this wise idea and let me express my feelings/responses regarding the topics as the following:


  • Can agenda setting at global level influence action at national level (on jobs)?

       Yes, I personally found that agenda at global level on Job and livelhood can influence the action at national level very explicitly. This is because of the experiances at global level is very help full at national level. But it may need some modification according to specific real life of a country. So eventhough I agreed up on the topic positively, I am happy to say some specific conditions should be considered. 


  • What works for constructive social dialogue? Can international action help?

        Knowledge and inspiration of implementing by being in group of 2 or more


        Freedom of doing legal things


       Transparency between the workers and employers


        Equality of sharing information and other resources


        Wise communicaton among workers inorder to find solutions for the problems


        As me, Yes international action can help.


  •  What are your comments on proposed goals and indicators?

         I appreciate and thank UNDP for doing a lot regarding job creation at urban area. But, I am not sure if it may be the next plan of doing on the job creation at rular area.  It is possible to do so by organizing youths that can do a lot by using local resources even more than individuals who run here and there at urban area. So what do you think about this?


It is possible to mension many things that can be done at rular area if the recommendation is found impressive and this will have a positive impact on the socio economic development.


Anonymous from
Wed, January 30, 2013 at 12.58 pm

In my experiece the policies and initiatives developed  and implemented in Nigeria to address skill development has been the establishment  of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), where skills are imparted to young graduates. This to me was a desirable government polcy to enhance the skill acquisition of newly graduating students especially those with technical background. Secondly was the establishment of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). This was also to teach skills especially to those who did not have any primary or secondary school background but interested in learning a skill. The very recent one is the young graduate commercial farmers, all these programms were geared towards imparting skills and employment.

2. In my opinion the challenges and main obstacles in Nigeria due to lack of skill is the large number of unemployable graduates all busy floating their certificates roaming about in search of white colar jobs, and also the teaming population especially of unemployable youth between the ages 18-30 years, as this population increases so also crime.

THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE TO OVERCOME THESE OBSTACLE INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWINGS:

a. All graduates must compulsorily learn a skill during the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) period.

b. All Nigerian youths on attaining the age of 18 must be compelled to learn a skill for one year in a skill development center before proceeding to the next phase of life. Alternatively this skills should be taught in the secondary schools as a compulsory pre graduation requirement.

c. The possession of a skill should be a prequalification for gaining entry into higher institution.

d. the university curriculum should as a matter of urgency be skill driven

with the above suggestions i see a country  with unemployment figures going down to less than 5% in the next 10 years.

Mike Nasamu

Entreprenuerial development and Training Center

Anonymous from
Fri, January 25, 2013 at 12.06 pm

Mostly people with disabilities are ignored in such mainstream discussions. More than one billion people worldwide experience some form of disability, the United Nations and the World Bank said in a report that calls for the elimination of barriers that often force the people with disabilities to “the margins of society.” How can this society implement policies by exluding people with disabilities.

People with disabilities in developing countries are over-represented among the poorest people. They are poorest among poor. They have been largely overlooked in the development agenda so far, but the recent focus on poverty reduction strategies is a unique chance to rethink and rewrite that agenda.

Poverty causes disabilities and can furthermore lead to secondary disabilities for those individuals who are already disabled, as a result of the poor living conditions, health endangering employment, malnutrition, poor access to health care and education opportunities etc. Together, poverty and disability create a vicious circle.

One of the Millennium Development Goals is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, a goal that was achieved without taking into consideration this huge minority that is people with disabilities. Whenever we discuss about job, livelihood or development we must give priority and make starting point from pwoplw qith disabilities then rest of things will become easier. Now discussions started for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and such working group also announced at UN level, let us make sure to include those people with disabilities who are from developing countries and can't manage to partiucipate in such discusions other wise SDGs will become MDGs means not sustainable and not acheiveable.

Martha Chen from
Wed, January 23, 2013 at 02.34 am

In response to Question # 4 about how to operationalize social protection floor at the country level:

SOCIAL PROTECTION POLICY STANCES

1.      PRINCIPLES/ VALUE BASE 

1.1  The current global economic system generates poverty, inequality, and poor health for millions of informal workers and their children.

1.2  Much informal work is precarious, and carries a high exposure to risk.

1.3  Poorer informal workers are consistent in expressing their priorities for social protection: after reliable and increased incomes, they want access to health services, savings/ security when they are older, and child care.

1.4  Social protection cannot be seen as a residual short term safety net. It has to be a long term commitment to redressing poverty and inequality, and proactively creating pathways out of poverty for informal workers.

1.5  As a general principle, social protection for informal workers should not be small schemes built especially for informal workers. These tend either to be short term, or they download risk onto already vulnerable poorer workers. It is generally more desirable to integrate and mainstream informal workers’ social protection.

1.6  Social protection should be a redistributive tool.

1.7  Gender is as important as class, race and space in determining participation in the labour market, security and incomes at work, and access to social protection.

1.8  Specifically, women’s responsibilities for unpaid care work lower their incomes at the same time as lengthen their (paid and unpaid) working days.

1.9  Social protection policies and programmes should:

-          Be able to reach many workers

-          Be gender equitable

-          Be sustainable  

-          There should be a mix of public and private provision, so long as the private provision does not erode public provision.

-          Employers/ owners of capital have a responsibility for social benefits for those who work for them, no matter how indirectly.

-          There is a role for different interest groups in social protection policies and schemes.  These include informal workers’ trade unions and associations, formal unions, employers and owners of capital; government at different levels, civil society.

-          Informal workers and their allies should be included in policy development, design, implementation and monitoring of programmes that affect them.

-          The physical place of work – streets, private homes, waste dumps, forests for example - of informal workers has been much neglected in the analysis and policies of social protection. Workers’ vulnerabilities to risks and access to social protection are clearly determined by where they work, and who is responsible for the workplace.

 

2. PROBLEM STATEMENT: MECHANISMS OF EXCLUSION FROM SOCIAL PROTECTION

 

All pillars of social security and social protection have weaknesses with regard to the

protection of informal workers:

 

2.1       Much informal work is precarious, and carries a high exposure to risk.

2.2       The vast majority of the poor who work informally have no social security coverage to protect against short term risk, or life-time contingencies (need for maternity services, child care, security in elderly years).

2.3       Self-employed poorer workers cannot afford private insurance, and have little access to social insurance.

2.4       Poorer people live and work in poor communities, where it is hard to co-insure against risk.

2.5       Informally employed wage workers receive no social security benefits from employers.

2.6       Growing numbers of workers worldwide are being contractualised, and this usually carries no social protection benefits.

2.7       In developing countries, state systems of social insurance do not target informal workers, wage employed or self-employed.

2.8       In developing countries, state systems of social assistance for poorer and vulnerable people do not target able-bodied people of working age.

 

 3. DIFFERENT STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENT SECTORS

Evidence from a) value chain research and b) risk analysis of place of work and c) analyses of existing social protection schemes show that different elements of  the ‘welfare mix’ may be more or less appropriate for different types of workers:

  • Domestic workers: There is high potential for integrating into existing labour policy and legislation in line with the ‘extend social protection’ campaign
  • Street and market vendors: There is a need for a focus on local government (not national government) policies; encourage infrastructural service delivery to reduce risk AND increase productivity AND protect both informal workers and the public
  • Industrial outworkers: There is a need to encourage infrastructural delivery to private homes; extend employer/ owner-of-capital insurance to include private homes; integrate social protection for informal workers into trade agreements/ codes of conduct
  • Waste-pickers:  There is a need to negotiate with municipalities and/ or private sector for provision of safety equipment and reduction of hazards at the place of work; provide access for workers to local government and/ or private sector social provision – health services and health insurance, training courses, educational bursaries

 

4. MAINSTREAMING SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR INFORMAL WORKERS: OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

Informal workers have the same right as formal workers to health and safe working conditions.

Vision: An integrated practice and discipline of Occupational Health and Safety, that includes the workers’ health status and environmental conditions at the work places of informal workers.

Project goals:

  • Voice: Support and assist MBOs of informal workers in making focused demands for OHS interventions, and in negotiating for policy change and implementation
  • Visibility: Improve the country-based statistics on occupational health, and work-related hazards and injuries
  • Validity: a) Modify legal and institutional barriers to the inclusion of informal workers in OHS; develop a model for including informal workers and informal workplaces into mainstream OHS, public health and environmental health training.

 

5.      GENERAL INSURANCE

  • Informal workers face many risks at and through work.
  • Informal workers cannot afford to buy private insurance, are excluded from contributory schemes because they do not work formally, are not covered by workers insurance schemes, and live in communities that are so poor that they cannot co-insure against risk
  • Building small schemes for small numbers of workers has some advantages, but does not address the present or future global scale of the problem.
  • Informal workers need access to mainstream insurance, through reform of practices in the formal insurance industry.
  • Some options to explore are:

-          Extending insurance products to cover risks at work (rather than the focus on life and death cover) – with the risks of pilot programmes underwritten or subsidized by government or donor agencies

-          Locate micro-insurance programmes inside formal insurance companies – this holds  possibilities for formal firms offering inexpensive support measures

-          Extend work-related insurance of property to atypical work places, for example to  industrial outworkers working in their own homes

-          Engage the institutional capacity of local government, allowing street vendors contributory access to staff savings and insurance schemes, even though there is no matching contribution from the employer

 

6.      UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE FOR INFORMAL WORKERS

6.1. Social Determinants of Health

Most informal workers are poor, and typically work in hazardous working conditions. Unhealthy and unsafe working conditions undermine both health and earning potential, and are a core social determinant of health.  The working poor in the informal economy should be seen as a primary target group of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

6.2. Design of UHC

6.2.1        There should be free primary health care (for all) at public health facilities.

6.2.2        There should be free essential medicines (for all) at public health facilities.

6.2.3        There should be subsidized hospital care & surgical procedures for poor people.

6.2.4        The eligibility criteria for UHC should not include whether or not a person is working.

6.2.5        Poorer informal workers need the common package of services available to all, as well as a targeted package of services designed to address specific occupation-related health risks.

Most informal workers do not have salaried incomes. The costs of seeking and getting health services, in terms of lost income-earning time, are high. Thus:

6.2.6        Information about rights to and benefits of services should be communicated widely in public media, as well as through informal workplaces and through informal worker organizations.

6.2.7        Health services should be open at times that take into account the hours of work of informal workers, and especially of poorer women.

6.2.8        Registration procedures should be simple with minimal documentation required.

6.2.9        Informal workers should not have to wait long hours to receive services.

6.2.10    Community health workers should be able to assist informal workers access health services.

6.3. Governance

6.3.1        Membership-based organizations (MBOs) of poorer informal workers should be involved in the design, implementation, and monitoring of the UHC system.

6.3.2        MBOs should be represented at all levels of the government health structures.

6.4. Financing

In most developing countries, informal workers represent the majority of workers and contribute significantly to the economy (30 per cent of more of GDP in countries where data are available).  Many informal workers pay taxes: consumer taxes such as VAT as well as registration or licensing fees. Most are willing to pay taxes if they are guaranteed benefits in return.

6.4.1        Financing of health services should be mainly from income taxes.

6.4.2        There should be employer contributions when there is an identifiable employer.

6.4.3        Where fees are charged (for membership or for services), they should be progressive.

6.4.4        The use of private sector insurance should be avoided, or strictly regulated.

6.5. Integration of Traditional Health Workers

Informal health workers, including traditional midwives and traditional healers, should be integrated into universal health systems.

 

7.      THE GLOBAL SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOOR

7.1 The ILO and other international agencies agreed in 2012 to commit to a Global Social Protection Floor, which has two main components:

-          A cash transfer – a nationally identified minimum level of income - for people over the life cycle, including those the unemployed and those in the informal economy earning low incomes

-          Affordable access to essential health care

WIEGO agrees with and welcomes the idea of the Floor. However there need to be additional cautions and considerations:

7.2  Informal workers must be fully recognised as workers, and represented on all international, regional and country platforms where policy decisions on the GSPF social protection are made.

7.3  There must be recognition of informal workers’ needs for higher and more reliable incomes derived from the work that they do.

7.4  There are limits to the GSPF policy recommendation that formalization of informal work is a realistic goal.

7.5  There is a contradiction between calls for active labour market  policies, while not addressing the fact that workers’ livelihoods are simultaneously being destroyed by local and national government, in eviction campaigns.

7.6  The crucial importance of provision, by local and national governments, of infrastructure such as sanitation, water, shelter, lighting, crime prevention, and access to markets as contributing to security and livelihoods should be recognized.

7.7  Financial institutions should be reformed such that poorer workers are able to save securely and affordably.

 

8.      CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES AND GAPS

There are many controversial issues. Here I choose some of the most difficult.

8.1  Inclusion of informal worker organizations in social protection policy development, design and implementation

A lot of the design of social security is highly technical, and it is clear that a remarkable but small band of informal worker organizations have managed to get involved at a significant level in reforms.  However smaller and newer organizations may find it difficult to get involved in policy reforms. We need to understand better a kind of continuum of involvement, with more clarity about strategies for involvement at different levels.

8.2  Solidarity as the basis for social protection – mutuelles and more

Social security/ social protection is meant to contribute to, and build on, a sense of solidarity. This was before the ‘new’ promotion of the idea of the solidarity economy. Many social protection schemes such as health mutuelles in West Africa appeal to MBOs of informal workers; many of them fail, because the underlying actuarial principles of cross-insurance don’t hold up.  

8.3       Traditional health workers

In some countries there are strong lobbies for including traditional health workers – such as traditional birth attendants, and traditional healers – in health systems. Research shows that people exert choice over which type of health system they seek out, for different ailments and conditions. However some traditional healing practices do very specific harm, and probably more to women and children. Of course some ‘western’ practitioners also do harm, but there should be pretty rigorous systems of regulation.

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 07.58 pm

We, the NGO members of the NY-based Sub-Committee on Poverty Eradication listed below, would like to make the following comments to the discussion on Jobs and Livelihoods:

1) We wish to heartily endorse the points raised by Martha Chen of WEIGO on the social protection floor. We too see a strong link between the social protection floor and the empowerment of workers in the informal economy. We strongly support the role of government mechanisms that insure participation of those living in poverty in the design, implementation and monitoring of social programmes that affect them.

2) There is an urgent need to promote and respect all proclaimed rights, especially human rights. The rights of the earth must also be protected as they affect directly all persons, everywhere. Sustainable development must have at its core the development of all peoples. For this to come about all women and men must be afforded the opportunity of decent work.[1] Furthermore the public sector, that is government at all levels, must strive to ensure more people-centered governance. The private sector also needs to do its part by adhering to strict corporate social responsibility and at the very least, to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.[2]

3) In a recent Oxfam report on the Cost of Inequality, it was noted that, “regulations and taxation play a critical role in reining in extreme wealth and inequality.” We also believe it is vital there be international cooperation in closing tax havens and then prosecuting cases of corruption and capital flight especially from developing countries.

4) Like many others in the discussion we see access to a quality education as key to developing the necessary skills to meet the demand of an ever-changing job market. This access is not only for youth but adults seeking to retool their skills for new careers. We see a strong liberal education through secondary school as foundational to going on to schools for the more technical training of specific jobs. We also support a strong program of apprenticeships for some of the trades.

5)  The current situation of subsistence agriculture must be address in the context of jobs and livelihood.  Because of the relatively undeveloped nature of subsistence agriculture much could be done to incentivize locally based agricultural productivity not by engaging agri-business and GMO’s but through Government participation with the people themselves in building the necessary infrastructure to support such development.  This entails implementing basic human right principles, legal land ownership, access to credit, access to agricultural extension services for women as well as men. Women and girls are a vital force in rural economies.  Empowering them spurs economic and social growth in communities and nations leading to transformational change.

Winifred Doherty, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Daniel LeBlanc, Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Steve O’Neil, Marianists International



[1] According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), Decent Work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)  has also given a General Comment that defines "decent work" and requires satisfaction of Article 7 of the  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (see E/C.12/GC/18),

Anonymous from
Tue, January 22, 2013 at 02.09 pm

I am making my contribution for the first time and i will like to comment as follows.

1. I am of the school of thought that more jobs should be reserved for women and youths in the society for the simple reason that when women are more caring. once a woman is empowered then the home front is secured in terms of provisions  also the youths constitute about 45% of our society( Nigeria) therefore any policy geared towards creating employment and getting them engaged will help to reduce the negative vices in the soceity.

2. the private sector must be encouraged to create jobs to cater for a greater percentage of the youths and women, the must be encouraged through the followings. a. tax holidays for beginners. b. free business consultancy for beginners, c. Robust infrastructural development eg business incubation centres where the new entrants will be required to pay a minimal rent for office or factory accomodation. d. health care policies geared towards the private sectors.

3. A society is all encompassing therefore quality of job is linked to sustainable income.  For income to be sustainable it depends on how much is spent other amenities that make life worth living. No matter how much pay check you get it become meaningless if you have to spend same in providing your own electricity in form of generators, provide your own water inform of boreholes, provide your own security, own and maitained a car because of faulty public transportation system etc. after you subtract the above cost from your salary what we will be left to guarantee a decent life in terms of good feeding, qualitative health will be meager, so no matter how qualitative the job is, if basic infrastructures are not put in place then the salary is swallowed up no matter how fat the pay check.

i will like to propose that a policy is formulated that will allow workers share a certain percentage of the profit of the company. secondly there should be policy that will encourage partnerships. with such a policy i see stronger businesses emerging in the next 5-10 years especially in Africa.

4. there should be the entrenchment of social insurance for all categories of workers especially in the private sector, this insurance will guarantee the worker against sudden dismissal,resignation, hazards or death..

please note that businesses are created on a daily basis but for lack of adequate policies such businesses die even before they are consolidated.

Anonymous from
Tue, January 22, 2013 at 07.18 am

My opinion is that Persons with Disabilities are the most neglected in the job market. But the persons with disabilities have the right to do income generating activities for their survival like other people. Though the constitution of our Bangladesh respects the employment rights of Persons with Disabilities. In Article no-19 (1, 2), Article no-20 (1), Article no-15, and Article no- 29(1, 2) of Bangladesh constitution declare the work and employment rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Government also signed the UNCRPD and its optional protocol. But the worse thing is that the situations of Persons with Disabilities remain unchanged.


To ensure the rights of most disadvantage persons with disabilities we need to address the following main issues:


  • Create awareness among the employers regarding the employment capacity of persons with disabilities.

  • Proper implementation of disability related policy and law.

  • Make physically and technically accessible the educational and others institutions.

  • Create the existing training Centre accessible for the PWDs.
Anonymous from
Mon, January 21, 2013 at 08.17 pm

The topic of Employment and Livelihoods is a very important one to address. In my opinion, it is one of the main drivers for the development of countries and for sustainable poverty reduction and improvemen of living conditions!

Q.1. a) Concerning the youth, it needs much more investment into education especially also development of the curricula and promotion of vocational training in order to prepare the young people better for the job market and match demand and supply of labour. But an integrated approach is needed here as it starts already much earlier and is connected to so many other fields. For instance the girl child needs special attention among the youth as school drop outs are high in developing countries and there are many reasons that need to be addressed besides such as GBV, early marriage and pregnancy, health and nutrition issues etc.

Q.1. b) Also women need special attention. Women are generally involved a lot in unpaid care work and men count this as not working. It should not be that 50% of the population are left out in the employment world. This has implications which can and should be costed (the economic burden of a country due to that inequality should be shown to policy makers etc.). It is benefitting for the men and the whole country if women are equally included. Also here is a broader approach needed in order to abolish the limitations that women face and that hold them back from having equal employment opportunities. This would include for instance maternal health and family planning.

Q.2. The private sector must be promoted as it is the biggest employer and entrepreneurship must be enhanced. This needs different actions. One the one hand, barriers in the bureaucratic processes of opening/registering a firm etc. must be brought to a limit. The SECO, Agency of the Swiss Government, has supported a successful project in Egypt with creation of one-stop-centers for such processes. On the other hand, entrepreneurial skills should be trained more. Here in Uganda there is great work done by MEMPROW which trains and mentors mainly young women. There are nice success stories of young women starting their own small businesses and even expanding and having employees (e.g. laundry services with now 2 washing machines and some workers). A big challenge often is access to finance which needs to be addressed. Microfinance is one solution but should also be connected to capacity building on different business skills, e.g. developing a business plan, managing finances etc.

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 06.59 am

firstly i also would like to extent my apprecaition for bringing this rising issues of unemployment at the right time for discussion. which would help us to come on a common agreement with better solutions.


i too feel that setting Agenda is one best step to influence actions at national level. but we also should be mindful of the diverse nations and respective varying status in economic, social, and political arenas. so that the Agenda comes with greater promise to all the nations over the world regardless of their sattus in various field.

Anonymous from
Mon, January 21, 2013 at 04.41 pm

1. Los temas de conservación de áreas naturales, la agricultura y formación ciudadana son tres campos en los cuales las mujeres y los jóvenes juegan un papel estrategico, en virtud a que se busca el cambio o generación de valores, el compromiso más alla de lo económico con base en lo colectivo, las decisiones y acciones de largo plazo sostenibles. Entonces más que nuevas politicas se requiere la sinergia entre politicas de medio ambiente, agrarias y educativas , donde se destinen los recursos y se concilien metas desde una visión integral del territorio y los servicios ecosistemicos asociados.

2. Particularmente en los paises denominados del "tercer mundo" por algunos, muchos de ellos en conflicto armado o guerra declarada, considero debe existir sinergia entre las políticas e instituciones de los sectores de justicia  ligados a la proteccion de los derechos humanos, conservación ambiental especialmente áreas protegidas y grupos étnicos. Esto ligado al cumplimiento de los temas de responsabilidad social empresarial, buenas practicas e implementación de sistemas de gestion ambiental por parte de los sectores productivos, que podrian contribuir financieramente en el logro de las metas de mejoramiento de las condicionese de bienestar de la gente, la conservación de espacios naturales en territorios estrategicos. 

Pricilla Nakyazze from
Sun, January 20, 2013 at 07.26 am

There is so much talk of an education system that produces job creators and not seekers but we know that this should be for a profit . However many companies created fail to break even and close within 3 years because there not enough people to consume there services. Say for example women who make mats there is not a huge market and demand to live a comfortable life.

 

Agriculture is the most assured way to earn a living because demand is high for food but many educated youth in uganda shun it in favor of white collar jobs.

PricillaNakyazze

Priccytet@gmail.com

Uganda

Pricilla Nakyazze from
Sun, January 20, 2013 at 07.14 am

In uganda women have projects like basket and mat weaving, making necklaces among others but these generate just a little income that can barely cover all there needs. Several Women have formed groups famously know as circles where they collect money for projects so the government and other organisations should target such groups with a foundation for intervention.

 

The quality of jobs and salary scale depends on if the companies are making a profit or not. Many small scale companies even if profitable will not offer a minimum wage or health care benefits. So there is need to set a minimum wage and enforce health benefits for workers.

 

Social protection can help make an impact in the job sector but this should begin at the grass root level.

MEMOLI Herve Patrick from
Sat, January 19, 2013 at 07.30 pm

The government of Cameroon seems no longer concern about issue of unemployement even if  it has set up a project with Worldbank known as Strategic Document of reduction of pauvrety!

It compounds about many projects across all economics sectors even if it didn't mention how many jobs will be  displayed!

However, it seems that the private sector can boost the national economy through Financial services. The businness of money transfert is succeeding here. The whole sector of services seems to be the key for growth but legislation not yet affordable for  businness.

Also it's in partnership with foreign partner like EU or international organisation that many projects are implemented almost successfully: for instance there is a project for social protection that has been set up in partnership with EU which have face the challenge of human resources;then there are many schools that have been built!

You could find more informations about how Caameroon is dealing with unemployement on the paper (in french) below.

I hope i have provide you usefull informations, if not i'll try to do better next time! Happy new year to the whole team.



Anonymous from
Sat, January 19, 2013 at 02.12 pm

As already pointed out by the facilitator, I can see that a number of points have been raised on the first three questions, albeit not sufficient yet! As a result, I need only to drop few words on the fourth question, which is basically about how the basic social protection floor should be operationalized at country level, be it in a developed or in a developing one!

Undoubtedly, if the truth is to be told the question of social protection is PRACTICALLY a tough question, especially in countries where financial resources are much lacking and local institutional establishments and governance tools are too fragile to regulate the structure of the economy- which is the reality of the developing world where the whole economies are dominated by the informal sectors and immature institutions, (including financing system- with too narrow tax base and little buoyancy,  but more of aid dependent financing structure)!     

However, saying something on the issue is much better than nothing from the developing world side. Indeed, I know and I am well aware of the fact that much has been written and said outside of this on-line discussion about the different social security models in the developed world( eg. well conceived by Esping-Andersen, 1990)– and  now a days that mainly extend from the Danish Flexsecuirty and ‘Swedenisation’ of family policy to that of the Mediterranean social welfare system. Nevertheless, little is practically known about the basic social protection floor in the developing countries! For that reason I like to limit my comment mainly to the key prerequisite for social protection floor to be operational in the developing word. It also is for I am from the yet developing world-Africa (Ethiopia)!

In view of that, to implement basic social protection floor in the developing world, especially in Africa, there has to be first unreserved effort from the governments and their development partners,  be they oversee overall aid givers, NGOs and local leaders, towards improving the local institutional establishments of their economies. Without such kind of efforts, the existing institutional landscapes hardly allow for the realization of the basic social protection floor. In a nutshell, FAVOURABLE and ACCOUNTABLE LOCAL INSTITUTIONAL ESTABLISHMENTs matters and maters a lot for effective basic social protection floor operationalization in the developing world, and importantly in Africa!

 

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 03.03 pm

Thank you Araya for your comments on funding a social protection floor. I just wanted to call your attention to a new proposal by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and Human Rights and Extreme Poverty for a Global Fund for Social Protection (GFSP). You can access the document at http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Food/20121009_GFSP_en.pdf 

Rizwanul Islam from
Fri, January 18, 2013 at 08.01 pm

UNDP-ILO E-discussion on Jobs and Livelihoods

A summary of the major points emerging from the discussion of the first week

 

Let me first thank all of you who have contributed to the e-discussion on jobs and livelihoods in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. During the first one week of the discussion, a number of interesting and useful contributions and comments have been made; and I thought it would be a good idea to recount the major points that have emerged up to now (19 January 2013). While I am not trying to summarize the entire discussion, the major points that have been made up to now are presented below in a bullet point form under the four broad questions that we posed at the beginning of the discussion.

 

Not much has been said on the fourth question. May I encourage participants to make contributions on this issue.

 

Another point: Regarding youth employment, education and skill training have been pointed out (and rightly so) to be very important. Can this solve the problem if sufficient jobs are not created in an economy? This aspect of the problem does not seem to have received much attention.

As a preamble, several participants pointed out that economic growth by itself cannot be a goal of policy. The goal should be decent work (DW) and it should be mainstreamed into the process of policy making. This is because sustained reduction in poverty is possible only when growth is accompanied by decent work.

Strategies and policies needed to address group-specific challenges

  • The issue of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and gender should be addressed. The international community may provide guidelines on equal access and opportunity that can be applied in varied cultural contexts.
  • NGOs working on discrimination need to be supported.
  • An enabling environment needs to be created for women to participate in the formal sector. In order to achieve this goal, governments, development actors and private sector need to work together. Policies needed include: (i) investment in education and health, (ii) promotion of entrepreneurship, and (iii) improvement of reproductive health of women.
  • In order to promote youth employment, education and skill training is considered to be extremely important (“skills crisis needed to be solved in order to fix the jobs crisis”).
    • In order to give a second chance to the young dropouts , short practical courses may be useful.
    • For graduates, higher level training may be needed.
    • Students should be given better preparation for the world of work by linking schooling to work places.
    • Innovative approaches like free online education/training may be useful.
    • Curriculum needs to be changed in order to make them responsive to the needs of labour markets.
    • There is a need to change the attitude of young people towards white collar jobs vs other jobs. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be inculcated.
    • NGOs can play a valuable role in providing training in basic skills.
    • Innovative programmes like the Young Graduate Commercial Farmers Scheme in Nigeria are aimed at generating employment for the youth.

 

 

Policies needed to stimulate entrepreneurial dynamism and connect increased productivity to improved employment conditions in SMEs

  • A number of sectors can play a role in developing local economies and in creating jobs. They include low-cost garments, non-conventional energy, rural tourism, high value crops, rural radio stations, etc. Access to finance and other support services can play a valuable role in promoting such sectors. NGOs can play an effective role in this regard.
  • Another source of employment through SMEs is reviving traditional sectors/activities that are under threat.
  • There are three ways to support informal sector operators
    • Reduce the “negatives” in the institutional environment faced by them.
    • Increase demand for goods produced by them (e.g., through macroeconomic and procurement policies),
    • Provide necessary support services
    • In an effort to reduce DW deficit in the informal workers, a sector specific approach is needed. In some cases, the focus should be on regulatory framework and provision of space while in others, the focus should be on wages.
    • Associations of informal operators can play a useful role in promoting their conditions.

Policies and institutions needed upgrade the quality of jobs

  • It is important to focus on creation of new jobs as well as on improving the quality of existing jobs
  • Formal SMEs should be targeted first for improving conditions of work.
  • Quality of jobs in terms of income as well as “voice” of workers needs to be improved.
  • Policies for improving incomes have to be based on an understanding of the differences between men, women and youth in terms of their sources of livelihoods, their employment status, tasks they perform and their earnings.
  • Conditions of wage employment should be improved for both regular employees of formal enterprises and de facto employees of such firms (e.g., those working on a sub-contracting basis). However, for the majority of those in the informal sector, legislation to improve working conditions may not be very useful or relevant. Measures to improve their business would be important.

 

Operationalizing basic social protection floor at the country level

 

Anonymous from
Mon, January 21, 2013 at 06.23 am

Two contributions:


Under types of discrimination in jobs and access to livelihoods- add age as well as gender, race and ethnicity.  Of course there are many other types of discrimination, but population ageing is a growing phenomena.


In a recent UNFPA and HelpAge International report Ageing in the Twenty First Century: A celebration and a Challenge ( 2012), it is reported that globally, 47% of older men and 23.8% of older women are participating in the labour force ( page 7 executive summary). Our governments however continue to focus more on youth employment rather than the social protection floor, which has benefits for everyone. We still have an uphill struggle to convert words into action in relation to discussions on job creation whether it is decent work for older persons or supporting opportunities for self employment for the youth.

Martha Chen from
Thu, January 17, 2013 at 10.34 pm

COMMENTS ON FIRST THREE QUESTIONS FROM UNDP-ILO e-DISCUSSION ON JOBS & LIVELIHOODS
By Marty Chen
International Coordinator, WIEGO Network
Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

1.    While job creation is a priority, supporting and protecting existing livelihoods is another priority:  this is because a large and growing share of the workforce, especially in developing countries, is self-employed.  Most of the informal self-employed, especially in developing countries, are working poor person trying to earn an honest living: yet most regulations, laws, and policies are biased against them.

To support and protect existing livelihoods, it is important to consider different sources of livelihood and who works in them, by sex and age.  Women and youth often have much in common with men in the same livelihood.   So, in each context, it is important to first determine the key livelihoods in which the working poor are concentrated; then which livelihoods working poor men, women, and youth are concentrated in; and then differences between men, women, and youth – in terms of status of employment, tasks, and earnings - within the priority livelihoods.

2.    Small and micro-enterprises are key sources of employment generation.   But it is important to distinguish between generation of self-employment and generation of wage employment.  Informal employers represent a very small share of the informal self-employed.   When it comes to improving conditions of wage employment, the focus should be on formal enterprises, both public and private, both large and small; and on disguised wage employment for formal enterprises as a large share of so-called self-employed are dependent producers working under sub-contracts in the supply chains of large firms.

There are three ways to stimulate the entrepreneurial dynamism of informal operators.  The first, and most important, is to “reduce the negatives” in the institutional environment.   Informal operators operate in a biased and unpredictable policy environment with, often, no legal commercial or property rights.  They don’t know from one day to the next what they will be allowed to do, or where; they are not protected against bankruptcy or property loss.   The second is to increase the aggregate demand for their goods and services and improve their terms of trade: by stimulating aggregate demand through macro investment and procurement policies and by developing more favorable backward- and forward- linkages with large formal firms. Consider waste pickers:  they are not taken into account when cities design solid waste management systems or issue solid waste management contracts and they are often forced to sell waste at low prices to those further up the recycling chain.  The third is to provide support services such as basic infrastructure services (where they work which, especially for women, is often from their own homes); financial and business development services: sector-specific promotional measures; social services and social protection.  

Many informal self-employed operate outside the law for no fault of their own: for some, there are simply no relevant regulations, policies, or laws; for others, existing regulations, policies, or laws are biased towards larger, more formal enterprises. Even when there is no relevant regulation, policy, or law, few informal operators are outside the reach of the law-makers.  Consider street vendors: they are subject to harassment, bribes, confiscation of goods, and evictions by local authorities on a daily basis.  

Most of the informal self-employed are own account operators, who do not hire others. Labour law and regulations are of limited relevance to them.  The regulations, policies, or laws that impinge on their activities are often sector-specific such as urban regulations, policies, or laws that govern urban land allocation and who can do what and where in cities. Again, consider the street vendors.  

3.    It is the quality of employment, not the number of jobs, that makes the most difference for development and poverty reduction.  In terms of income poverty, there is a hierarchy of average earnings: with formal employers at the top followed by formal wage workers followed by, within the informal workforce,  informal employers, informal wage workers, own account operators, casual day labourers, industrial outworkers, and unpaid contributing family workers.   In terms of the non-material aspects of employment, formal workers are more likely than informal workers to exercise “voice”.  

As per the 2002 ILO Report and General Discussion on Decent Work and the Informal Economy, those who work informally face greater decent work deficits, than those who work formally, in regard to opportunities, rights, protection, and social dialogue.   Reducing decent work deficits of informal workers in each of these domains is necessary in order to reduce poverty and increase growth.  But the process is likely to be gradual and incremental. Thus, the working poor in the informal economy should be asked which of the deficits they would like to see addressed first.  Different groups of informal workers will have different priorities.  The priority for industrial outworkers is likely to be higher, and more secure, wages while the priority for street vendors is likely to be a secure place to vend in a good location.   In sum, what is needed is a consultative sector-specific approach to reducing the decent work deficits of informal workers.

See: http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/publications/files/Chen_WIEGO_WP1...
 

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