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Localizing the decent work agenda through South-South and City to City cooperation

Department of Partnerships and Field Support
International Labour Office
ISBN : 978-92-2-130321-3 (print)
ISBN : 978-92-2-130322-0 (web pdf)
ISBN : 978-92-2-030356-6 (CD-ROM)

15 mai 2019

Cities, local and regional governments today are at the forefront of development efforts. They provide fertile ground for the promotion of local economic development (LED) and drive change. With indepth understanding and awareness of the challenges, concerns and opportunities facing their communities, local authorities play a central role in constructing inclusive and participative decision-making processes that ensure the well-being of their citizens.
The ILO builds on the vision that local actors are important contributors to employment creation, social protection and the protection of fundamental principles and rights at work. In this view and in order to localize the Decent Work Agenda (DWA), the ILO signed a cooperation agreement with the World Organisation of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in 2012. Working together, the two organisations improve local actors’ capacities through South-South and City-to-City Cooperation and projects focusing on employment creation, local economic development and formalization of the informal sector. Peer-to-peer exchange activities help build the capacity of local authorities for effective policy making, development planning and strategy implementation.
City-to-City Cooperation (C2C), within the framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), provides an innovative means for cities to develop local solutions to often global issues, with local authorities acting as change-makers in their communities. Local authorities also play a hands-on role in the international development agenda as they carry out international advocacy strategies to influence policy and are key actors in implementing decisions that are made internationally – and which impact their communities directly. The current juncture – including the implementation of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the preparatory process towards the Habitat III Summit in October 2016 provides unique opportunities for local authority engagement. Not only will they be vital stakeholders in efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals and sustained progress on the ground, they are also essential actors in helping to mainstream the Decent Work Agenda at the local level. Much of the ILO’s work with local authorities on technical cooperation projects seeks to boost local economic development and promote decent work objectives, including fundamental principles and rights at work, employment creation, social protection, and social dialogue. The ILO and UCLG have undertaken a number of joint activities that seek to improve local actors’ capacities through South-South and City-to-City Cooperation. These include peerlearning activities that bring together counterparts from different cities who bring a range of perspectives and experiences that enrich one another and which can promote partnerships for current and future common challenges.
Localizing the Decent Work Agenda calls for the involvement of many actors, including international city networks, workers’ and employers’ associations, international organisations, academic institutions, local social actors, and development partners. Further action is needed to foster decent work objectives at the local level. City-to-City Cooperation, within a South-South and Triangular Cooperation framework, provides a productive platform for the identification of common challenges and practical policy transfer, and contributes to building the capacity of municipalities to reach these objectives and to enhance local economic development.
In order to seize the historic opportunities at hand, including the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, local governments must be enabled to play their essential role in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We therefore hope that this publication will help raise the profile of cities, local and regional governments as drivers of change, and encourage effective collaboration amongst cities to share and promote the diversity of effective, inclusive and sustainable solutions and strategies that cities can provide.

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