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Talking Points on Enhancing Trade Union Participation in PRSPs in East Africa Lawrence Egulu TMLC, Kisumu, December 9, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Talking Points on Enhancing Trade Union Participation in PRSPs in East Africa Lawrence Egulu TMLC, Kisumu, December 9, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Talking Points on Enhancing Trade Union Participation in PRSPs in East Africa Lawrence Egulu TMLC, Kisumu, December 9, 2005

2 Background to PRSPs (1) Many developing and transition countries sought external financial assistance from the IMF and the World Bank to pursue stabilization and structural adjustment programs. These programs involved limiting the growth of government budget deficit to levels that could be sustained by foreign and non- inflationary domestic financing, budget rationalization through containing public sector employment, liberalization of labour, money and capital markets, and maintenance of an appropriate exchange rate policy. These objectives normally entailed price reforms, removal of subsidies, foreign exchange and internal and external trade liberalization, introduction of "cost sharing" for government-supplied services, privatization, restructuring of government institutions, and legal reforms aimed at providing an "enabling environment".

3 Background to PRSPs (2) By the 1990s it was clear that the SAPs had failed to address fundamental structural problems and there were difficulties in demonstrating an automatic relationship between neo-liberal policies and increased well-being for the people. With increasing loss of credibility in their policies, the World Bank and the IMF thought out how to remodel their SAPs.

4 Policy Shift by the BWIs? After more than two decades of supporting SAPs, in major policy shift on September 9, 1999, the Bretton-Woods Institutions recognized the increasing evidence that entrenched poverty and lack of economic opportunities and asset endowments can themselves be impediments to growth". They announced a new framework to govern their lending and debt relief activities that would put poverty at the centre of their relations with low and middle-income countries.

5 …hence birth of PRSPs With poverty as the central target, recipient countries would be expected to formulate Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). PRSPs would therefore measure poverty in the country, identify goals for reducing poverty, and create a spending and policy program for reaching those goals. Country-owned poverty reduction strategies would provide the basis of all World Bank and IMF concessional lending and should guide the use of resources freed by debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative to the approximately 81 International Development Association (IDA) borrowing countries.

6 Governments in Charge? A significant dimension would be that the governments would be in the drivers seat Governments (in consultative processes that transcend the realms of government agencies and line ministries) would be responsible for the production of the PRS, in close association with the external development partners, civil society and the private sector, in line with the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF).

7 PRSPs would be holistic The PRSP would ensure that a countrys macroeconomic, structural and social policies are consistent with the goals of poverty reduction and social development. PRSPs would be updated every three years with annual progress reports.

8 Just change in names? The PRSP replaced the World Banks SAP- era Policy Framework Paper (PFP) as an overarching document that outlines policy directions and resource allocation frameworks. The IMFs lending facility for poor countries, the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF), was subsequently renamed the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).

9 Or the death of the Washington Consensus? First coined by J. Williamson, the ten elements of the Washington Consensus are: fiscal discipline; redirection of public expenditures; tax reform; liberalization of interest rates; trade liberalization; a competitive exchange rate; liberalization of capital flows; privatization; deregulation; and secure property rights. Would the PRSP process lead to abandonment of these principles?

10 ICFTU Response to the PRSP approach The ICFTUs agenda for participation is premised on the following aspirations: the PRSP process provides a forum where workers as citizens have the right to be part of economic decision-making in their countries; workers interests can best be articulated by unions themselves; they can ensure that the respect for fundamental labor rights, decent work, and environmental standards must be key elements are incorporated in the national poverty reduction strategy; since their actions – higher wages, better working conditions, and more secure jobs – help lift low-wage workers out of poverty, these should become part of any poverty reductions plan; unions help reduce poverty and inequality; many IMF and World Bank-supported policies such as privatization schemes and pension reforms, directly affect union members and workers in general

11 WCL and GUFs Response The World Confederation of Labour (WCL) welcomed the intention of the IMF and the World Bank to focus on poverty reduction and participation. UNI, the main confederation of service workers, said PRSP framework offers a unique opportunity for trade unions in developing countries to influence the path of development that their country pursues.

12 However Concerns with PRSPs set in Lack of freedom of association It remains at the discretion of government to invite CSOs that they can do business with Governments are self-censoring based on their perception of what the IFIs would find acceptable The PRS pay inadequate attention to labor market and trade union concerns in general

13 PRSPs to date

14 Resilient I will continue carrying firewood until blood comes out of my head. Without pride Some of us (youth) give sexual favors to older women in return for money Self-pity Pitying oneself and not doing anything about ones situation Dependency If nobody gives anything, I just sleep without food Unhappiness We are not happy if we are not staying with our mothers Helpless If I fall sick, I just stay like that, like a dog Unsupported Having no relatives is a hopeless state of life. Despised by others A poor person is like being a mutwa Powerles sness There is a feeling of powerlessness to influence things around you – What can I do - a poor man does nothing Lonely My most pressing need is loneliness. I have no husband, no child, no love. Frustrati on Because we do not know where the market is ….who readily accept because of ignorance … and lack of alternatives Voiceless A poor person does not have a voice in the community. …No one will listen to them. Ashamed I do not go to church because I do not have a dress to put on Resignation to their situation Factors beyond our control Determination As long as one is healthy, thinks properly for the family, is able to travel to do business, can cultivate land, construct a shelter and work harder.. Childs drawing, Kampala What does a poor person feel? (Adapted from Republic of Uganda. (2000): Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Report Learning from the Poor, Kampala)

15 Any major policy changes by PRSPs? The PRSP process has no doubt enhanced the role of various actors in economic decision-making in a number of countries. However, true ownership of the policy documents is doubtful as the Washington-based international financing institutions (IFIs) still have a dominant role in the process. Debates on the macroeconomic frameworks, particularly alternative growth scenarios, are not opened up. The PRSP deliberations are frequently rushed for the sake of enabling a country to qualify for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative. In terms of content, much emphasis is still placed on the same SAP- like conditionalities, with employment policies, for instance, not being prominent in a number of PRSPs.

16 PRS Evaluation (1) In July 2004, World Banks Operations Evaluation Department (OED) and the IMFs Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) separately evaluated the PRS Initiative. The World Bank report notes that, The perception of ownership varies among stakeholders …Countries have focused more on completing documents, which give them access to resources, than on improving domestic processes.

17 PRS Evaluation (2) The IMFs Report on the Evaluation of PRSPs and the PRGF, July 2004 recognizes that participation in the formulation of PRSPs was generally more broadly based than in previous approaches, and most stakeholders involved in the process viewed this as a significant improvement. It is also concerned that the PRS process has had limited impact in generating meaningful discussions, outside the narrow official circle, of alternative policy options with respect to the macroeconomic framework and macro-relevant structural reforms.

18 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (1) Pre-participation stage At the onset the union should determine its goal in the PRSP process – i.e. what does the union hope to achieve from participating in the PRSP process Is it for publicitys sake? To be heard and be treated as an important player in national development/politics? To ensure that participation/social dialogue is institutionalized? To fight privatization? Determine how much of a priority participation in the PRSP process is! Are you doing it simply because others are doing so? Is it because it is the fashion of the day?

19 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (2) At what stage is the country in the PRSP process? Download any documents for public consumption on the web or ask for them from the government, BWIs. Have you read the PRSP Source Book at htm ? htm There are 4 major stakeholder groups of which unions are a sub-set of CSOs! Preparing a checklist of union demands Determine how much you are ready to concede – what will determine the level of success or failure?

20 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (3) Should you be limited to only labor related issues? Wages Employment Labor standards Corporate social responsibility Occupational health and safety HIV/AIDS at the workplace Pensions/social security reforms Labor law changes Informal sector policies Public works schemes

21 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (4) OR do you go Beyond Labor? Macroeconomic issues Poverty diagnostics Capital markets Agriculture Trade Micro finance Human resource development Education and training Social Protection Health Energy Transport Water ICT Mining Cross cutting issues: Gender, environment, participation, governance

22 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (5) Determine the use of resources to follow up the PRSP discussions Time Personnel/knowledge/skills o Do you have alternative researched proposals well written down to support your arguments? Money matters Getting on board What other organizations/agencies are on board already? Have you been invited? If not, have you notified the government, WB, IMF, ILO, ICFTU? Any follow up turned down? Publicity and awareness raising!

23 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (6) Once on board, how do you ensure effective participation? Have you widely circulated your position papers? Do you want to be treated exclusively or together with other CSOs? Reaching out to other CSOs? Ensure that other CSOs also articulate your views Participation in what thematic groups? Mechanisms for follow up on discussion, proposals, meetings?

24 What Unions have to do to ensure Effective Participation (7) If your views dont get through 100% Its a bargaining issue! Do a self evaluation and assess what you did and what you didnt do. If the omissions were really deliberate, let the IMF, WB, ICFTU, ILO know your objections Write a thorough critique – with alternative proposals! Beyond the PRSP Document What areas in the PRSP can you implement, monitor and evaluate? You have to be specific and clear on what you wish to contribute

25 WB Study on TU Participation in the PRS This is a summary of a 10-month World Bank study (January to October 2003) - highlighting the synergies and gaps with regard to the union participation in the PRSP process in 23 countries The study is titled Trade Union Participation in the PRSP Process, Social Protection Discussion Paper Series No. 0417 A summary is online at in English, French and Spanish

26 23 Countries studied Benin, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia Cambodia, Indonesia and Mongolia Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Georgia Bolivia, Honduras, Guyana and Nicaragua Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

27 Main findings

28 Different levels and stages of union participation in the PRSP process Some have participated from the inception stages; while others were invited when the process was underway There are cases where unions were totally left out (Uganda, DRC, Tanzania) No union incorporated in the PRSP drafting None in program implementation, M&E In Uganda and Tanzania, unions have been involved in the second generation PRSPs

29 Shallow and ill-prepared consultation deter effective union engagement Delayed delivery of documents, language constraints, and late notice for meetings o CSA ( Benin) invited to only 2 meetings/sessions o Sri Lankas NWC invited to two seminars and some consultation meetings o In Bangladesh, unions were invited to the two-hour kick- off informational meeting when the PRSP process was entering it's drafting stage o The reason the CNTS (Senegal) did not make a written submission was because the information time frames were rather short

30 In countries where more than one national trade union federation exists, some unions did not participate In cases of union pluralism, participation was often limited to the most representative (or the official unions) o In Indonesia the workers place is occupied by the KSPSI o In Sri Lanka some 72 trade unions joined the Alliance for the Protection of National Resources and Human Rights (ANRHR), a network of CSOs, in rejecting the PRSP o In Albania, the KSSH and not the BSPSh was invited o In Malawi, the MCTU and not the COMATU participated

31 Unions remain skeptical of Bank and Fund programs Dominance of macroeconomic issues and other SAP- like conditionalities The PRGF is itself a new name for an old program… – Ghana TUC It was the desire to access funds rather than the interests of the people of Honduras that led to the formulation of the PRSP - CGT –Honduras Debates on macroeconomic issues have never been opened to other stakeholders o The UNSAS of Senegal boycotted the PRSP because the draft paper was lacking a social dimension and was only dealing with macroeconomics

32 Lack of capacity within unions remains a major deficiency Unions lack technical personnel due to the costs of hiring and maintaining such high caliber staff Most do not have the financial resources to do research and elaborate alternative development scenarios

33 With adequate capacity within unions and/or involvement of the ILO, there is stronger coverage of labor market issues in the PRSPs In general labor market interventions exist but are not central The ILO (2003) shares similar views and attribute the meager coverage of decent work issues to the general absence of labor ministries and other social partners Some papers do highlight labor market interventions

34 Unions are not solely preoccupied with bread and butter issues In Sri Lanka the NWC submitted text detailed views on public health, education, nutrition, water supply, sanitation and social protection In BiH, the unions called on the authorities to expedite the privatization of banks In Ghana, the macroeconomic framework, equity, taxation, agriculture and investments were all included in the TUC document

35 Trade unions in many developing countries lack firm ties with CSOs and do not often identify with them Trade union/CSO relations evolving …few trade unions and employers organizations identify themselves with this relatively new all- embracing term. Furthermore other CSOs sometimes do not think of unions and employers organizations as part of their movement – ILO (2003) Trade unionists see themselves as belonging to representative, democratic and accountable organizations – virtues they dont always attribute to other CSOs In some countries union/CSO collaboration is more advanced

36 Implications for TUs Prioritizing participation in the PRSP process Strengthening union capacity building programs Resources for organizing meetings, sensitizing their members, carrying out research, disseminate their views/findings, and preparing detailed policy alternatives to submit during the PRSP formulation process Taking on other developmental roles Demonstrate the developmental and poverty-reducing role of employment and international labor standards Working with other likeminded CSOs

37 Implications for Governments Poverty reducing employment policies - reach out to the unions and the ILO (more structured participatory approach) Opening up the debate on macroeconomic issues Adequate notice and timely delivery of documents Consultations to take place at I-PRSP level Inclusion of unions in PRSP implementation, monitoring and evaluation

38 Implications for the World Bank and the IMF Maintain on-going IFI/TU dialogue As a policy consult with unions at national level on major programs More in-house training for Bank staff on working with unions More analytical work on the positive contribution of unions and core labor standards Expand capacity building programs for TUs

39 Potential World Bank Resources to TUs (1) Poverty Reduction Strategies Trust Fund (PRSTF) Multi-donor trust fund was set up to support capacity building in low income countries that are undertaking poverty reduction strategies set up in 2001 Managed in-country by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the contributing donors All stakeholders involved in the poverty reduction strategy process are entitled to apply to the trust fund Activities that could be supported include capacity building to: Set up or institutionalize the participatory process; Improve poverty diagnostics; Improve public expenditure management systems; Improve the prioritization of public actions; Cost policies and programs; Undertake Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA); Analyze sources of growth; Establish monitoring and evaluation systems for the PRSP; Translate and disseminate PRSP documents. Link:

40 Potential World Bank Resources to TUs (2) The Small Grants Program Provides grants to CSOs through participating World Bank Country Offices The Program focuses on civic engagement for the empowerment of marginalized and vulnerable groups The purpose of the Small Grants program is to support the empowerment of citizens to have greater ownership of development processes, thereby making these processes more inclusive and equitable Crucial ingredients for empowerment of vulnerable groups include: access to information access to organizational links outside the local domain capacity to influence the public arena and to negotiate with local and national authorities the existence of trustful national and local institutions, and the presence of enabling policy and legal frameworks for civic engagement. Link:

41 Potential World Bank Resources to TUs (3) Development Marketplace (DM) A program that promotes innovative development ideas through early stage seed funding It links social entrepreneurs with poverty fighting ideas to partners with resources to help implement their vision Since 1998, the Development Marketplace has awarded more than $14 million to over 200 groundbreaking projects through Global Competitions and Country Innovation Days. Link: UNITIES/GRANTS/DEVMARKETPLACE/0,,menuPK:180 652~pagePK:180657~piPK:180651~theSitePK:205098,0 0.html UNITIES/GRANTS/DEVMARKETPLACE/0,,menuPK:180 652~pagePK:180657~piPK:180651~theSitePK:205098,0 0.html

42 Contact Information (Kenya) World Bank The World Bank P.O. Box 30577 Nairobi, Kenya Hill Park Building Upper Hill Road Nairobi, Kenya TEL:(254-2) 260-300, 260-400 FAX:(254-2) 260-380/381 IMF Mr. Jürgen Reitmaier Senior Resident Representative in Kenya Kenya RE Towers Upper Hill- off Ragati Road Nairobi E-Mail:

43 Contact Information (Uganda) The World Bank P.O. Box 4463 Kampala, Uganda TEL:(256-41) 230-094, 232-533 FAX:(256-41) 230-092 IMF Mr. Peter Allum Senior Resident Representative Tel: 256 (0)41 250-410 E-mail:

44 Contact Information (Tanzania) The World Bank P.O. Box 2054 Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania Samora Avenue Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania TEL:(255-51) 36410, 38355 FAX:(255-51) 113039 IMF E-mail:

45 The WB President Mr. Paul Wolfowitz President, The World Bank Group 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA tel: (202) 473-1000 fax: (202) 477-6391 E-mail:

46 Contacting the IMF Managing Director Mr. Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo Managing Director International Monetary Fund 700 19th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20431 Tel: (202) 623-7000 Fax: (202) 623-4661 General inquiries: Tel: (202) 623-7300 Fax: (202) 623-6278 email:

47 Contact Information (Others) Mr. Peter Bakvis Global Unions - Washington Office 1925 K Street NW, suite 425 Washington, DC 20006 Phone: 202-463-8572 Fax: 202-463-8564 E-mail:

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