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UN and ILO: Future of work and the challenges for the cooperation agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean

Lima – Representatives of the UN Office for Development Coordination (UNDCO) and the ILO agreed today in the Peruvian capital on the need to prioritize the promotion of decent work in the cooperative agenda for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, in a moment of slow economic growth that could generate greater unemployment and informality. This first official meeting between UN Resident Coordinators and the Directors of ILO Offices throughout the region seeks to strengthen interagency collaboration to better respond to the needs of countries. The event is also attended by technical specialists and representatives of other UN organizations. The dialogue on “Decent work and economic growth in the context of the future of work” began today with a series of interventions that highlighted the need to take measures that help countries to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “Decent Work is much more than a job. It is key to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda; to achieve a “sustainable development that puts an end to poverty and leaves no one behind,” said the ILO’s Deputy Director General of Foreign Programs and Alliances, Mr Moussa Oumarou, who made a visit to Lima to inaugurate this meeting. Mr Oumarou stressed the importance of addressing a future of work represented by the impact of technologies, climate change or demographic evolution, as well as the challenges of a reality characterized by high unemployment, informality, inequalities, persistent child labour and forced labour, among others. According to ILO data released at the meeting, the 8.0 per cent unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is the highest in a decade, and could rise even more, considering that according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) the region will have a slow growth of 0.5 per cent in 2019, below the 0.9 per cent recorded last year when it was already considered moderate and with little impact on labour markets. It will also be difficult to reduce informal labour, which affects 50 per cent of those employed in the region. "We are living a moment of high complexity in Latin America and the Caribbean," said the UNDCO Regional Director, Christian Salazar, who spoke at the inauguration on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinators. He stressed the importance of revitalizing cooperation at a time when it is not only needed to advance in sustainable development, but also to "avoid setbacks". “We need to work together, we need to align ourselves better to deal with labour and economy issues,” said Salazar, who added that this synergy could be obtained through “a collective knowledge that we can contribute to support countries in collective processes that promote decent work and inclusive growth.” He added that it is essential to deal with the world of work issues, which should not be left out of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Salazar gave the example of youth unemployment, as young people face unemployment three times greater than adults. Youth in the region also experience a level of labour informality at a rate of 60 per cent, and 20 per cent of young people who are neither employed or in school have difficulty entering the labour market. During the meeting, participants also raised the importance of considering the unique structure of the ILO in interagency collaboration efforts. The ILO is the UN’s only tripartite institution where 187 member States are represented by governments and employers 'and workers' organizations. The meeting also recognized the new UN Resolution on the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work. The Resolution called all agencies, funds and programmes to mainstream decent work in their programmatic activities and for consider including some of its components in the UN sustainable development cooperation frameworks according to national realities The agenda of the two-day meeting between the UN Resident Coordinators and ILO Directors also includes the analysis of issues such as the impact of ILO International Labour Standards, tripartism, the objectives of employment promotion, social protection and vocational training, as well as the priorities that serve as a guide for interagency collaboration in the UN System. High-level delegates who attended the opening of the meeting included Mr. Javier Palacios, Deputy Minister of Labour and Employment Promotion of Peru, Mr. Cicero Pereira da Silva, Representative of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), and Mr Alberto Echavarría, the Employers' Representative of the ILO Governing Body. Mr Mario Cimoli, ECLAC Deputy Executive Secretary, and Mr Luis Felipe López-Calva, UNDP Regional Director also joined the meeting by videoconference.

SILOFIGHTERS: THE UNSDG BLOG

Beyond hard data, your opinion matters

BY Mirko Ebelshäuser, Asel Abdurahmanova | 17 July 2019

Lesotho taps into collective intelligence for people’s perceptions of the 2030 Agenda. Reality is relative. After all, we all perceive the world through our own eyes and unique experiences, which taps into our background and understanding of our surroundings.  With this in mind, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA Lesotho rolled out two initiatives to better understand people’s perceptions of social, economic and environmental gains through the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initiative, led the Government of Lesotho, with support of the UN team centered around using collective intelligence to model new forms of data collection, through perception surveys and a social media analysis, to build feedback mechanisms that could improve decision-making and citizen reporting in Lesotho.  The Government of Lesotho used perception analysis to complement its Voluntary National Review, an assessment of how countries are progressing towards the SDGs. Lesotho is presenting its review during the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at UN headquarters 9-18 July. Leveraging technology to Leave No One Behind  With support from the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) through the Delivering Together Facility, we used a real-time monitoring module powered by UNICEF’s RapidPro technology that allowed us to engage with citizens in our efforts to understand their sentiments and perceptions of the 2030 Agenda through Twitter, Facebook and  SMS. We used nationally agreed SDG indicators and the MY World Scientific Question Library, developed by SDG Action Campaign, to build the survey which, in turn, helped us to learn more about people’s experiences in various areas of their lives. You can check out some of the questions that we asked via Facebook: We also used SMS because we knew that we could reach more people, including those who don’t have access to smartphones or internet connectivity. The best thing of all is that anyone that received the survey could participate for free!   Within a week, we reached a total of 649 citizens triggering 11,560 responses.  Here is who we surveyed and what we found out:  73 percent of the respondents were aged 21-40. 59 percent of the respondents completed their secondary education.  More women (54 percent) responded to the survey in comparison to men (43 percent).  46 percent of the participants come from an urban background. 47 percent of the respondents are currently unemployed. Most respondents feel that they live in an unfair society (56 percent). 63 percent stated that the pay between men and women is equal.  Even though people are not expected to make payments under the hood to benefit from public or government services, the ones that did pay public employees, received better and quicker services 48 percent.  To complement the perception surveys, we also conducted a social media network analysis with Pulse Lab Kampala to understand how the SDGs are perceived and reflected across social media users in Lesotho. We used predefined keywords and selected a total of 45,262 social media posts from the last 12 months. The insights, sentiments and trending topics from this mining exercise helped us to inform the analysis of the voluntary national review by referencing the status-quo of the public discourse on SDGs.  Lesotho is one of the 47 countries to conduct a voluntary national review at the High-level Political Forum this year. In a nutshell, Lesotho has the opportunity to share its experience, including successes, challenges and lessons learned as they make the 2030 Agenda operational. From this analysis, we identified a generally positive discourse for SDG 4 (Quality Education), but negative ones for SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), as a possible reflection of the situation in Lesotho. Graph 1: SDG media network analysis: total share of each related SDG keyword of the total relevant conversations by day  Filling in the data gaps with citizen-generated data For us, using new forms of data collection, be it citizen-generated data, perception data or new types of (big) data mined through social media, gives us the opportunity to fill in existing data gaps. It also allows us to engage citizens through tech and include them in our decision-making processes to understand the ‘situation on the ground’.  We are aware that citizen-generated data is seen as proxy data and will not replace official monitoring and evaluation but we think it’s important to make use of our tools at hand to successfully implement the SDGs. Engaging citizens on their perceptions goes beyond understanding their opinions, it’s also about challenging our own ideas of reality in the context where we operate.  We think that perception surveys could be a game-changer and would significantly bring us closer to citizens. Would you like to learn more about perception data surveys? Leave us a comment below or email our colleagues at dcocommunications@un.org 

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