Recent decades have demonstrated the power of South-South cooperation to advance sustainable development and decent work. Driven by a spirit of solidarity, respect for national sovereignty and equal partnership, South-South cooperation offers a promise pathway to accelerate progress that leaves no one behind and now more than ever such pathway is needed. The pandemic has devastated the world of work, causing massive human suffering and laying bare the extreme vulnerability of many millions of workers and enterprises. In medical terms, the virus does not discriminate. But in the world of work it has impacted more the disadvantaged and vulnerable, exposing the devastating consequences of inequalities. South-South co-operation can be an effective instrument for tackling structural and intersectional inequalities that contribute to excluding people. However, to leverage that potential, it is necessary to share knowledge and coordinate efforts for scaling up impact. The Global South-South Cooperation Forum is organised in collaboration with Development Investment (DEVINVEST) and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (PARDEV) aiming to foster the exchange of good practices, knowledge, experiences, and methodologies applied in the Global South to improve the livelihoods and create employment opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized populations, with a special focus on innovative and digital solutions.
This Forum is addressed to all of those supporting or interested in supporting South- South cooperation initiatives, including ILO constituents, representatives of UN and not-for-profit organizations, development practitioners, national and local governments' officials and consultants, staff of training institutions and TVETs.
During the Forum, following the strategy of South-South collaboration and cooperation, participants will be able to share, get inspired and learn more about concrete experiences for the promotion of decent employment for vulnerable groups.
The Forum will include three different ‘tracks’, running in parallel, on the following topics:
Track 1: Promoting employment and inclusion of vulnerable groups through sustainable infrastructure investments
Public infrastructure investments, when carefully designed and implemented, can be an effective policy tool to address key employment challenges, especially in conflict, disaster and emergency situations. More specifically, this track will focus on:
a. Resilient and climate proofing infrastructure: through peer learning, participants will learn more on how to develop infrastructures that are more capable of withstanding natural disasters and, at the same time, improve livelihood and income security for the most vulnerable
b. Infrastructure developed through a local resource-based approach: through peer learning, participants will learn more on how to develop infrastructures that optimize the use of local resources, including local labour, as well as locally available materials and suppliers.
Track 2: Promoting employment and inclusion of vulnerable groups through formalization
It is estimated that the informal sector in a typical developing country produces approximately 35 per cent of GDP and employs 75 per cent of the workforce. The situation is aggravated in fragile situations where there is often no other alternative to working in the informal economy to secure livelihoods. More specifically, this track will focus on the following topics:
a. Boosting E-formalization: participants will explore the barriers for E-formalizations and exchange on what public policies can support E-formalization.
b. Formalization through Public procurement: participants will explore how in public employment and employment intensive investment programmes public procurement can be used as a tool for transition to formality.
Track 3: Fragile to fragile cooperation
By 2030, up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor will live in countries characterized by fragility, conflict and natural disasters. The devastating impact of these extreme events on lives and livelihoods, economic assets and infrastructure highlights the importance of strengthening resilience of vulnerable populations, including migrants and refugees. This track will include the following topics:
a. Fostering labour market integration and inclusion of migrants and refugees: through collaboration between peers, participants will learn good practices of economic integration of refugees and migrants.
b. Sustainable response to natural disasters and South-South Cooperation: participants will learn from experiences of countries prone to frequent natural disasters on how to prepare and recover from natural hazards.
The Forum will also include a day on disruptive technologies that could provide solutions to digital inclusion issues. Participants will be able to interact with different service providers to explore tools and technologies that could solve the identified challenges.
At the end of the Forum, participants will be able to:
The Forum will be held online from 11 to 15 October. Each day participants will have access to two live online sessions of 90 minutes each.
The Forum will include plenary sessions as well as elective courses that participants will be able to select based on their specific interests.
The Forum will be conducted using a highly participative methodology, through a combination of pre-identified SSTC good practices followed by group discussions where participants will be asked to share solutions and experiences that are already in place.
Participants will have access to the ITCILO eCampus where they will be able interact with other participants, access the recordings of the Forum and access an online library with several background documents and reference materials.