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GLaSAI applied the labor sector framework to primary research conducted in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Georgia, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ukraine. A cross-country analysis of the country labor assessments surfaced practical findings that inform the funding and program decision-making process for policy makers, country team leaders, technical officers, implementing partners and identifies areas for further research into innovative approaches to labor sector interventions. Clear and accessible findings are presented in brief paper “Why Labor Matters: Practical Findings of the Global Labor Sector Analytic Initiative."

Key findings should persuade policy makers that labor matters to development success. The world of work is at the core of livelihoods, poverty reduction, and inclusive, sustainable development. Development’s goal is not just about raising GNP, but about generating broad-based economic growth that generates jobs with fair wages, respects workers' rights, builds skills, and facilitates labor mobility. GLaSAI findings suggest the need for policymakers to design coordinated, whole-of-government approaches to labor sector issues. Interventions in disparate areas such as trade policy, livelihoods, economic growth, gender, and vocational education and training lend themselves to such collaboration. USG leaders should explore how funding streams can be utilized within and across government agencies, or with other donors, to provide country teams with the resources needed to address these destabilizing gaps in a country’s labor sector.

Another key finding that should inform country team leaders such as Mission Directors or Program Officers during country strategy planning is that tripartite collaboration between government, industry, and civil society is essential to making policies that reduce the risk of conflict and help governments use limited resources more effectively. Ideally country team leaders will prepare for country strategy planning by conducting a Country Labor Sector Assessment (CoLSA) or a Labor Sector Strategic Outline (LASSO) to surface power imbalances in the labor sector. At a minimum, country team leaders should expect USAID Democracy and Governance (DG) and Economic Growth and Trade (EGAT) offices to undertake a joint strategic planning process that utilizes the labor sector conceptual framework. Proposed DG and EGAT programming can be reviewed against the illustrative results frameworks.

GLaSAI cross-country findings can inform technical officers in USAID, State/DRL, and DOL/ILAB as they develop Scopes of Work for more integrated labor sector programs that seek to leverage results across development objectives. The paper contains a matrix that can be used to access further information about innovations that inform labor sector programming themes in the context of common development challenges.

GLaSAI findings indicate the need for implementing partners to both reach across sector and donor divides to form partnerships around improving labor rights in tandem with economic growth and to envision a broader role for labor unions as catalysts for economic growth and social services that extend far beyond the collective bargaining agreement.

USG’s implementing partners in labor organizations, think tanks, research and consulting firms, and academia are invited to collaborate in program implementation.


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