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Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work (MAP)


Overall objective: the realisation of decent work as a contribution to social justice and reducing poverty and income inequality in developing and transition countries.

Specific objective: the development in support of the global decent work policy agenda of a global methodology to strengthen the capacity of developing and transition countries to self-monitor and self-assess progress towards decent work.

Key partners

  • Government agencies (including Ministries of Labour)
  • National Statistical Offices
  • Workers and Employers Organizations
  • Research institutions concerned with data collection and analysis on decent work


4 years (2009-2013)


The European Union

Geographic coverage

National, regional and global levels

Project background

Since 1999 the promotion of decent work, defined as productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity, has become the main objective of the ILO. The 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice and a Fair Globalization reaffirmed the commitment of Member States to promote decent work based on the four equally important strategic objectives, namely promoting employment, developing and enhancing measures of social protection (social security and labour protection), promoting social dialogue and tripartism, and respecting, promoting and realizing the fundamental principles and rights at work. In recent years, the objective of decent work has been consistently highlighted in European Commission (EC) and European Union (EU) policy statements.

Monitoring and assessing progress towards decent work at the country-level is a long-standing concern for the ILO and its constituents. Against this background, the 2008 Declaration details that member States may consider the establishment of appropriate indicators or statistics, if necessary with the assistance of the ILO, to monitor and evaluate the progress made (Paragraph II.B.ii.). In the past, countries have repeatedly called for ILO technical cooperation to support their efforts to monitor and assess progress towards decent work.

The European Consensus on Development indicated that the EU will contribute to strengthening the social dimensions of globalization, promoting employment and decent work for all and that the Community will promote decent work for all in line with the ILO agenda. Various communications have also highlighted that the EC support for decent work is a means to promote European values and a European model of development which combines economic competitiveness and social justice. Decent work has become a widely shared goal, beyond the ILO and the EU.

Developing and transition countries have endorsed the objective of decent work and have developed (or are in the process of developing) country-owned decent work strategies. International endorsement of the decent work objective was also expressed at the 2005 World Summit, where Heads of State resolved to make the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all a central objective of relevant national and international policies, as well as national development strategies, including poverty reduction strategies, as part of efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid is actively contributing to raise awareness and enhance understanding of decent work and employment concepts among all EC delegations in the world.

Project description

With funding from the European Union, the project Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work (MAP) helps address this need. Over a period of four years (2009 to 2013), the project works with government agencies (including Ministries of Labour), National Statistical Offices, workers and employers organisations and research institutions to strengthen the capacity of developing and transition countries to self monitor and self-assess progress towards decent work.

The project covers several countries in all major regions, including two countries in Africa (Niger and Zambia), four in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia and Philippines), one in Europe (Ukraine) and two in Latin America (Brazil and Peru). Through the regional activities, the global methodology is disseminated beyond the project countries. The project is implemented by the Policy Integration Department (INTEGRATION) in close collaboration with the Department of Statistics (STATISTICS) and other technical units; regional, sub regional and country offices; and the ILOs International Training Centre in Turin.

Project strategy

The project:

  1. Facilitates the identification of decent work indicators that are relevant at the national level (within the framework discussed at the Tripartite Meeting of Experts on the Measurement of Decent Work held in September 2008);
  2. Supports data collection, questionnaire design, surveys and database management; and
  3. Uses the collected data for an integrated policy analysis of decent work in order to make them relevant for policy-making.

Project activities include:

  • The preparation of background country-studies on labour market information systems;
  • Tripartite consultation workshops to identify decent work indicators at national level;
  • Regional workshops on decent work indicators;
  • Support to national statistical offices or other relevant institutions;
  • The preparation of country-studies on decent work known as Decent Work Country Profiles;
  • Tripartite validation workshops to disseminate the results of the Decent Work Country Profiles, and formulate policy recommendations to better mainstream national policies
  • Regional training and knowledge-sharing workshops;
  • The production of a Toolkit for the EU technical cooperation projects and programmes;
  • The production of a manual on the global methodology to self-monitor and self-assess progress towards decent work;
  • Global conference in preparation of the 2013 International Conference of Labour Statisticians

Expected results

The development of global methodology to self-monitor and self-assess progress towards decent work will strengthen the capacity of target groups to establish benchmarks for measuring progress towards decent work. This will make it possible for policy makers, social partners, EC delegations and HQs or the general public to know how selected countries are performing, to know how different type of workers, economic sectors or geographical areas differ in terms of access to decent work, and to improve their understanding of which policies best ensure progress towards decent work. Ultimately, monitoring and analysis of the determinants of decent work will lead to policy changes.

Focal point

Ms. Naima Pagès, Chief Technical Advisor: pages@ilo.org