Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs)

The ILO is engaged in or associated with a wide range of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) at the global, regional, and national levels in almost all policy areas: Employment, Social Protection, Child and Forced Labour, Migration, Social Finance, Skills, Occupational Health and Safety, Just Transition, Gender and non-discrimination.

Each MSP is a formal or partially formal alliance of partners, which includes employers’ and workers organisations together with partners from at least two of these groups: government and government- driven institutions, regional groups, local authorities, civil society actors, private sector, Academia, UN, and multilateral organisations. For instance, South-South and Triangular Cooperation initiatives are inclusive and horizontal MSPs based on trust and equality, allowing the co-creation of solutions to current development challenges.

The MSP approach is inclusive and participatory. It connects actors with relevant knowledge, skills and resources in order to:
  • Promote policy alignment, including through engagement in advocacy
  • Share knowledge, research and technical support among partners, to develop synergie
  • Reach out to economic sectors and communities by implementing projects in countries
  • Mobilize resources, including skills, competencies as well as financial resources.

The unique MSP approach 

MSPs allow the ILO and its partners to:
  • Mainstream Decent Work:
    • “On the basis of its constitutional mandate, the ILO must take an important role in the multilateral system, by reinforcing its cooperation and developing institutional arrangements with other organizations to promote policy coherence in pursuit of its human-centred approach to the future of work”. MSPs are essential mechanisms for translating into action an integrated approach to the promotion of decent work for sustainable development across the multilateral system, in alignment with the 2019 ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.
  • Reach out:
    • “No one should be left behind.” Stakeholders involved in developing MSPs elaborate a joint vision, objectives and implementation plan. They are best placed to reach out to their constituencies and their own stakeholders. This contributes to meeting the commitment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Promote social cohesion:
    • In MSPs, stakeholders come to realize their differences but also their commonalities. Successful collaboration enhances communication and builds relationships. This helps overcome stereotypes and can increase social cohesion. It enables fundamental transformation to achieve goals connected to the Decent Work Agenda.
    • Credibility and representability of decisions: Knowing that various interests have been balanced or integrated increases the perception of credibility and legitimacy.

MSPs and policy coherence

Alliances are crucial to promoting policy coherence and renewing the commitments of partners. For instance:
  • The Social Protection Inter-Agency cooperation board (SPIAC-B) and the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (USP2030) developed a set of assessment tools to assist design, implementation, joint development partner analysis and policy recommendations.
  • The Climate Action for Jobs initiative (CA4J) provides a global innovation hub on just transition as well as a mechanism for pooling funding for country-level technical assistance and a facility for advocacy and youth.

An essential tool at regional and country level 

MSPs also engage at the regional and country levels, where the MSP cooperation modality is pivotal to advancing the commitment of a set of partners. For instance:
  • ILO Cooperation with regional organisations (ASEAN, African Union) has been developed with an MSP approach (Migration and Migration statistics)
  • Alliance 8.7 has identified 30 pathfinder countries that are developing a roadmap of activities to accelerate programmes and report on them.
  • In Latin America and the Arab States regions, a space for stakeholders and social partners has been developed to provide access and capacity building to engage in Common Country Analysis and Cooperation Framework processes (in Latin America and the ILO Regional Office for Arab States)