14, October, 2013

Spotlight on Organisations: Labour Market Policies in Latin America

This Spotlight highlights some of the key organisations working on labour market issues in Latin America, including labour policy in general, social protection, employment, youth employment, labour training, labour migration, and labour intermediation.

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Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Development Division

Link: http://www.cepal.org/de/default.asp?idioma=IN
Areas of Expertise: Macro-economic policy, labour policy, economic indicators and projections, fiscal policy
Key Activities: Technical assistance, research, production of statistics, publications
The Economic Development Division (EDD) of ECLAC is responsible for conducting a yearly economic survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as providing technical assistance and collaborating in projects, conferences, expert meetings and seminars. The EDD also produces articles, books and other publications on a range of topics relating to labour policy such as employment protection and work flexibility, labour market institutions, informality, and long-term evolution of labour markets. The EDD also develops and maintains databases of statistical information compiled from official national government sources.

Global Development Network)

Link: http://cloud1.gdnet.org/cms.php?id=labor_and_social_protections
Areas of Expertise: Labour and social protection, growth, inequality, formality and informality, youth employment
Key Activities: Research and networking
The Global Development Network (GDN) disseminates research on themes related to labour and social protection worldwide. Latin American research focuses on countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. GDN is also associated with the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS), an Argentinean research centre that studies labour market trends in Latin America using household survey data. Topics covered in GDN publications include informality, labour supply, child labour, education and labour market outcomes, and labour and poverty. The online platform provides access to topical communities of practice, as well as information on relevant funding opportunities.

International Youth Foundation

Link: http://www.iyfnet.org/
Areas of Expertise: Employment, training and labour intermediation
Key Activities: Finance, partnerships and training
The International Youth Foundation is a global partnership of businesses, governments and civil society organisations committed to empowering young people through its programmes on citizenship, learning and work. The work programme improves young people’s employability prospects by preparing them for quality jobs, linking them with mentors and job placement services and supporting entrepreneurs. One leading programme is entra21 which, to date, has provided more than 38,000 young Latin Americans with knowledge and skills for effectively competing in labour markets. The IYF currently operates in 24 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Its online searchable database provides easy access to a range of resources from toolkits to success stories and best practice.

Inter-American Development Bank, Labor Markets and Social Security Unit

Link: http://www.iadb.org/en/topics/labor-and-pensions/idb-labor-and-pensions-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean,1195.html
Areas of Expertise: Intermediation, labour training, social security, labour migration
Key Activities: Research, project finance, impact evaluations and publications
The Labor Markets and Social Security Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is one of the largest producers of publications on passive and active labour market policies in Latin America. As well as producing theoretical frameworks for examining labour markets, the unit also carries out case study analysis and impact evaluations on many programmes in Latin America and worldwide with the main aim of improving policymaking processes. The unit currently focuses on the following four main areas of work: Intermediation, Labour Training, Social Security and Labour Migration.

Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight

Link: http://www.iadb.org/en/office-of-evaluation-and-oversight/about-the-office-of-evaluation-and-oversight-ove,6655.html
Areas of Expertise: All IDB operational areas, including social, labour and pensions programmes
Key Activities: Independent impact evaluations
The Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) is an independent body of the IDB responsible for carrying out impact evaluations on IDB-financed projects with the aim of monitoring performance of country programmes, projects and capacity building initiatives. These evaluations are published in impact evaluation papers which are then used to inform policymaking and enhance the design of programmes worldwide. The OVE has evaluated various training programmes implemented in Latin American countries, as well as other regions, including ProJoven in Peru, a labour training and modernisation programme in the Dominican Republic, and a youth labour training programme in Colombia. Its searchable database makes it easy to browse OVE publications by country and topic.

Multilateral Investment Fund

Link: http://www5.iadb.org/mif/en-us/home/projects.aspx
Areas of Expertise: Training and knowledge sharing
Key Activities: Project finance and research
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) is part of the Inter-American Development Fund which works with the private sector to develop, finance, and execute innovative business models that benefit entrepreneurs and poor and low-income households. The MIF partners with a wide variety of institutions from the private, public and non-profit sectors, evaluates programme results and impacts, and shares lessons learned. Programmes related to labour markets in Latin America are focused on improving youth employment and entrepreneurship. Publications and project data on these programmes can be found in the online database.

Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies

Link: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/eng/index.php
Areas of Expertise: Labour market and employment, poverty and inequality, trade and poverty
Key Activities: Research, public policy evaluations, production of statistics, publications, project implementation
The Center for Distributive, Labour and Social Studies (CEDLAS) is affiliated with the National University of La Plata, in Argentina. This research centre carries out studies into distributional, labour, and social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean using empirical techniques based on microdata from household surveys. The centre also produces a broad range of publications and reference material, including briefs, working papers and social maps. CEDLAS is also responsible for developing a set of comparable indicators on poverty and other distributional and social variables from 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries. These can be found in the Socio-economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEDLAC).

International Labour Organization

Link: http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/lang--en/index.htm
Areas of Expertise: Child labour, cooperatives, decent work, disability and work, domestic workers, employment promotion and security, equality and discrimination, forced labour, industries, the informal sector, labour inspection and administration, labour law, labour migration, maternity protection, safety and health at work, skills, knowledge and employability, social security, wages, working conditions, youth employment
Key Activities: Training and education, research, programme implementation, creation of international labour standards, technical assistance, organisation of meetings and events, production of statistics and databases
ILO programmes across the world - including Latin America - focus on improving the quality of jobs and reducing informality. Two such programmes are the Youth Employment Programme and the Social Finance Programme. In addition, the ILO produces periodical updates on labour markets for regions across the world. ILO publications cover a large range of topics related to labour markets, such as employment promotion, employment security, gender equality, and the informal sector, and are highly recommended for gaining a better understanding of regional and country employment trends.

Institute for the Study of Labor

Link: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/politics/politics_html
Areas of Expertise: Labour policy
Key Activities: Research, publications, teaching and events
The Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) is a private, independent research institute which conducts research into national and international labour programmes with the aim of promoting evidence-based policymaking. It has several programme areas covering the evaluation of labour market programmes, migration, labour markets and institutions, labour markets in emerging and transition economies, and employment and development, among other issues. The IZA has studied many Latin American interventions such as implementation of training programmes, job creation programmes and wage subsidies.

Unevoc International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Link: http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/
Areas of Expertise: Entrepreneurial and vocational learning, public policy
Key Activities: Training, thematic consultations and conferences
The International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training is a centre affiliated to the United Nations. Its main activities relating to Latin America and the Caribbean have to do with promoting labour training programmes in partnership with other multilateral organisations like the Inter-American Development Bank. One example of this is Chile Joven, a job training programme targeting young people. Another key activity of the centre is knowledge sharing via conference reports and comparative case study analysis, such as in the regional report Education for the World of Work: Concrete Innovative Experiences in Latin America. The centre also advocates for effective public policies and runs sector-specific training, such as for the water and wastewater sector.

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