South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Good Practices for Decent Work on ILO Flagships Programmes and Cross-cutting policy drivers towards BAPA+40



South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) is demand-driven collaborations between two or more developing countries that is guided by the principles of solidarity and non-conditionality, aimed at implementing inclusive and distributive development models. The recognition of SSTC dates back in 1970s with the establishment of the Working Group on technical cooperation (TCDC) unit by the UN General Assembly in 1974, and the adoption of Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), a robust framework of recommendations for Promoting and Implementing TCDC at UN and its member states, at the first UN Conference on TCDC in Buenos Aires, Argentina 1978. Marking the fortieth anniversary of BAPA, the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 71/318 and 71/244 mandate the UN to convene a Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South cooperation (BAPA+40), hosted by the Republic of Argentina in Buenos Aires from 20 to 22nd of March 2019. BAPA+40 is the opportunity to discuss the progress made on SSTC since the adoption of BAPA and the role of SSTC in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda[1].

The Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) is an annual event organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) in its capacity as the General Assembly-mandated global and United Nations system-wide coordinator and facilitator for SSTC, in close coordination with host governments and host institutions, and in consultation with the UN High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. GSSD Expo 2018 with the theme of “Showcasing Institutions Supporting South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Preparation for the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference)” will be a major opportunity for stakeholders including Member States, UN entities, academia and civil society to come together before the BAPA+40 Conference.

For the ILO, SSTC is an important mean to promote and implement the Decent Work Agenda in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular SDG 8 on Decent Work and SDG 17 on Partnership. In March 2018, the ILO Governing Body has reviewed the implementation of SSTC strategy adopted in 2012 and agreed on the future SSTC steps, including expand ILO’s active role in UN inter-agency processes that involve SSTC such as the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo), the South–South chapter of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, the UN multi-stakeholder task force on SSC, and the UN High-level Committee on South–South Cooperation; and promoting the use of SSTC in ILO strategic frameworks, initiatives and programmes.  In this regard, The ILO is organising the SSTC Solution Forum: good practices on ILO Flagship Programmes, to showcase the latest contributions of SSTC in meeting the challenges in the world of works, especially through the Flagship Programmes, as well as to share and discuss the lessons learned from the application of SSTC in real practices.


ILO Flagship Programmes and Cross-Cutting Policy Drivers

The five flagship programmes[2]: Better Work, Building Social Protection Floors for All (SPF), International Programme on the Elimination of Child, Labour and Forced Labour (IPEC+), Jobs for Peace and Resilience (JPR), and Occupational Safety and Health – Global Action for Prevention (OSH-GAP), play a leading role in strengthening the impact and efficiency of the ILO’s development cooperation (DC) portfolio, which accounts for well over half of the Organization’s resources in the field. The five flagship programmes were selected because, among other criteria, they are scalable and replicable. Hence, by integrating SSTC elements, which promotes and facilitates knowledge/good practice sharing and peer-to-peer learning, the flagship programmes will be more likely to increase their impacts, efficiency and coverage. Equally important, ILO’s four cross-cutting policy drivers –international labour standards, social dialogue, gender equality and non-discrimination, and a just transition to environmental sustainability – are crucial to each of the ten policy outcomes and are required to be covered by country programme outcomes. The first three are fundamental to the ILO’s constitutional objectives and the fourth is especially imperative in the context of a sustainable world of work and the 2030 Agenda. The SSTC Solution Forum2018 will tell the successful stories of SSTC in ILO Flagship Programmes and in covering the cross-cutting policy drivers.


ILO Solution Forum

The ILO Solution Forum will follow the format of a panel session. The time of the solution forum is set to be of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

During the opening remarks, in order to bring the attention and guide the discussions in this direction, the moderator will provide an overview of the ILO flagship programmes and the Cross-cutting policy drivers, highlighting how interventions will promote synergies across outcomes and cross-cutting policy drivers by addressing in national employment policies the implications.

The session will then showcase three relevant projects (to be decided among those below) in line with the flagship programmes, highlighting how they have promoted synergies across ILO Outcomes as well as carefully making the link and highlighting how the drivers have contributed to achieve greater impacts on the ground.





Ms. Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard

Director, Department of Partnerships and Field Support (PARDEV), ILO

ILO and the Road to Buenos Aires

In March 2018, the ILO Governing Body has reviewed the implementation of SSTC strategy adopted in 2012 and agreed on the future SSTC steps, including expand ILO’s active role in UN inter-agency processes that involve SSTC, in particular, the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo). In the framework of the GSSD 2018, the ILO will organize a Solution Forum encompassing a series of good practices and lessons learned on the use of SSTC in supporting ILO’s Flagship Programmes and Cross-Cutting Policy Drivers, focusing on the following initiatives: (1) Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour: New South-South tends; (2) TRANSFORM – Leadership and Transformation Curriculum on Building and Managing Social Protection Floors in Africa; (3) Mano River project for empowerment of women in the informal sector; and (4) Peer Learning Seminar on a Just Transition and Climate Resilience in Samoa. Beside, this year solution forum also invites a young discussant from the South to represent the ILO’s SafeYouth@Work Project and the role of youth in the future of work.

Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard is the Director of the Department of Partnerships and Field Support of the ILO. Prior to her current assignment she served as the Deputy Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. Her professional experience with the ILO includes Enterprise Development Specialist in the ILO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in Bangkok, and Senior Specialist in Enterprise Development, ILO Headquarters in Geneva. She has also held various ILO management positions including Global Manager of a Technical Corporation Programme on “Job Quality in Micro and Small Enterprises”; Deputy Sub-Regional Director for South East Asia, New Delhi; as ILO Country Director for Viet Nam; and as Manager of the ILO Global Programme on “Decent Work Country Level Policy Analysis”.




Ms. Nyaibor Ngombu

Senior Programme Officer, Mano River Union (MRU)

Enhancing Sierra Leone women entrepreneurs’ empowerment and resilience in cross border trade within the Mano River Union (MRU) through learning and experience sharing from the East African Community (EAC)

This intervention finds its roots in the national strategic guidelines laid out in the Agenda for Prosperity (AfP) (2013-2018), Sierra Leone’s road map to middle income country status by 2035. Women in Sierra Leone and particularly women entrepreneurs, continue to face a number of challenges such as low literacy levels, lack of business and technical skills, limited access to business development and financial services, and limited access to profitable markets, including difficulties in accessing outside markets through cross border trade with neighbouring countries notably Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast, which also are fragile states and country members of the Mano River Union (MRU). Evidence from the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimate that 70% of traders operating along the border districts of Sierra Leone are women. However, they often face tedious administrative hurdles and basically engage in survivalist cross border trade activities to secure minimal livelihoods for themselves and their families rather than considering ways to develop a sustainable and flourishing trade business. The ILO intervention aims at contributing to women’s economic empowerment and resilience in Sierra Leone through the promotion of interregional trade and economic cooperation within the MRU, building on evidence-based learning from the EAC.

The ILO works mainly with women’s entrepreneurs associations (WEA) that developed resilience pathways during the conflicts and the Outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease as well as the Joint Cross Border Confidence Building Units (JCBCBUs) established by MRU in order to promote inclusive economic development among its members, consolidate peace and enhance the stabilization of the region.

Ms. Nyaibor Ngombu has over 20 years’ experience in Programme Management and is currently the Senior Programme Officer responsible for Health, Gender and Capacity Building at the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat with a background in Public Health and Public Administration.

Under the guidance of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Peace, Security and Social Development, Ms. Ngombu is currently coordinating a project titled “Enhancing Sierra Leone women entrepreneurs’ empowerment and resilience in cross border trade within the Mano River Union (MRU) through learning and experience sharing from the East African Community (EAC); with support for the ILO. The project is intended to foster South-South and Triangular Cooperation between the East African Community and the MRU in collaboration with the ILO and takes three key issues into consideration namely: Migration, Fragile States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

Ms. Ngombu has worked a lot with deprived communities especially on Women’s empowerment with various organisations including UNFPA as Programme Officer for Adolescents and Young People’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Oxfam as Community team Leader working with Women and Girls’ Health and Livelihood promotion.


Mr. Lyndon Chu Ling

Chief Executive Officer (Permanent Secretary)
Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Samoa

Peer Learning Seminar on a Just Transition and Climate Resilience in Samoa

In September 2018, ILO Regional Learning Workshop for Climate Change and Decent Work held in Apia, Suva focused on topics including Climate Change and Decent Work, SSTC Partnership development, and Climate Change Impact in the Pacific. The initiative aims at strengthening the capacity of eleven ILO member states in the Pacific on resilience to climate change and disasters by providing tools for disaster preparedness, identifying business opportunities in local public works to prevent disasters, and promoting entrepreneurship on areas related to climate resilience. Good practices and lessons within Samoa and beyond in the Pacific countries will be disseminated through the peer learning and show-cased in GSSD 2018. The initiative follows SSTC modalities on “Region cooperation and peer-to-peer learning in support of the SDGs” and will contribute to advancing the Decent Work Agenda and strengthening the network of disaster resilient cities, through SSTC and City-to-City cooperation. Other noteworthy SSTCs in this cross-cutting driver of environmental sustainability include support to PAGE, in particular a ILO, UNITAR, and UNEP SSTC initiative.

Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.  He has worked 20+ years in the Trade, Commerce and Manufactory Sector.  Mr Chu-Ling holds a number of national governance position aimed to creating an enabling environment for business innovation and generate employment opportunities. He is the Chairman of the Samoa National Tripartite Forum (SNTF), the Apprenticeship Council, Samoa National Employment Policy (SNEP) and Co Chairman the Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing Steering Committee. He also represents a number of Boards both at the national and international level.  Mr Chul-Ling spearheads the Samoa National Tripartite Forum involvement in integrating initiatives that promoting a Just Transition and Climate Change in Samoa through the Employment.  Mr Chu Ling holds a Postgraduate in Development Studies from the National University of Samoa; Diploma of Government in Project Management & Certificate in Training and Assessment from the University of Victoria, Australia; Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management from University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.  He has also acquired other academic achievements such as; Diploma on WTO Trade Policy, Geneva; Pacific Island Fellowship Award, University of Adelaide and Samoa Pacific Leadership Program.


Ms. Sasha Deer-Gordon

Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica

Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour: New South-South trends

In 2014, the Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour Regional Initiative was set up by ministers of labour of 24 countries from the region, in partnership with ILO, aiming to channel and scale up public and private efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate child labour. Through a network of focal points that represents governments, employer and worker organizations of the member countries, the Regional Initiative has been organizing, systematizing and sharing high-quality information to facilitate south-south cooperation exchanges, which in turn, resulted in the replications of good practices in the fight against child labour. The Initiative contributed to the ILO flagship programme International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour and Forced Labour (IPEC+) as well as Policy Outcome 8 in regard to the eradication of child labour.

Mrs. Sasha Deer-Gordon is the Director, Child Labour Unit in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), Kingston, Jamaica since August 2017, and has served the MLSS for the past 24 years. Since being at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Mrs. Deer-Gordon has served in several capacities. Her prior appointment as the Director, Planning and Monitoring has provided a smooth transition in the portfolio in which she currently serves. Mrs. Deer-Gordon uses her school’s motto “Only the Best is Good Enough” to propel her to strive for excellence in all her endeavours. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where she pursued her studies in Management. Her passion for working with children/youth in her religious faith makes her more determined to guide, protect and nurture children. She is dedicated and committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially target 8.7, to eliminate child labour in all its forms by 2025. Through sheer determination the message is succinct in the slogan that states, “Jamaica Says NO to Child Labour”.


Ms. Portia Kekana

Social Protection & Labour Market, Social Policy Expert

TRANSFORM – Leadership and Transformation Curriculum on Building and Managing Social Protection Floors in Africa

The TRANSFORM learning package originated from the ILO-led project “Building National Floors of Social Protection in Southern Africa”. The project included practical assistance to countries in the region with specific economic feasibility studies, legal expertise, support to national dialogue processes and advice on the governance and administrative aspects of implementing national social protection floors, reflecting the principles of ILO Recommendation R.202 (2012) on National Floors of Social Protection. Furthermore, this learning package aims for policy practitioners at both national and sub-national level to improve the design, effectiveness and efficiency of social protection system and empowers African experts to become trainers, in turn generating a South-South network of trainers, who keep learning from each other and spreading the good practices. This good practice contributed to both ILO’s Outcome 3 and Flagship program on Social Protection Floors for all. It has established networks of practitioners and peer learning in Africa.

An experienced teacher, trainer, and community development facilitator, Ms Kekana started working for the Department of Education from 1992. Her career history includes development planning, training and facilitation in the private and public sector as well as civil society; project management and fund disbursement and management. Ms. Kekana is also an accredited Master Trainer for TRANSFORM Social Protection Leadership course which is run in the Sub-Saharan region.


Focal Point Contact Details


Ms. Anita Amorim

Head, South-South and Partnerships Unit (SSPU)
Department of Partnerships and Field Support (PARDEV), ILO

Phone: +41 795931355




[1] In the international development architecture of the last decades, the use of SSTC has been increasingly appreciated and mainstreamed in the international commitments such as 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Paris Agreement, and in the UN Secretary-General report on the repositioning of the UN development system (A/72/684–E/2018/7), in which SSTC is one the six partnership-related workstreams.

[2] Proposed by the Director-General and endorsed by the Governing Body in 2015, the flagship programmes consolidate and refine existing initiatives that target decent work deficits and related challenges in the world of work.