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Year One Progress Report of the TUC/DFID SFPA

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
TUC/DFID SFPA Year One Progress Report

Gemma Freedman

August 2007

Introduction

This is a report of the progress made during year one, July 2006 - June 2007 of the Strategic Framework Partnership Arrangement (SFPA) between DFID and the TUC. The Partnership has three agreed Outcomes, each with their own activities and success criteria that are used as a measure of progress towards that outcome.

This paper reports on the activities carried out in year one and indicates how these activities have so far contributed towards the success criteria. It does not report on the other activities that the SFPA Officer co-ordinates such as the TUC/DFID Forum or ongoing TUC/DFID relationship building.

Outcome 1

Increased awareness and understanding of development among trade union members in the UK

Activity 1: The TUC to develop criteria for identifying suitable trade unions, who given the opportunity to work more intensively on development awareness work, would be in a position to submit credible proposals to the Development Awareness Fund and input generally on development awareness amongst their membership;

The TUC has developed the required criteria, which are contained in the guidelines for the new International Development Learning Fund (IDLF) that has been created to meet key aims of the SFPA. The TUC's affiliates and DFID were consulted on the contents of the guidelines before they were finalised. The IDLF was launched at the 2006 TUC Congress, at a reception at which Hilary Benn spoke. They have been widely publicised through TUC channels and an on-line PDF of the IDLF guidelines can be found at http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/SFPAonedoc.pdf .

The criteria for the IDLF Access Development Awareness Fund (DAF) are:

  • One individual within the union with primary responsibility for developing work in this area
  • Buy-in by union leadership/decision-making structures
  • Identification of other departments within the union and strategy to get their commitment
  • Previous experience of team working on Development Education
  • Previous experience of development awareness work, e.g. through the TUC Mini Learning Fund
  • Participation in Make Poverty History activities, TUC International Development Group, TUC training activities
  • Union policy on development issues, including conference motions
  • Understanding of DAF guidelines and constraints
  • Identification of resources needed.

Activity 2: Identify the current level of development awareness within the trade unions targeted through a mechanism agreed with DFID, e.g. baseline survey;

The criteria that have been developed in Activity 1, have been used to identify the current level of development awareness within individual trade unions. During a meeting on 30 August 2006, Mike Battcock, from the DFID Civil Society Team, agreed that the criteria was suitable for the purpose of noting progress under the SFPA and therefore could act as a mechanism to establish current levels of development awareness. In initial meetings with affiliate unions, Gemma Freedman, explained the scheme, began to establish a baseline of existing union international development work and encouraged internal union discussions on which DFID Fund they might like to apply to and how activities can form part of their overall strategy. A written record of each meeting has been made by the TUC.

Activity 3: Negotiate a tailor made strategy with support from Development Education specialist e.g. DEA, and DFID which will enhance their development awareness work and increase their ability to access funding;

By end of June 07, discussions had taken place about the IDLF Access DAF with eleven affiliates and meetings held with eight. In nearly all cases, in order for an initial meeting to take place, the affiliate has been required to send a brief outline of what they would like to do if they had an IDLF Access project. For the three unions that were ready to proceed, they were then invited to develop and send to the TUC outline proposals. Follow up meetings where feedback and drafting assistance on the idea, objectives, activities, finance and timetable was provided, were then held. Based on the feedback, affiliates were to redraft their proposals, continue to hold discussions within their unions and send a second draft to the TUC for further feedback via email and or telephone. This process continued until their proposals were ready for submission to the TUC Aid Trustees for approval.

Affiliates have been encouraged where relevant to work in partnership whether formally or informally with relevant NGOs during their IDLF projects and regular reports on the SFPA's progress have been given to the TUC's International Development Group, which includes a number of NGOs. To further encourage such partnerships, the International Development Conference held in March 07 by the TUC had a key objective to bring trade unions and NGOs together to explore best practice through case studies and workshops. The TUC has also advised that any NGO involvement should focus on sharing their expertise and experience in a way that enhances union capacity to work on development awareness.

Although the TUC's brief under the SFPA was to work with a total of four unions per year, meetings have taken place with a greater number of affiliates. It took some time before it became clear which unions were ready to proceed with their proposals in an agreed timetable for year one. The following unions submitted proposals to the IDLF Access DAF for year one and were formally approved by the TUC Aid Trustees on 12 March 2007:

Prospect: a membership education project to demonstrate how a corporate social responsibility workplace policy can contribute to the international development agenda. Amongst other things, Prospect's IDLF activities have included a launch Seminar at which Gareth Thomas MP, as well as NGOs and trade union officials spoke and from which a DVD to encourage Prospect's membership to engage with the project has been made; a membership survey has been carried out and the Development Coordinator has promoted the project at a large number of Prospect's Sector Conferences this year. The project has been branded and the DVD and accompanying materials have been disseminated to all Branch Secretaries and via email to all members. Prospect plan to apply for a DAF during 2007;

UNITE (Amicus): a varied membership education programme to build on existing international links and, amongst other things, enhance their policy making structures in relation to international development. To build support for an International Solidarity Network, they have held a series of seminars at regional level, there have been membership workshops in a number of targeted workplaces, a special event at their National Policy and a fringe meeting that focused on Latin America. There have also been briefings in which development issues were emphasised for members participating in international sectoral events and Amicus' Africa Matters education module has continued to run. Amicus plan to apply for a DAF during 2007;

NUT: to develop a component on international development as part of the union's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme for teachers. The NUT held a development themed fringe at the annual Conference and have been preparing the materials for using an established CPD and 'paired teacher format' focused on raising development awareness for teachers and their 11-14 year old students. The paired teacher format entails paired teachers attending an initial two-day seminar after which they then try out new approaches/strategies in their classrooms and then attend a follow-up two-day seminar about 12 school weeks later. The materials and subsequent pilots will highlight approaches to the global dimension of education included in the Government's publications 'Developing the global dimension in the school curriculum and putting the world into world-class education'. The programme will be piloted in September 2007 and they plan to apply for a DAF in 2008;

Throughout year one, the SFPA has continued to encourage and assist affiliates interested in applying to the IDLF Access DAF during year two or three of the SFPA and has met with PCS, CWU and ATL. As three unions in year one had IDLF Access DAF projects, it is expected that only one Access DAF project will be submitted during year 2 and indications are that this will be by PCS union. Where affiliates are not in a position to apply for a DAF or CSCF, they are encouraged to apply for the IDLF Mini Grant Scheme to which TUC Regions are also able to apply.

Activity 4: The TUC to administer the Learning Fund in accordance with the demands of the unions' tailored strategies;

Once the TUC Aid Trustees had approved the three IDLF unions, the unions were invited to submit a request for the TUC to release their funding. A set of draft reporting guidelines were drawn up and sent to two IDLF affiliates for feedback, before being finalised and sent out. IDLF Unions are required to submit a narrative and finance report once every six months and then one month after the formal end of their project. The first round of reports is due at the end of October 2007.

The TUC keeps in regular contact with the IDLF unions, by telephone, e-mail and through meetings, and always provides assistance when asked by the affiliate. The type of assistance given is generally around providing advice on individual aspects of the IDLF strategy, the projects overall progress and/or the development of DFID DAF applications. As the IDLF is about building affiliate capacity, the TUC is also conscious that a balance must be struck so that neither too much nor too little assistance is provided.

Activity 5: TUC will develop a TUC-accredited module on international development education and make it available online;

This has been agreed by the TUC's Union Learn organisation and ideas have been explored. This will be further developed in year 2.

Activity 6: TUC will work with regional officers and affiliates to promote international development awareness;

a) It has been agreed between the SFPA team and the Midlands Regional TUC and the London and South Eastern Regional TUC, that those Regions will take part in this activity. Meetings have been held and both regions are currently in the process of drawing up a development awareness strategy including plans for twinning with a regional office of a developing country union National Centre like the TUC.

The Midlands TUC has decided to twin with the Central Region of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and activities with the ZCTU in the Midlands are planned for September and November 2007, using Mini Grants.

The London and South East Regional TUC International Forum has decided to twin with a sister national centre in Guyana.

The Northern TUC's International Forum, which had benefited from the former SGA through advice and Mini Grants, has continued to benefit from the SFPA. This has come in the form of another Mini Grant in support of an International Conference at which Ian McCartney MP spoke in his capacity as Trade Minister, as well as assisting in an evaluation and future planning of their work.

b) A three-day Officer and Tutor training course was organised for 2-4 April. The course was attended by one or more staff from PCS, NUT, GMB, CWU, FBU, NUJ and the POA, as well as a number of TUC tutors. It focused on enabling people to explore globalisation and development, refugees and migrant workers, trade, corporate accountability, core labour standards, the slave trade and within that, the role of trade unions. The course also focused on practical action, assisting attendees to understand how they can contribute to international development through their union work.

The 200-year anniversary of the abolition of the Slave Trade presented an opportunity to raise awareness about international development. The TUC funded a development education Fact File charting early to modern day slavery and an accompanying poster, both of which were launched in February and can be found at http://www.tuc.org.uk/deved .

c) EUIRD and the SFPA have also run two pilot sessions for the TUC Organising Academy who had agreed to include 10 hours of international training on its one-year programme for trainee organisers.

Activity 7: The TUC facilitates sharing of experience between affiliated unions, enables those running courses to learn from each other and provides a central resource base of education materials to avoid duplication;

At an SFPA 'Next Steps for Trade Unions and International Development' Seminar held in October, lessons from development awareness raising under the SGA and ideas for the future SFPA were explored with 9 TUC affiliates and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions - Northern Ireland (who currently receive DAF funding). The affiliates were Amicus, CWU, GMB, NASUWT, NUJ, NUT, Prospect, UCU, and Unison.

The TUC already has a central resource base of its own education materials, which can be found at www.tuc.org.uk/deved. The website also includes a small section of materials from other relevant organisations. Once the Year One IDLF Access DAF unions have finalised their own materials from the IDLF and or any successful DAF application to DFID, the TUC will add to its website any of those materials that could be used by other TUC affiliates.

Activity 8: In co-operation with DFID, carry out training on project design, management, monitoring and evaluation in order to improve access to DFID funding schemes;

The TUC has contracted BOND's training team to provide bespoke project training on the DAF and CSCF using trade union examples. The training, which began in June and is due to conclude in October 2007, consists of four sessions designed to enable participants to understand the different stages of putting together a proposal, including: project design with partners, writing a proposal bid, logical framework analysis, project monitoring and constructing accurate financial information.

During the training and homework, the IDLF affiliates begin to develop their DAF applications. Non-IDLF affiliates who attended at least the first session include UCU, CWU and the NUJ. Feedback from the first session has been very encouraging. BOND have indicated that this is the first time that they have run the four individual training days as an actual course and we understand that they and the trainers are finding the experience very interesting.

Progress against Success Criteria for Outcome 1

Criteria 1: TUC to identify 2 suitable trade unions a year and work with them to develop an international development awareness strategy;

As explained in Activity three, the TUC is ahead of this success criteria during year one, therefore in year two, it is expected that only one IDLF Access with be for the DAF

Criteria 2: International development awareness to become an established policy of 6 trade unions by the end of the 3 year arrangement;

With three IDLF Access DAF union projects this is on course.

Criteria 3: To have a minimum of 2 credible funding proposals to the Development Awareness Fund by October 2008;

This is on course. Both Prospect and Amicus (UNITE) aim to submit DAF proposals in 2007 and the NUT plans to submit its proposal in 2008.

Criteria 4: Membership of those unions targeted to have a greater level of awareness of the global poverty agenda and the role they can play in helping achieve the MDGs after a period of 18 months;

All IDLF DAF Access projects target the union's membership and this success criteria is an integral part of their awareness raising.

Criteria 5: Integration of a development education component into TUC courses, including initial tutor training, full time officers' training, the TUC Organising Academy and on-line learning programmes;

So far, initial Tutor and Officer training has taken place, as has the TUC Organising Academy work.

Criteria 6: A minimum of two TUC regions and eight affiliates adopt an international development awareness strategy, assisted by access to mini-grants from the Learning Fund to run seminars, develop awareness materials and host trade unionists from developing countries;

Whilst progress with the two TUC regions has proved slower than anticipated, the Midlands Region is now progressing. So far, no affiliate has applied to the Mini Grant scheme.

Outcome 2

The closer engagement of the TUC, a number of affiliated unions and DFID with Southern trade unions

Activity 1: The TUC to develop criteria for identifying suitable trade unions, who given the opportunity to work more intensively on development awareness work, would be in a position to submit credible proposals to the Civil Society Challenge Fund;

The TUC had developed the required criteria, which are contained in the guidelines for the new International Development Learning Fund (IDLF). The TUC's affiliates and DFID were consulted on the contents of the guidelines before they were finalised. The IDLF was launched at TUC Congress at a reception at which Hilary Benn spoke. They have been widely publicised through TUC channels and are available an on-line PDF at http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/SFPAonedoc.pdf .

The criteria for the IDLF Access Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) are:

  • One individual within the union with primary responsibility for developing work in this area
  • Buy-in by union leadership/decision-making structures
  • Identification of other departments within the union and strategy to get their commitment
  • Experience of working in partnership with development NGOs
  • History of relationships with southern union partners - any projects in the past?
  • Participation in Global Union Federation activities
  • Union strategy on development, identification of priority countries or issues
  • Understanding of CSCF guidelines and constraints
  • Previous experience, successful or otherwise of making applications to the CSCF
  • Identification of resources needed.

Activity 2: Identify the UK unions' levels of understanding of their Southern partners' needs;

In initial meetings with affiliates Gemma Freedman, explained the scheme, began to establish the unions' levels of understanding of their Southern partners' needs and how activities can form part of their overall strategy. A written record of each meeting has been made by the TUC providing a reflection of their 'level of understanding'.

Activity 3: Negotiate a tailor made strategy with individual unions for developing or building on current relationships with Southern unions. Experiences of other NGOs and DFID, in building relationships with southern partners, should be incorporated into the strategy;

By the end of June 2007, meetings about the IDLF Access CSCF had been held with Amicus, GMB, Prospect, TGWU, CWU, FBU, NUT, TSSA, PCS and UCU. During meetings, the SFPA team indicated to unions the steps they will need to take in order to develop partnerships with Southern trade unions towards preparation of CSCF applications. Affiliates have been encouraged where relevant to work in partnership whether formally or informally with relevant NGOs during their IDLF projects and regular reports on the SFPA's progress have been given to the TUC's International Development Group, which includes a number of NGOs. The TUC has also advised that any NGO involvement should focus on sharing their expertise and experience in a way that enhances union capacity to work in real partnership with sister unions.

The following union submitted a proposal to the IDLF Access CSCF for year one and was formally approved by the TUC Aid Trustees on 12 March 2007:

GMB: to work towards developing a solidarity programme with workers engaged in ship-breaking in India. The GMB plan to apply to the CSCF in 2008.

The GMB have carried out background research and relationship building activities with the ship-breaking workers and their union, the All India Port and Dock Workers Federation, in Mumbai, India. Working with the International Metal Workers' Federation (IMF), (a Global Union to which both national unions are affiliated) who's 2006 report into the industry prompted the GMB's initial interest, the GMB amongst other things, went on a relationship building and fact finding visit to Mumbai. They also hosted their Indian partners in the UK, promoting the project at a GMB Annual Conference fringe meeting and during workplace visits in two GMB regional offices.

During year one, the SFPA continued to encourage and assist affiliates interested in applying to the IDLF Access CSCF during year two or three of the SFPA and has met with the NUT, NASUWT, CWU, UCU and TSSA.

Activity 4: The TUC to administer the strategic component of the Learning Fund in accordance with the demands of the unions' tailored strategies;

Once the TUC Aid Trustees had approved the one IDLF CSCF union, that union was invited to submit a request for the TUC to release the project fund. A set of draft reporting guidelines were also drawn up and sent to two IDLF affiliates for feedback, before being amended and sent out. IDLF Unions are required to submit a narrative and finance report once every six months and then one month after the formal end of their project. The first round of reports is due at the end of October 2007.

The TUC keeps in regular contact with the IDLF unions, by telephone, e-mail and or through meetings, and always provides assistance when asked. The type of assistance given may generally includes providing advice on individual aspects of the IDLF strategy, the projects overall progress and/or the development of the DFID CSCF application. However, as the IDLF is about building affiliate capacity, the TUC is also conscious that a balance must be struck so that neither too much nor too little assistance is provided.

Activity 5: In co-operation with DFID, carry out training on project design, management, monitoring and evaluation in order to improve TUC and union access to DFID funding schemes;

See Outcome 1, Activity 8.

Activity 6: TUC to publicise the 'How to Work with Trade Unions' guide and work with southern partners to encourage them to engage;

The 'How to Work with Trade Unions' has been publicised with a number of Southern Unions and most TUC Officers in their conversations with Southern colleagues now draw their attention to the 'How To' Guide. The TUC is also monitoring the DFID website 'Consultations' page in order to encourage sister national centres to submit to CAP Consultations.

One of the March 2007 TUC/DFID Forum agenda items reviewed the 'How to Work with Trade Unions' guide, for which the TUC supplied a comprehensive report on its opinion of progress. One action point was that:

'DFID Country Office Staff will be asked to provide a short summary of the relationship between their DFID office and local trade unions. These summaries will include identification of the DFID local contact person, which unions they have links with and what they are doing with them.'

Results from that exercise showed that whilst a number of trade unions are receiving funding, in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and most recently Tanzania, only a small number of DFID country offices are working with local unions and most of these have an indirect relationship. In one case, in Uganda, the unions have applied for DFID funding but have not been successful and there is no relationship with the union. The TUC has contacted the Ugandan national trade union centre, NOTU, to find out more.

The TUC is also exploring the most effective way to carryout its side of the following action point relating to Migration from the June 07 Forum:

'The TUC agreed to contact union national centres, especially in key source countries, to encourage them to contact DFID country offices to pursue the commitments to work with unions contained in the DFID policy statement and DFID agreed to encourage staff in country to contact trade unions.'

Based on the TUC's response to the DIFD Country Office notes, which will be available in early September and further discussions with DFID, the TUC and DFID SFPA Team had agreed to focus on up to three countries to try to share best practice and better develop the relationship between the unions and DFID Country Offices.

Progress against Success Criteria for Outcome 2

Criteria 1: TUC to identify 2 suitable trade unions a year and work with them to develop relationships with southern unions;

As explained in Activity 3, the TUC is behind on this criteria during year one, therefore in year two, it is expected that there will be three IDLF Access CSCF proposals.

Criteria 2: 6 UK unions to have built relationships with southern trade unions and understand the needs of their southern partner by the end of the 3-year arrangement;

This is on track with the TUC offering on-going advice to a number of affiliates.

Criteria 3: To have a minimum of 3 credible funding proposals to the Civil Society Challenge Fund by July 2008;

This is on track

Criteria 4: Southern trade unions applying for civil society funding through local DFID offices where these schemes exist;

This is beginning to happen more, with Uganda and Tanzania being new cases. However, the TUC believes that this criteria will happen more effectively if there is a joint effort between the TUC and DFID as described in Activity 6. Outcome 3

Enhanced co-operation between the TUC, affiliates and DFID on the international development agenda

Activity 1: TUC co-ordinates, supports and monitors the programme to meet the needs of affiliates, southern partners and DFID;

Gemma Freedman as Project Officer leads on coordinating and managing the SFPA. Where appropriate, consultants are engaged to help with various aspects of the project, including Annie Watson, as the TUC's Development Advisor and Irene Magrath a Trade Union Education and Training specialist and BOND. In particular, Annie Watson provides on-going support and strategic guidance to the SFPA Project Officer, the four IDLF affiliates and TUC Regions. Using the 8% Administration allowance from the SFPA, the TUC has hired a Project Assistant, Aisha Latif who supports the project for two days a week, managed by the Project Officer. The SFPA team also liaise closely with other TUC departments and in particular with UnionLearn, (education and training) and Finance. As appropriate, the Project Officer also liaises with and keeps the DFID Civil Society Team responsible for the SFPA informed of progress and new developments.

During 2007, to enhance the coherence of the department's work, the TUC European and International Relations Department also set up a Development Cooperation Team, led by the Head of Department, Owen Tudor which meets monthly to coordinate the work of the SFPA, TUC Aid and other development related aspects of the department's work.

Activity 2: TUC establishes a sub-committee of TUC Aid as the award-making body for the programme;

TUC Aid Trustees were provided with both a written and verbal briefing on the SFPA and an IDLF Proposal Assessment Sheet on which Trustees can record their decisions and comments. The first four proposals under the scheme were presented for approval in March 2007

Activity 3: The TUC/DFID facilitate a funding seminar, involving NGOs and other experienced development actors in order to improve the level of proposals submitted to DFID;

This will take place during year two and will be designed to complement the IDLF Project Training under Outcome 1, Activity 8 and Outcome 2 Activity 5.

Activity 4: TUC to organise a major international development conference for UK trade unions and NGOs in year one. The conference will highlight unions NGO partnerships and the potential for joint work on labour issues;

Around 80 people attended an SFPA organised International Development Conference from over 15 unions and even more NGOs on 26 March at Congress House. The conference focused on how trade unions and development NGOs can best complement and strengthen each other's work. With TUC President Alison Shepherd Chairing the plenary of the day, the audience first heard from Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary and Mike Battcock from DFID who both outlined their vision of trade unions in development and the importance of unions and NGOs working together. This was followed by best practice examples of union/NGO partnerships from the Communication Worker's Union and One World Action; Amicus and Action for Southern Africa; the General Agricultural Worker's Union, Ghana and WOMENKIND International; Banana Link; Labour Behind the Label; the International Metal Worker's Federation and CAFOD; and the Ethical Trading Initiative.

A number of NGOs presented ideas about what other projects they might like to work with unions on and three workshops in the afternoon focused on drawing out the secrets for successful partnerships on development campaigning; development awareness and working with unions in developing countries. There were also helpful contributions from the two other Chairs during the day, Conny Reuter, General Secretary of Solidar and Paul Talbot, Assistant General Secretary, Amicus. Designed for use as a practical tool to assist and encourage future union/NGO partnerships, a full report of the conference will be available from September 2007.

Progress against Success Criteria for Outcome 2

Criteria 1: Regular reporting to TUC structures and TUC/DFID Forum;

SFPA activities are regularly reported to the DFID/TUC Forum, the TUC International Development Group that meets four times a year, in International Development Matters - TUC's monthly e-newsletter, as well as the annual TUC General Council Report to TUC Congress. Most of the reports can also be found at www.tuc.org.uk/devfr .

Criteria 2: UK and Southern union contributions to DFID consultations;

During the first year of the SFPA, the TUC made specific submissions to:

  • Asia 2015: Strategic Options for DFID,
  • DFID Conflict Policy Paper,
  • UK Strategy on Tackling HIV/AIDs in the Developing World (to which we are also aware that Unison made a submission),
  • Joint EC/DFID country strategy for Sierra Leone,
  • We also made a submission to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Debt, Aid and Trade on development finance,
  • Governance and Transparency Fund, and
  • The TUC also encouraged the Pakistan Worker's Federation and the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania to submit to their DFID CAP consultations.

Criteria 3: Annual programme review meetings between TUC and DFID

This is due to take place shortly, however, David Fiddler and Gemma Freedman have met on two separate occasions during 2007, to monitor progress on the SFPA and other aspects relating to the TUC's relationship with DFID.

Criteria 4: Enhanced co-operation between unions and NGOs working on labour issues with developing country partners and DFID;

The TUC's International Development Conference was designed to help meet this criteria and the feedback from it was very positive. In the last year, coordination between the TUC, its affiliates and ACTSA working together to assist and provide solidarity to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has been strengthened.