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Forsiden av dokumentet LO-Norway- MCTU Final Evaluation Report, 2010-14


LO-Norway- MCTU Final Evaluation Report, 2010-14

Background The cooperation between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway) and the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) started in 1996. The latest cooperation agreement covers 2010 to 2014, when LO-Norway provided financial and technical support to MCTU to help in building a financially viable and influential trade union movement in Malawi. The agreement aims at strengthening MCTU's struggle for promoting and defending trade union rights. Purpose/objective The basis of the evaluation is to determine the performance and progress of the programme cooperation, and to gauge if results or objectives are being met, and whether adjustments were requiored for better results achievement. The objectives of the evaluation can be summarized as follows: to assess the progress and results of the support provided to ZCTU by LO-Norway in strengthening the capacity of the labour movement in Malawi; to assess the efficiency of the implementation and sustainability issues of the current arrangements; to recommend the programme's continued relevance/need going forward, including assessing the added value of LO-Norway continued support, and  if necessary, to identify and suggest potential new avenues/areas for cooperation. Methodology The evaluation is based on a three-stage process: (i) documentation, (ii) field visits, consultations, questionnaire and draft reporting, (iii) and final report. Key findings On organizational development support towards MCTU, while significant progress was made in terms of organizing and recruitment of new members at three out of the six targeted unions, the overall membership however is only 1.2 percent higher than the baseline level of 137,000 in 2009, against a target of increasing membership by 10 percent per year between 2010 and 2014. The target of organizing 5 new enterprises/branches per year was achieved, as well as the target of at least 30 percent of the new members being women. However, the target of having at least 30 percent of the new members being youth could not be verified due to lack of adequate reporting on the issue. An important observation is the failure by assisted unions to declare the new members to MCTU as required. The expected reduction of the number of affiliates to 17 by 2012 was not achieved. A challenge remains in terms of establishing an updated and reliable membership database, as unions under-declare membership to minimize their subscriptions. On education and training, a total of 1,632 workers benefitted during the programme period, 54.1 percent of whom were women. An impressive database of trained cadres is in place, broken down by gender and age. However, their deployment appears ad hoc and hence the need for a more systematic approach at both the MCTU and affiliate levels to achieve the expected multiplier effect. Training materials were produced on collective bargaining, shop-stewards, occupational health and safety, and finance handling for trade unions. Based on the agreed target of at least 4 new unions adopting gender policies per year, this implies at least 20 affiliates should have had gender policies by end of 2014. Available evidence suggests that as at 2014, only six unions had draft gender policies. The levels of women elected into decision-making positions improved from 20 percent to 42.9 percent at the last MCTU Congress in 2012, while at affiliate level the improvement was from 40 percent to 60 percent. The target of negotiating at least 3 gender-sensitive CBAs per year was exceeded with at least 4 CBAs being concluded each year of the programme.  On internal democracy, the MCTU Constitution was updated and revised in 2011, and now has a clause stipulating that 50 percent of elected positions should be held by women. MCTU held its quadrennial Congress and women and youth committee conferences in September 2012, and holds internal structural meetings as mandated. With the participation of its affiliates, MCTU developed a new Strategic Plan for the period 2012-15. This was followed by an assessment of its organizational capacity to implement the Strategic Plan which was concluded at the end of 2013 with ILO support. The available information on affiliates suggests that only one amended its Constitution in 2014, and only two did so in 2013. The MCTU report for 2014 indicates 7 affiliates were overdue for congresses. Affiliates seem to have challenges fulfilling constitutional mandates, and are failing to provide MCTU with their audited accounts as required. Issues of internal democracy could also be strengthened by ensuring that all work plans of staff are approved by the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General, with all staff reporting through the Deputy. Programme components are especially relevant in a context of low trade union membership, politically induced exploitative tendencies and poor working conditions, limited enjoyment of human and trade unions rights, as well as their alignment with the Malawi Decent Work Country Programme (M-DWCP) (2011-16) and MCTU’s Strategic Plan (2012-15), and excessive dependence on external support. Management of resources, and especially finances improved over time as evidenced by few repeat issues in the management reports. The strategy of prioritizing sectors with greatest membership potential and joint MCTU and affiliate union organizing work is a more efficient approach to deploying limited resources. However, sustainability of results remains a challenge, constituting a significant going concern risk. Apart from low paid up membership, subscriptions in 2013 and 2014 were at 57.3 percent and 79.4 percent of the 2010 level, respectively. On average, subscriptions increased by 0.8 percent per year during the programme period 2010-14, against a target growth of 20 percent per annum. In addition, subscriptions amount to only 10 percent of MCTU’s total income, with the support from LO-Norway constituting 70 percent. Even at the low subscription level of MK4 per member per month, arrears amount to MK3,122,620 (US$6,788) as at 31st March 2015. Tellingly, at an average of 0.43 for the period 2010-14, the liquidity ratio implies current assets cannot cover current liabilities, yet a ratio of 2:1 is deemed adequate. The project on education and training with TOAWUM did not perform as planned. While the education and training activities went ahead as scheduled, at organizational level, the union disintegrated into two factions that have brought into question its going concern status. However, the support for Social Dialogue under the Ministry of Labour produced impressive results, with the project being credited with resurrecting the concept of tripartism in Malawi.  Recommendations On the basis of the analysis, the evaluator recommends for a continuation of the co-operation between LO-Norway and MCTU.  A key lesson learnt is that while the partnership with LO-Norway was results-based, with regular reporting centred on agreed performance indicators, there was a failure to take early remedial action in areas where results were not forthcoming. In terms of the way forward, organizational development support for MCTU could focus on the issue of consolidating the sustainability of the results, and implementing a phased aid exit strategy based on organizing and recruitment, facilitating mergers, education and training, gender mainstreaming, viable subscriptions, and an aggressive financial management and mobilization strategy. The value addition with respect to the education and training support to TOAWUM lies with an emphasis on merging the agricultural unions in line with the ‘one-industry-one union’ policy, and building the capacity of the amalgamated union. Lastly, strengthening and consolidating the ground-breaking work on promoting social dialogue in Malawi may now require support towards institutionalizing the dialogue process and integrating it into the Malawi Decent Work Country Programme (M-DWCP) given the overlaps and synergies. Comments from the organisation, if any LO-Norway and MCTU have established an action plan for the recommendations emanating from the evaluation. This plan informs the follow up and activities of the new project period (2015-2018). The phase-down of organizational development has started amd gradually a thematic base for the cooperation will take over.