This is the time of the year where WSM has to focus on reporting. All partner organisations write their annual report and I’m currently very busy going through it, compiling it and adding our own information.

Though quite exhausting, it is motivating to get a bigger picture of all our partners and us are working on, so in a couple of posts on this blog, I want to share certain elements. For this first post, a bit of an overview:
Overall, the implementation of the programme seems to be on track for the zone countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh during 2014, despite a somewhat slow start. The changes in context have not made work easier, with the election of a right-winged, liberal government in India and strikes in all three countries. Nepal is still in transition, with hopefully legislation which the WSM partners lobbied for to come through in the near future. No major risks occurred but the risk management system was fine-tuned and updated.

With regards to obtaining the indicators for 2014, the following was achieved:
For category 1, the services provided regarding the right to social protection (Legal Aid, Vocational Training, Social Economy, Social Security, Health Care and the Common Services), partners reported going past the set output indicators for 2014 by 37%, benefiting over 400.000 people in the three zone countries. With 43% of the overall goal for the 2014-2016 programme reached, WSM is optimistic about achieving the set indicators.
The joint political actions of category 2 also seem well on their way, with a study done in each country and a specific methodology developed by WSM which was used to facilitate drafting political agendas. In India, while research is ongoing to learn more about decent living income in the informal sector, some lobbying took place to advocate for the ratification by India of the ILO convention 189 regarding domestic workers and to put in place national legislation for domestic workers. Nepal is worth mentioning, since, besides the work done to promote Occupational Health and Safety for employees, partners are attempting to take advantage of the current transition phase to push through important legislative tools regarding social protection (the chapter on labour rights in the draft constitution, a social security act and amendments to the Labour Act). It is however slower to take off in Bangladesh, where both the differences between the WSM two local partners (one NGO focusing on health and another a garment trade union) as well as the volatile political situation render advocacy harder.

The category 3, capacity strengthening, is satisfying but still has new structures and approaches that need fine-tuning and closer follow up by WSM. The Steering Committee which is new in this programme is functioning but has had little concrete impact so far. The methodology for capacity strengthening has been introduced to all partners of the zone countries. Regarding the north-south exchanges, much attention still went to the clean clothes issues, regarding the working conditions in the garment industry and lobbying towards consumers and retailers in Belgium. The south-south exchanges need to be promoted and systematized better. WSM has supported certain of the international political action of the partners in the SAARC region. The majority of the partners managed to do adequate reporting, despite some delays and challenges. The follow-up done by WSM is well in place, though the tool for the continuous monitoring of the capacities of the partner organisations needs to be improved. 

But together, we’re clearly having an impact. Union is strength!