ILAB Synthesis Review
Key Findings
  • Projects with more comprehensive scopes appear to be more effective.
  • Projects aligned with ongoing activities in the target country had more success.
  • Contextual factors like economic or political conditions did not have a strong, direct relationship with project success, but this is likely to be because projects used strategies to manage conditions.
  • Implementer capacity plays a key role in project effectiveness.

This is a synthesis review of performance evaluations of 19 projects intended to support labor law enforcement and compliance, funded by the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, which is part of DOL’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). The 19 projects were implemented in 12 countries spanning Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The review identified factors associated with project effectiveness, including: having a longer period of performance and larger budget, preparing for challenges, and working with employers, workers, or taking a tripartite approach involving employers, workers, and the government, among other factors. Challenging contextual factors included low government capacity or commitment and environments in which labor unions were not free to organize. However, the review did not identify contextual factors that had a strong relationship with project effectiveness. The review includes recommendations to DOL to strengthen future research, including encouraging grantees to provide complete monitoring data and using a consistent approach to setting targets for project outcomes.

Report is also available on the DOL site here.

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