MOPAN Assessment of the ILO

In 2021, MOPAN published its assessment of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This was the third MOPAN assessment of the ILO, following previous ones in 2006 and 2015-16.



Founded in 1919, the ILO focuses on advancing social justice and promoting decent work. The Decent Work Agenda (2008), which translates this mandate into action, has four strategic objectives: employment, social protection, social dialogue and tripartism, and fundamental principles and rights at work. The ILO is seen as an important value-added to the UN System, with its tripartite structure including labour union and employers’ representatives, its technical expertise, and its normative work around labour standards. The organisation’s programmes mobilise increasingly diverse partnerships that offer ILO great growth potential; in particular partnerships with IFIs, which amplify the impact of the ILO’s normative work by helping to translate these norms into practice.

Key MOPAN assessment findings

  • The ILO has a relevant strategic position for the future, having made successful improvements in many areas of work.
  • The organisation is a strong partner and also a self-critical organisation that brings social dialogue to the UN and has strong evaluation and results-based management.
  • The ILO’s intervention design requires improvements, and there is a need to invest in cross-cutting issues, notably environment and climate change.

* For more key MOPAN findings on the ILO, read the report.

The ILO has made many significant improvements since 2017 in all areas of the MOPAN framework. Its strong coherent strategic framework aligned with the Centenary Declaration acts as a beacon going forward.

As vulnerabilities in the world of work grow from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, the assessment finds that the ILO will need to further strengthen its work in these areas, as well as develop a robust approach to prevent and address SEAH. At the same time, the organisation must develop new solutions to overcome long-standing shortages of staff working in the field. The findings of this ILO assessment are timely, as they can potentially provide strategic value in informing the transition process for the organisation during its change in leadership foreseen in 2022.



Jolanda Profos, Assessment Manager, MOPAN


Cara Yakush, Communications Manager, MOPAN


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