The VGCL-LO-Norway Cooperation Program, 2010-2012: An Evaluation Report

About the publication

  • Published: June 2013
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Melisa R. Serrando
  • Commissioned by: Norwegian Confederation of Labour (LO)
  • Country: Vietnam
  • Theme:
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Norwegian Confederation of Labour (LO)
  • Local partner: Vietnam General Conferderation of Labour (VGCL)
  • Project number: GLO-0610 QZA – 10/960
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

Since 1998, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway) has been cooperating with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) to strengthen the trade union movement in Vietnam. The partnership has focused on building the capacity of VGCL and its affiliates at all levels in organising and recruiting members (especially in the non-state sectors), training and education, collective bargaining, social dialogue, and research and publication. Capacity-building has been mainly done through the conduct of training and education, seminars, survey and research, and preparation, printing/publication of educational and training materials.

The evaluation has two main objectives: (i) to assess the results of the support provided by LO-Norway to VGCL and its lower level affiliates/unions to strengthen the capacity of unions all over Vietnam; and (ii) to assess the modality of cooperation between LO-Norway and VGCL and provide recommendations on areas for improvement, in particular related to monitoring and reporting of the performance of Vietnamese trade unions.

Sources of data came from various reports and other documents from VGCL and LO-Norway and from interviews and focus group discussions conducted during the field mission of the evaluator in various parts of Vietnam on 16 to 25 April 2013. The interviews and discussionss involved union officers of VGCL and its lower level affiliates, officers of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), and an officer of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Key findings:
Overall, the Program has considerably met its objectives for the period 2010-2012, in terms of improved capacity in training and bargaining (for both men and women union officers), increased membership, increased Collective bargaining agreements (CBA) coverage and better CBA provisions, increased capacity in social dialogue, and active participation in policy formulation resulting in better laws affecting workers. Sound management of Program funds has been practiced as well. The Program Steering Committee monitors funds utilization under the Program. A yearly financial audit is done by Ernst & Young Limited.

LO-Norway remains the single largest source of fund for VGCL’s training and education activities. Nonetheless, to sustain its training and education activities, VGCL passed a resolution mandating its affiliates at all levels to allocate 15 percent of their union budget for training and education. The new trade union law mandates enterprises (both unionized and non-unionized) to pay 2 percent of its total payroll to the union (upper level in the case of non-unionized enterprises). If a substantial number of enterprises would comply with this provision, the 2 percent trade union fee from enterprises in effect could be a sustainable source of funds for training and education activities. It is thus important to allow at least three years how this provision in the trade union law will be implemented.

Several internal factors have accounted for the Program’s achievements, namely: (i) the inclusiveness of the Program in terms of the substantive involvement of VGCL’s affiliates and members in all the phases of the Program (i.e. design, planning, implementation and evaluation); (2) flexibility in terms of adapting to changing needs and expectations of VGCL’s constituency; (3) judicious and proper use and yearly accounting of funds; (4) timeliness of delivery and completion of activities; (5) existence of a structure responsible for overall project monitoring and implementation; (6) the strong commitment and support of top leadership of VGCL; (7) the institutionalization within VGCL of the regular conduct of training and education activities and internally-generated funding support for these activities at all levels; and (8) the active participation of VGCL in national social dialogue and negotiations on issues important to workers. Externally, a favourable legal climate for unionization in Vietnam has provided an encouraging environment for VGCL to implement all its activities.

Overall, it is highly recommended that the Cooperation Program between LO-Norway and VGCL continue at least for another project cycle.

Comments from the organisation, if any:

Published 09.01.2015
Last updated 16.02.2015