Capacity Development Workshops for CSOs on Social Dialogue. Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan, 22-23September 2018

In the context of the SOLiD project, the Arab NGO Network for Development organized a regional capacity development workshop in Jordan to support civil society organizations to get acquainted with the economic, social, legal, and organizational content and practices of Social Dialogue and its institutional challenges. The workshop was the culmination of a series of national workshops held in Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. In this regard, the regional workshop regrouped CSO participants from these countries to share experiences on social dialogue practices, and techniques of negotiations in their respective countries. The workshop was based on the training manual for CSOs prepared by ANND.

The training focused on providing skills to the participants related to social dialogue and included sessions on the economic, legal, and organizational content of social dialogue in Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan and its challenges based on the experiences of the participants.

The workshop began with a brainstorming by participants on Social Dialogue, to assess the level of their knowledge and set up the training. Most participants were knowledgeable of Social Dialogue, but had only recently heard of societal dialogue and the role of CSOs in the process. They focused on the need for acquiring more skills and knowledge of technique.

The training involved several discussions of common issues between CSOs and TUs, as well as the main challenges social dialogue faces in the region, especially the freedom of association and the freedom to unionize. Despite the legal guarantees, there remain many obstacles facing social dialogue especially for workers in three countries and specifically informal workers who are not protected. On the level of organizations themselves, the participants stressed the need for internal democracy, participation, exchange of power, and better representation. This is in addition to the need for skills, expertize, and capacity building in general.

The workshop was particularly rich since participants actively engaged in sharing their experiences, especially the singularities of every country and the challenges they faced when dealing with governments and unions as well. This allowed participants to network and learn from each other’s experiences. For a successful dialogue, and to answer these challenges, several issues were identified, particularly freedom of association, independence, internal democracy of organizations as well as the commitment of the government and employers to genuine social dialogue, and more importantly the collaboration between unions and civil society organizations.