What does the decent work agenda mean for SDC? How can interventions for inclusive economic development be even better oriented towards the realization of the human right to decent and favorable working conditions? Should we prioritize jobs creation over the working conditions?
To address these and other questions, the SDC networks employment and income (e+i) and Fragility, Conflict and Human Rights (FCHR) joined forces in early 2021 to operationalize the Swiss International Cooperation Strategy’s goal “Contribute to sustainable economic growth, market development and the creation of decent jobs”. Involving a large number of SDC focal points a discussion paper has been prepared. The topic was also discussed during an e-discussion of the two networks in May, with 30+ contributions from experts and practitioners from all over the world.
A working paper which discusses the operationalization of decent work in SDC programmes and projects and highlights insights and examples of the e-discussion can be found here, or on the respective e+I shareweb site.
Religion and Development
Religion is a difficult concept to describe. However, worldwide, more than 80% of the population claims to be affiliated to a religion. Thus, religion plays an important role in developing communities. It is often the source from which individuals draw their values. Religion has an influence on the way people think and act. It affects life, experiences, work,
Religious actors and organizations often have a particular relationship with communities. They have a guiding role towards the people and can act as mediators in conflicts.
Today, although the topic remains a sensitive one, especially for a country with a strong secular tradition like Switzerland, the development sector and the international community increasingly recognize the importance of religion and religious factors for development cooperation and conflict and violence prevention and transformation.
In fragile and conflict-affected countries, Switzerland applies a conflict-sensitive approach, which involves in-depth context analysis and actor mapping to address the root causes of fragility. In these analyses, all actors involved are taken into account in order to better understand their relationships, alliances, agendas and interests. Therefore, religious actors, because of their privileged relationship and the impact they can have on populations, should be part of this analysis, to better understand how they can be positive actors of change in conflict prevention and transformation.
In short, due to the fact that religion has a major influence on people's lives in large parts of the world, religious actors and factors should be well understood in a given context to harness its potential resources for peacebuilding processes and development programming. In this sense, religion should be considered to be part of the solution as well as a factor of resilience.
For more information on the work done by the FDFA regarding religion aspects:
Religion, politics and conflicts (RPC)