The PRSP approach offers an opportunity for civil society organizations to join
governments in the development and implementation of poverty reduction strategies. Trade
unions have been encouraged to participate. This report notes that most unions have been
invited to the discussions leading to formulation of the PRSPs but none has been included in
the drafting, implementation, monitoring or evaluation. Based on findings from 23 PRSP
countries, the study identifies a number of weaknesses and shortcomings which have limited
the effective participation of trade unions, mainly capacity issues, time constraints, and lack
of structured participatory processes. Lack of consensus on contentious issues like
privatisation, pensions reforms and labor code reform, have been worrisome to some unions.
The paper calls for, among other things, more dialogue between the labour movement and the
IFIs, strengthening trade unions, building union capacity and more analytical work on labor
market policies and core labor standards.