Sub-principle 1.A

Define national PSE goals through an inclusive process


Why is it important?


A national strategy for working with the private sector in development co-operation can set or refer to regulatory frameworks that companies should follow, identify priority sectors where companies can operate, set results frameworks around which companies can develop their projects and create predictability. The quality of these regulatory frameworks varies, and can even in some cases be restrictive and detrimental to civil society, workers and the environment. In these cases, international standards should be called for. Involving trade unions is key to ensuring there is national dialogue around integrating freedom of association, social dialogue and collective bargaining, and promoting decent work and the rights of working people into the strategy. It is also key to ensuring that the strategy is framed within a normative approach to development – one that guarantees rights – and a vision of government maintaining its developmental leadership role.

Self-reflection questions
Discover Tool
  • Have you reviewed the national PSE strategy (either a stand-alone policy or a section in an overall development co-operation strategy)? 
  • Does the country's national PSE strategy define roles and responsibilities for trade unions? Does the strategy enable trade unions to engage? Does the strategy promote a pro-worker sustainable development model of growth?
  • Have workers’ representatives been involved in elaborating the PSE strategy at the national level? 
  • Are there informal and other pragmatic ways to engage with stakeholders around PSE if the national PSE strategy is restrictive?

Actions to consider
Discover Tool
  • Be vocal to development partners and the national government about the importance of social dialogue and social partners (trade unions and employers’ organisations) for project and policy making.
  • Encourage workers’ representatives and employers’ organisations to engage in shaping national development strategies and making recommendations. 
  • Be vocal to development partners and the national government if the process of developing a PSE strategy is not transparent or well organised or if you have not been well informed of ongoing efforts to develop a strategy. 
  • Communicate your priorities to development partners and the national government, raising specific insights and concerns and backing them up with credible, practical and relevant evidence as well as good and bad practices. 
  • Forge alliances with other actors to jointly shape, consolidate and strengthen your input to the national PSE strategy. 

Pitfalls to avoid
Discover Tool


  • Develop recommendations that are based on anecdotal evidence rather than a collection of wide-ranging data. 
  • Conceal relevant information from key partners. 


Socio-economic policies in Ghana have been influenced by social dialogue. Like legislation, national policies largely emanate from the government, but social partners have opportunities to provide input. For instance, social dialogue was important in the formulation of medium-term economic policies, including the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy. National and subnational consultations as well as engagements with trade unions and other specific interest groups have characterised the development of medium-term economic policies in Ghana. 

Extensive consultations and discussions between government, trade unions, employers’ associations and other interest groups helped shape the National Employment Policy of Ghana. Around 13 representatives of trade unions, employers’ associations, research institutions and civil society organisations participated in the inter-sectoral consultation on the National Employment Policy. The development of the National Youth Policy also involved similar stakeholder engagement. In addition, social dialogue played an important role in shaping the National Social Protection Policy.

Browse further guidance