NIR Programme

Private Sector Contribution to Social Dialogue

The programme supports dialogue between labour market parties, alternative mechanisms for conflict resolution, mediation and workplace dialogue in post-conflict Colombia.

Sustainable growth in Colombia

Development of the labour market is key for the Colombian economy to grow sustainably, to break the current inequalities, to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s labour market and to overcome decades of conflict that has fragmented society. This transformation is dependent on a shift in culture and perception, not only in the relationship between employers and the trade unions, but also within these groups and organisations.


The programme promotes enhanced dialogue between actors at different levels of the labour market. This is achieved by building trust and providing access to platforms for collaborative action as well as tools for negotiation. Joint webinars within different sectors and activities such as a course in mediation are ongoing.

The programme is funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and carried out in cooperation with local universities, the International Labour Organization (ILO), USAID, the Colombian Ministry of Labour and the Swedish National Mediation Office among others. Local and central unions and organisations, private and public companies and the National Association of Entrepreneurs of Colombia (ANDI) are other partners.

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The programme contributes to a socially inclusive and strengthened economic development and local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

⦁ Sustainable economic growth
⦁ Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers
⦁ Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making
⦁ Strengthen relevant national institutions through international cooperation to build capacity at all levels
⦁ Efficient and targeted capacity building

Additional information

For more information, please contact Programme Director Karin Åker, telephone number + 46 8 783 82 69



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers