Regional hubs

Swedish Workplace Programme connects regionally

To ensure that the programme’s approach captures the regional context, challenges and opportunities from the stakeholders, Regional Programme Coordinators are located in four hubs in the world; Colombia, Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam. The coordinators are responsible for the programme’s regional activities and implementation.They supervise, guide and monitor external facilitators such as thematic experts and other implementing partners that will support Workplace Programmes. 

In each region, the Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) provides Sustainable Business Platforms (SBP) which serves as a stakeholder-based forum. SWP uses forums as a catalyst for companies to engage in joint strategic discussions concerning improvements, solutions and actions taken to address local sustainability and related workplace challenges. When a company partners with SWP and implement a Workplace Programme, there will be opportunities to meet peer to peer with the other partnering companies to exchange learnings and inspiration.

During the programme we will upload information, learnings and summaries of what happens in the regional hubs.

Colombia

" Multiple opportunities became available during the past years. The digital revolution penetrated most workplaces enabling us to roll-out SWP in Colombia. The response from the business community, Team Sweden and partners has been fantastic! We have partnered with several Swedish companies and we look forward to new partnerships in the years to come. Moreover, we have created a Sustainable Business Platform where we invite actors locally to analyse sustainability issues, discuss joint challenges and design solutions."

Kaveh Hagi
Programme Director Latin America

" Como colombiana, el ser presentada y luego promover la forma de trabajo sueco con enfoque horizontal, comunicaciones continuas y diálogo abierto ha sido una experiencia increíble.Durante nuestros primeros años logramos un gran progreso, y estamos actualmente colaborando con una variedad de empresas en su proceso de consolidar lugares de trabajo sostenibles. Espero expandir nuestra red de socios y continuar promoviendo el modelo sueco de diálogo, transparencia y equidad."

Maria Castilla
Regional Programme Coordinator Colombia

Kenya and South Africa

"As the pandemic resets the workplace, business leaders and unions need to rethink and be equipped to deal with the acceleration of the future world of work. Social dialogue is playing an important role in bringing forth the development of policies to protect business operations in Kenya and South Africa. This is despite the many social and economic challenges presented by the pandemic. The need for an enabling environment for constructive social dialogue was heightened, as deep inequalities and recessions in these developing economies were fully displayed. Social dialogue presented an opportunity for partners to cooperate, innovate and recreate solutions that benefitted all sides to build back better. The SWP in South Africa and Kenya contributed by building capacities on workplace cooperation. By doing so the programme contributed to union -management relations at workplace level. We look forward to implementing workplace programmes via representative committees that contribute to sustainable business and a win-win for all."

Binta Mutale
Programme Director Africa​

"It has been exciting during the last years with many learnings of the Swedish model. There has been a lot of sharing and networking with the other Hubs and the global office. So far, we have initiated workplace programmes in Kenya, with a trade union and with a local Kenyan company, focused on fostering sustainable business practice and policy. I look forward to more meaningful engagements with Swedish companies and their value chains in the region. Asante sana!


Regional Programme Coordinator Kenya

"In the South African landscape, we are implementing the Programme through a number of initiatives. This included a Sustainable Business Platform (SBP) with local Swedish companies and kicking-off a union capacity-building workstream. We have spent time developing partnerships and laying the groundwork for how to make a positive impact. I am looking forward to focus on establishing workplace programmes in individual workplaces and within their supply chains, and progressing our SBPs in specific key sectors."

Sena Ramlochan
Regional Programme Coordinator South Africa

Vietnam

"In the last decades Vietnam has transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to a lower middle-income country. The aim is to become a high-income country in 2045. Due to the US-China trade war, many manufacturing businesses relocate to Vietnam. It is really exciting to work with a country that is in such a big transformation with a fast-growing economy and a lot of optimism. With our work we want to contribute with one little piece of the puzzle to manage the growth in a sustainable way. Our aim is to promote decent work and a stable labor market by encouraging employee involvement and dialogue between managers and employees. In addition, we encourage learning and sharing between peers by creating sustainable business platforms. One example is the Sustainable sourcing network for people working with sourcing in Vietnam."

Evalena Persson
Programme Director Asia​

"Since the Swedish workplace programme was established in Vietnam in the middle of 2020 we have built a valuable network with relevant companies and organisations. There is a great interest in issues related to decent work and social dialogues in Vietnam right now. Not least because of the new European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), that includes requirements to implement the International Labour Organisation’s core conventions. Vietnam has now ratified seven of the eight conventions. The last convention to be implemented is the convention on Freedom of association and protection of the right to organize. We strongly believe that a modern organizational culture where employees are engaged and listened to is an important success factor for businesses. Swedish Workplace Programme aims to enable such a culture and I am very happy to be a part of that work."

Hien Nguyen
Regional Programme Coordinator Vietnam

Contact a Regional Programme Coordinator

If you wish to contact a Regional Programme Coordinator directly, please visit our contact page.

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UP!

UPSKILLING OF UNION SHOP STEWARDS

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

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT AND TRAININGS IN THE UP! PROJECT IN KENYA AND SOUTH AFRICA