Work Planning


I. Overview

 This past week, the USAID Thailand Couter Trafficking in Persons (Thailand CTIP) activity overseen by Winrock International hosted its annual work planning conference. This conference brought together several of the project’s partners along with USAID and Winrock’s USAID CTIP projects in Cambodia and Lao to formulate a plan for Thailand CTIP’s activities in the upcoming year.

II. Day One: Pause and Reflect

We began the day with an icebreaking activity where each individual introduced themselves and shared their goals for this week’s conference. Each attendee expressed their enthusiasm for collaborating with each other and for learning more about how we can support one another’s projects.

After introductions, the rest of the day consisted of discussions and activities led by Thailand CTIP’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning specialist about the successes of last year’s activities, the challenges in meeting targets, and lessons learned from last year’s activities. One key area that the partners identified that the current learning questions were not covering were Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of SLAPP when attempting to advocate for themselves in the workplace. As such, members of the work planning meeting proposed that a study be conducted in the coming year to assess the likelihood of migrant workers becoming SLAPP victims and to explore ways in which this can be prevented. 

III. Day Two: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)

The next day, the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion officer at Thailand CTIP led the group in an activity where participants were asked to evaluate the progress that the project and its partners have made in activities related to GESI in the past year. The members of the work planning concluded that these three statements still held relevance after year six of the project and will likely continue to hold relevance going into year seven:

  1. Gender-based discriminatory employment practices among migrant workers still exist despite labor migration laws and policies.
  2. Awareness and access to rights and support services by migrants and marginalized groups are still limited.
  3. Victim identifications including government protection system and support services are not gender sensitive and victim-centered and do not adequately meet survivor needs.

To combat the three aforementioned gaps, the members of the work planning suggested several steps that can be taken:

  1. Fix translation gaps in the support materials that are being disseminated to migrants.
  2. Increase training on labor welfare for community leaders, labor leaders, and employers.
  3. Engage in activities to increase the capacities of service providers.
  4. Work with stakeholders to provide GESI training for first responders.

IV. Day Two (cont.) and Day Three: Work Planning

On days two and three of the conference, we officially began our work planning session. Half of the day on day two was spent working in breakout groups to brainstorm activities in four sub-categories:

  1. Demands and incentive for trafficked labor are reduced
  2. At-risk populations are empowered to safeguard their rights
  3. Protection systems strengthened
  4. Gender equality and social inclusion

The following day, the group sat in a circle and shared the activities that they had come up with. Each potential activity was written on a post it and then presented to the group. By the end of day three, there were well over 150 post its on the wall of the conference room. While the workplan for year seven is now in process of being finalized, the group collaboratively came up with creative solutions throughout this exercise, and many of these will likely drive the project in the coming year.

V. Day Four: Cross Border Collaboration

On day four of the conference, members of Winrock International’s USAID Lao, Cambodia, and Asia CTIP projects joined Thailand CTIP’s work planning. During the first half of the day, these projects shared their activities from the previous year and what they will likely tackle in the coming year. After lunch, Thailand CTIP, Thailand CTIP’s partners, and members of the different CTIP projects worked collaboratively to develop cross-border projects for year seven. It was interesting to see how much overlap there was between each projects’ activities, and how the activities could be molded to tackle transnational issues.

VI. Conclusion

Overall, I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to attend USAID Thailand CTIP’s work planning meeting for year seven. Several of the research projects that I worked on were discussed at the conference and it was consequently a very full circle way to end my internship. While I am leaving Thailand CTIP, I am eager to stay up to date on the project’s activities and I can’t wait to see what it accomplishes in year seven.