Our policy process work has focused on the policy environment in South Africa and the policy process in Singapore and Bangladesh. It has been structured around the 3i analytical framework of institutions, ideas and interests employing process-tracing methods.
The research in Singapore on the formulation and adoption of a day off policy for migrant domestic workers highlights the key role played by NGOs in keeping the agenda in the public eye. It identifies the reasons for the policy eventually being adopted including the government’s desire to be perceived as a country willing to adopt international guidelines on decent work as well as maintaining the reputation of Singapore as a desirable destination for domestic workers in the face of a decline in migrant numbers.
The research in South Africa on the making of the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Act highlighted the weaknesses in data, extensive reliance on myths and stereotypes related to victims and perpetrators among organisations working on trafficking.
The Bangladesh case study of the passing of the Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy showed how elite coalitions between civil servants, bureaucrats and employers led to delays in the recognition of the rights of domestic workers and the adoption of protective policies. The three case studies reveal the uncertain role of evidence in shaping decisions and the interplay between international policy agendas and local priorities.