Objectives, areas of activity and partners


The overall development objective of the Danish Trade Union Development Agency's interventions in the Global South is to eradicate poverty and support the development of a just and democratic society, by furthering SDG 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda (DWA). There are four priority areas:

  • Encourage and create decent employment and sustainable enterprises (informal economy, skills development)
  • Promote and guarantee rights at work (fundamental principles and rights at work)
  • Enhance social protection (extend social security and protection to all, including workers in informal economy)
  • Promote and strengthen social dialogue including collective bargaining (building social consensus in policy formation through tri-partite dialogue and improve industrial relations and working conditions through bi-partite collaboration and negotiations).


These four intervention areas, together with the establishment of conducive framework conditions including an efficient public sector, establishment of tripartite structures and advocacy for labour law reforms, constitute the prerequisites for the development of well-functioning labour markets and sustainable economic growth.



A great deal of the work of the Danish Trade Union Development Agency is founded in the international structure of the trade union movement and in implementing multilateral projects. Typically, these projects are initiated as a collaboration between a Danish trade union under the umbrella of Danish Trade Union Confederation and the corresponding organisation in the developing country. In general, the two unions are members of the same international trade union association, an international trade union secretariat, which often acts as a third party in a given project supported by the Danish Trade Union Development Agency.

In 2017, the United Federation of Workers in Denmark (3F), the Confederation of Danish Industry, and the Danish Trade Union Development Agency (DTDA) came together in a consortium to make use of the experiences from the Danish labour market model to support improvements of labour market conditions of developing countries. Denmark has a long-established, well-proven and successful recipe for a well-functioning labour market, where both the trade union movement and employers contribute to the welfare of society as well as of the individual. Our point of departure is that we are strong, equal parties, sitting at the same table – on opposite sides.

Despite the basic differences and different interests, employers and workers have a common vision of growth and balance in society. As a consortium, we have chosen to cooperate in those areas, where we share common ground and mutual interests – read more about the consortium.

The Danish Trade Union Development Agency also carries out development projects in collaboration with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which is the international union association of confederations.

The Danish Trade Union Development Agency has direct working relations with selected central organisations in several developing countries through bilateral projects. In these cases, the Danish Trade Union Confederation enter a direct collaboration with corresponding organisations through the Danish Trade Union Development Agency.

In addition, the Danish trade union movement is represented through the Danish Trade Union Development Agency in certain political and advisory committees, which influence Danish development cooperation policies and labour markets. The Danish Trade Union Development Agency acts as an advisor to the governmental Danish Agency for International Development Assistance (DANIDA) in the Danish partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).