National Labour and Economic Development Institute NALEDI

Linked with Congress of South African Trade Unions COSATU, and with Policy Innovations.

Practical and realistic policy research: Our work aims at being practical and technically competent, but not academic. This entails examining the circumstances that make policy effective in South African realities, rather than simply transplanting experiences from other countries … (about 1/2).

Main activities; Blog; Publications; Projects; Staff; Resources; Links;
Address: NALEDI, 6th Floor, COSATU House, Leyds St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa, (Mail: PO Box 5665, Johannesburg 2000);

About 2/2/ … Pro-labour perspective: Our aim is to analyse developments from the perspective of organised labour, and to explore what the implications of policies would be for labour. In practice we attempt to take a broad view of what ‘pro-labour’ means. We favour policies which: 

  • Support the deepening of democracy in South Africa.
  • Reduce poverty and and tackle existing income disparities
  • Improve the organisational ability of the working class
  • Encourage coalitions between organised labour and other sections of the working people and civil society
  • Result in sustainable economic growth and development
  • Promote the development of global approaches to global challenges.

Meeting the research needs of organised labour

  • Our research agenda is determined largely by the requests we receive from organised labour, namely COSATU, its negotiating teams, and its affiliates. NALEDI also accepts requests from non-union sources where there is no conflict of interest. We have conducted research with Parliamentary Standing Committees, government departments, statutory bodies, international bodies and progressive organisations and formations in civil society.

Anticipating issues which may impact on labour

  • NALEDI researchers track developments in their field and are able to alert union leaders to issues that may affect the labour movement. We also organise facilitative workshops aimed at bringing together unionists and experts in particular fields.

Building union capacity

  • One of NALEDI’s central roles is to improve the capacity of the union movement to engage with key policy issues. NALEDI has a research methods training programme for union researchers. Such initiatives are part of our longer-term strategy of transferring important skils to unions.


  • NALEDI is registered as a non-profit company and is accountable to a board made up of prominent unionists and researchers. This enables us to test new ideas and think critically and creatively, without necessarily having to remain within the constraints of existing policy positions. The ideas generated by NALEDI are for the elected union leadership to adopt, reject, amend or ignore.

Delivering quality, timely products

  • Since we work in the area of applied advocacy research, we frequently work to tight deadlines. We have invested heavily in developing project management techniques and appropriate research method frameworks.

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