Arnout de Koster Country manager View profile

A new ITCILO-DECP online course exercise was launched a few days ago to further expand the installation and use of the CRM system for employers’ organisations. This time the participants were employees of the AEB, the employers' organisation of Burundi, a long-term partner of DECP, and ADIH, the employers’ organisation of Haiti (Association des Industries d’Haïti).

Both organisations are quite small and operate in an extremely difficult and adverse context, economically, socially and politically. But they continue, sometimes against all odds, to increase membership, engage in lobbying activities and some limited services.

The opportunity to install and implement the CRM system is a joint opportunity offered by DECP and the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, in furtherance of the initial start of the joint project, about 10 years ago. Since the start of this big project in total about 75 organisations, all over the world, have chosen to install and use the CRM system. Burundi was one of the last DECP partner countries having not yet being served. The system is very easy to use and is specifically adapted to the needs of employers’ organisations in emerging countries. The interest of Burundi and Haiti shows that it can also work in small organisations and countries.  

Is it useful also in smaller organisations? Yes, because it offers several advantages which a manual processing of data can never deliver: strong data which can be mixed and analysed. They offer insights to the management on members data and -composition, the use of services, satisfaction levels and other elements which allow a constant monitoring of quality and progress. They offer easy tools of communication with membership. And a better administration and control on payments of membership fees.


The online course will last about 4 sessions and will mobilise all staff. Concomitantly, the system will be installed online. The organisations will be supported by advice and counselling on line. The implementation and the use will be closely monitored, to ensure that both organisations embrace this first step to a systematic membership management. CRM is but one part of the story.

Parallel to this, DECP also supports AEB with advice (currently all online) on the contents to develop of membership policies. Recruiting members of companies and association members, both in Bujumbura and the countryside, retain them, make them pay their contribution, offer a value proposition which is relevant and mobilising and ensure good communication and visibility. These are all important challenges to be dealt with. On top, the Covid crisis has made the development of such efforts to make AEB attractive not easier. But … constant progress is made and we see an AEB staff which is well motivated to ensure the further growth and sustainability of the organisation.