Better Work Phase II

Project completed

Better Work, a partnership of the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, improves compliance with core international labour standards in the textile industry. Better Work is relevant to the partner countries of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO in Asia and demonstrates that jobs with higher compliance to labour standards do more for development. The main goal is to help exporting garment factories in developing countries to comply with the requirements of the international buyers and to improve labour standards in the global supply chain. It does this by promoting compliance with international labour standards and national law in global supply chains as a basis for building socially responsible export strategies enhancing enterprise-level economic and social performance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Indonesia
SouthAsiaregional
Vietnam
Sustainable trade
20.02.2013 - 31.12.2016
CHF 12'400'000
Background While globalization can stimulate job creation and contribute to poverty reduction, in particular in developing countries, precarious employment contracts, growing income inequality, unhealthy working conditions and exploitation of young and vulnerable workers jeopardize its potential benefits. Government action is often stifled by the perception that strict enforcement will deter potential investors. As a consequence of this 'compliance gap', workers are facing job insecurity, uncertain wages and poor working conditions. Supplier firms miss opportunities for contracts with international buyers that insist on compliance.
Objectives The main goal of BW is to help exporting garment factories in developing countries to comply with the requirements of the international buyers and to improve labour standards in the global supply chain. It does this by (a) promoting compliance with international labour standards and national law in global supply chains as a basis for building socially responsible export strategies & (b) enhancing enterprise-level economic and social performance. Improve the lives of at least 3 mios workers and their families by 2016 through:1. Extending the scale of programme operations (through new country programmes, extension to other sectors such as footwear)-2. Increasing the impact of its services in factories-3. Catalyzing changes in relevant strategies, policies and practice in collaboration with its alliance of stakeholders and partners-4. Exerting a stronger influence over international brands and buyers-5. Strengthening the governance and viability of its global and country operations
Medium-term outcomes Outcome 1. BW will have achieved greater scale to improve workers’ working conditions.Outcome 2. BW will have accelerated and demonstrated significant impact at factory level.Outcome 3. BW and its alliance will have catalysed changes in relevant strategies, policy and practice at sectoral, national and international level. Outcome 4. BW will have stronger influence over more buyers who will be improving supply chain practices.Outcome 5. BW programmes have strong and appropriate governance and are viable.
Results

Expected results:   Output 1.1. The service delivery model is refined to allow flexibility for country programmes to reach the intended targets.Output 1.2. Pilot projects within selected existing country programmes to extend the BW model into sectors, including footwear and textiles and an environment component, are implemented.Output 1.3. BW operations are expanded in large garment producing countries that meet BW selection criteria.Output 2.1. Based on country programme experience, a comprehensive quality assurance system is agreed and implemented in all country programmes to ensure that BW services are delivered according to the highest quality standards.Output 2.2. Impact analyses and targeted evaluations are regularly conducted to ensure that programme activities, in particular core service delivery, are having the necessary impacts at factory level.Output 2.3. Tools and methodologies are developed in order to support country programmes to effectively address core labour standards and industrial relations.


Results from previous phases:   Productivity : Factories participating in BW have seen a rise in sales, employment, productive capacity, order size and a longer relationship with their customers. Staff turnover has declined. There is therefore strong evidence that high labour standard compliance gives a competitive advantage to factories in attracting and retaining reputation-sensitive buyers (being in compliance with labour standards makes suppliers 56% more likely to retain buyers). Furthermore, factories with high compliance with labour standards are more likely to survive financial and economic crisis. Profit : Factories where workers do not have concerns about their wages and payments, or about verbal and physical harassment, are likely to have higher profits. This suggests that modern human resource management systems respecting workers’ rights are correlated to higher profits.Performance at the factory level : Companies became more attractive to international buyers due to their committed compliance policy.


Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • International Labor Organization


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   12'400'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   95'100'000
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2017 - 31.10.2021   (Current phase)

Phase 1 20.02.2013 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)