The ILO Regional Office for the Arab States is in the process of rolling out its Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE) programme in different member states. WISE uses an innovative approach to improve working conditions and productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises around the world. It is a process in which entrepreneurs and managers are empowered and supported to address working conditions issues through the identification, sharing and implementation of local and affordable good practices. To date the following activities have been successfully completed:
- The WISE package has been translated to Arabic and adapted to meet the specific conditions of industrial small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that employ 10 to 25 workers both in Lebanon and in Jordan.
- Ten case studies of enterprises (five from Lebanon and five from Jordan) were developed to provide the programme participants with concrete implementation examples of WISE productivity measures.
- The updated material was pilot tested in Lebanon with 27 participants comprised of representatives from industrial SMEs across different sectors in Lebanon as well as representatives from different units of the Ministry of Industry and the Industrial Research Institute and the Euro-Lebanese Centre For Industrial Modernisation.
- In December 2013, the updated programme was delivered in a Training of Trainers (TOTs) workshop in Jordan and targeted 15 participants comprised of trainers and consultants from different firms from the Lebanese and Jordanian private sectors. Representatives from partner institutions were also participated.
- SME assessments were conducted targeting 15 Lebanese and 15 Jordanian enterprises to set a baseline of their productivity and business processes for later use in assessing the impact of the WISE programme on productivity and work environment.