Better Work Bangladesh - Design Phase
Better Work is a partnership programme between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that aims to improve compliance with labour standards and promote competitiveness in global supply chains, in particular in labour intensive industries. It does this by promoting compliance with core international labour standards—as expressed in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work—and national labour law, as a basis for building socially responsible export strategies. In Asia, the programme operates in the garment sectors of Cambodia (as Better Factories Cambodia), Indonesia and Vietnam, where the industries are seen as pillars for providing employment opportunities and contributing to poverty reduction.
Drawing on the rich experience acquired by Better Work in the garment industry, including in Asia, national and international stakeholders have been exploring the possibility of establishing a Better Work country programme in Bangladesh. Given this interest, the ILO and IFC carried out a feasibility study during the first half of 2011 in order to assess whether Better Work can develop a successful project in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry. The goal of the study was to understand the industry framework within the context of the global garment product trade, to determine if various relevant factors met Better Work country selection criteria, and to gauge if the environment is conducive to the successful implementation of a Better Work programme in Bangladesh. Taking into account the results of the study, Better Work's Management Group took a decision cautiously endorsing proceeding to full programme design.
The ILO and IFC have subsequently initiated a 9-month participatory Design Phase, which started in January 2012. The main objectives of the Design Phase are 1) to ensure that stakeholders fully understand the Better Work programme and subsequently endorse its goals and objectives by demonstrating their commitment in concrete ways, 2) to design a Better Work Bangladesh programme that meets specific and measurable objectives to improve compliance with labour standards in the ready-made garment industry, and 3) to prepare the technical ground for programme implementation. Based on the outcome of the design phase, the Management Group will assess the opportunity for successful programme implementation against identified entry criteria and take a decision on future Better Work activities in Bangladesh.
More information about Better Work and its country programmes can be found at www.betterwork.org