Better Work Jordan (Phase IV)

Under the Better Work Jordan Phase IV strategy, the program seeks to consolidate and expand on its achievements while empowering tripartite constituents in Jordan to play a leading role in maintaining and advancing progress. Better Work Jordan aspires to ensure sustainable impact on working conditions in the garment industry.

Originally established in 2008 at the Jordanian government’s request, Better Work Jordan (BWJ) is a joint initiative of the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation. The overarching aim of the project is to improve labour standards and enterprise performance in the Jordanian apparel industry.

During the first phase of the project, which spanned five years, BWJ focused on improving the lives of tens of thousands of workers by driving sector-wide, sustainable improvement in adherence with the Jordanian labour law and international conventions on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In addition, BWJ promoted the business competitiveness of the apparel sector in Jordan within the global supply chain by assessing participating factories against core International Labour Standards (ILS) and the national labour law. The aim of these assessments was to identify compliance requirements and recommend improvements to support the proactive management of compliance, as well as providing advisory and training services on how to improve compliance by increasing workplace cooperation. At an industry level, BWJ also engages with stakeholders to ensure long-term sustainability of factory improvements.

The second phase of the project, starting in 2013, focused mainly on strengthening the quality and consistency of BWJ’s core services; extending the impact of the project beyond the factory level to ensure the long-term sustainability and continued economic growth of the exporting garment sector.

The 5-year phase also saw further developments in terms of collaboration between the Ministry of Labour and BWJ, mainly through the launch of the secondment program that aims to strengthen the capacity of labour inspectors through in-class and field training visits to participating factories.

Currently in its third phase, Better Work Jordan seeks to build on the successes it has achieved throughout the past years, and also address the anticipated challenges that are before the program, as well as the garment industry in Jordan.

Better Work envisions itself moving towards a quality assurance and coaching oriented role, with national stakeholders taking on increased responsibility for delivery of services. Better Work Jordan will also continue to facilitate relationships in-country between the various stakeholders to ensure proper articulation between ministries, unions, employers’ associations, and buyers. Better Work will also work to influence public policy by using its unique evidence base from factories to inform policymaking for more responsive and effective labour market governance in Jordan.

Better Work Jordan is supported by the following key development partners:
  • Jordan (Ministry of Labour)
  • European Union
  • Canada (the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC))
  • United States (US Department of Labor, USDOL)


Better Work Jordan phase III has three main goals. The first is to accelerate and deepen improvements in factories both in the garment industry and beyond. Second, it aims to build the capacity of the national stakeholders to eventually localize core service delivery, while taking a more quality assurance role in the process. Thirdly, phase III of the BWJ Programme aims to create sustainable mechanisms for policy reforms in the garment industry and beyond.

Main Activities

At the factory level, BWJ’s activities are comprised of delivery of core services including assessment, advisory and training services, in addition to identifying the needs of enterprises to bring them in line with ILS. BWJ activities include:
  • Extending core services to all factories involved in exporting apparel from Jordan including direct exporters and their sub-contractors; in addition to extending core services delivery to non-garment eligible factories in three manufacturing industries (plastic, chemicals and engineering);
  • identifying areas of common need through factory assessments to offer a variety of training programs supported by factories and buyers for both managers and workers;
  • providing support to stakeholders and employers to improve the living conditions of migrant workers in addition to better understanding to the psychological needs of workers in the Jordanian apparel industry; and
  • facilitating stronger relationships between buyers and suppliers to develop joint approaches that improve conditions for workers as well as factory productivity and competitiveness.
At the industry level, BWJ supports stakeholder organizations which represent the government, workers and employers to:
  • Enhancing industrial relations and social dialogue;
  • expanding collaboration with the Ministry of Labour;
  • increasing Jordanian employment in the garment sector;
  • influencing public and private sector policy debates through interventions at the factory level as well as through its impact assessment agenda;
  • working with key stakeholders to eliminate practices that can be associated with forced labour and discrimination at work; and
  • maintaining buyers’ engagement through the Annual Buyers Forum to discuss sectorial priorities.


  • By 2027, Jordan’s garment industry will have an effective system of tripartite-plus labour market governance, upholding workers’ rights in line with national laws and core international standards.
  • By 2027, export growth combined with active labour market policies will increase the garment industry’s contribution to Jordanian employment.
  • By 2027, Better Work Jordan will have made a positive impact on working conditions and labour market governance beyond Jordan’s export-oriented garment industry.


  • Boosting scalability and sustainability of impact by strengthening the capacity of national stakeholders;
  • aligning new strategic and operational partnerships;
  • shaping national policies;
  • steady improvement of factory compliance with ILS and Jordanian labour law;
  • implementation of a new collective bargaining agreement;
  • establishment of a unified contract for garment migrant workers;
  • development of a long-term strategy for the garment sector; and
  • a marked increase in the number of international brands that source garment products from Jordan.