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How Better Work is improving garment workers’ lives and boosting factory competitiveness
To further understand the impact of its work, the Better Work Programme commissioned Tufts University to conduct an independent impact assessment. Since the programme’s inception, Tufts’ interdisciplinary research team has gathered and analysed nearly 15,000 survey responses from garment workers and 2,000 responses from factory managers in Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Nicaragua and Vietnam.
The analysis of these responses represents an in-depth evaluation of Better Work’s effectiveness in changing workers’ lives and boosting factory competitiveness. The researchers used different experimental strategies to evaluate the impact of the programme. These included a strategy to isolate the impact of the programme using randomised intervals of time – reflecting factories’ different periods of exposure to Better Work services – as well as a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the impact of the supervisory skills training.
By capturing this unique set of data and by establishing a rigorous analytical framework and methodology, the researchers were able to test – often for the first time – hypotheses on multiple issues including human resource management strategies, firm organization and global supply chain dynamics. Their assessment is an invaluable contribution to the world’s understanding of labour in global supply chains.
Better Work’s impact on working conditions
The impact assessment demonstrates the causal effect of the Better Work programme on a wide range of working conditions in garment factories.
♦ Preventing abusive practices (forced labour, verbal abuse, sexual harassment)
♦ Curbing excessive overtime
♦ Closing the gender pay gap
Better Work’s impact on firm performance
Tufts researchers explored the impact of Better Work on firm performance from multiple angles: productivity, profitability, position in the supply chain and order sizes.
Productivity Supervisory Skills Training (SST), particularly among female supervisors, increases productivity by 22 per cent. Discover more results about the SST course.
Profitability Factories experience a rise in profitability (measured as the ratio of total revenue versus total costs) due to their participation in the programme