Application Deadline: September, 19, 2021
Organization context and scope
Jordan’s garment industry is one of the leading exporting industries in the country. While exports dropped in 2020, this was coming on the heels of 2019, the best year for garment exports in Jordan to-date. Garment exports in 2020 were valued at USD 1.6 billion and made up 22 per cent of all exports. While Covid-19 has had an effect on the sector, the sector has fared relatively well in comparison to some other sectors of the Jordanian economy and compared to the garment sector worldwide. The US continued to be Jordan’s largest garment export due to the established Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The Better Work Jordan (BWJ) programme aims to improve labour standards and enterprise performance in the Jordanian apparel industry. BWJ was established at the Jordanian Ministry of Labor request in 2007 and began operations in mid-2008. It is a partnership between the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
At the enterprise level, BWJ’s activities are comprised of two stages. The first stage is designed to identify the needs of enterprises in terms of labour compliance. The second stage focuses on advisory and training services. BWJ works with participating enterprises to develop and implement a unique improvement plan that systematically addresses all violations and deviations from the applicable laws and standards. BWJ’s ultimate goal is upgrading enterprise economic and labour standards performance through customized training and remediation.
At the sectoral level, BWJ supports stakeholder organizations representing government, workers, and employers by building their capacity to develop a competitive sector providing employment opportunities in conditions of freedom, equity, security, and human dignity. To this end, BWJ is undertaking several initiatives. These include capacity-building programs for the Ministry of Labor and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment, and Clothing.
The General Trade Union of Workers in Textiles, Garment & Clothing (referred to as the union) is the worker representation body for Jordan’s garment sector. The union is responsible for safeguarding and promoting the rights and interest of workers in the sector. This applies for both members and non-members of the union. Under Jordanian Labour Law, only one union is allowed to exist in each industry, and workers cannot freely join the union of their choosing. In addition, only Jordanians are allowed in union leadership positions per the Unified Trade Union Bylaw, while migrant workers make up three-quarters of all workers in the sector. This has caused a disjoint between the union and the workers they represent.
In recent years, Better Work Jordan has worked with the union to bridge this gap and identify solutions within the parameters of the current labour law. While more work remains to be done, important steps have been made in collaboration with the union to protect and promite the rights of all workers. For instance, the union has negotiated four CBAs with employers—the first CBA was in 2013 and they are re-negotiated every other year. The most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed in December 2019 and featured the most inclusive process of any CBA to-date. Worker representatives from multiple different nationalities were consulted in this process and key issues facing workers were addressed head on during the CBA negotiations.
The union has expended considerable effort in establishing several channels to communicate with garment workers. These include both face-to-face activities, as well as the use of printed and social media to reach a wider audience. However, despite these achievements, there is considerable scope for improvement. The union mostly interfaces with worker members to the Union Labour Committee (ULC) who are representatives of the workers in their factory. The union does not have contact information or up-to-date information on members in the union. Per the union numbers, there are 18,500 members in the union (roughly 25% of the workforce). However, per BWJ data gathered from factory management, there are an estimated 58,000 members in the union (roughly 80% of the workforce). This basic discrepancy in numbers makes it difficult to support union engagement with workers.
There is also a lack of awareness among workers about the union. In a recent survey conducted by union organizers of 600 workers, 45% of workers indicated that they were in the union, 33% said they were not, and 22% did not know. Increasing worker awareness of the union and of their own membership status is a key goal of the union in the coming years, and BWJ supports the union towards these efforts.
Conduct a mapping exercise and scope out the potential to create a database of union members. Consult with relevant stakeholders to determine current data availability and situation (as-is) and develop an outline for a future database (to-be). The database could include basic demographic information from the workers including name, gender and nationality, as well as factory they are working in, contact information, date of union membership, committee member status, and other information deemed necessary. The current availability of the above data should be considered, as well as the source of the data and any issues of confidentiality. The consultant should make a recommendation on the best way to build a database of union members that is useful, practical and sustainable. Potential uses for this database should also be covered, including who has access to the data, linkages with tracking grievances in the sector, and the possibility of generating membership cards for workers.
The general objectives of this consultancy are:
- Review existing data regarding union membership status and consult with key stakeholders including the union, workers and factory owners.
- Develop specifications for a future database of union members containing information agreed upon with key stakeholders, which is easy to update and maintain, and provide mechanisms for updating this database to include active members of the union at any point in time.
- Provide recommendations for future database development
The consultant will be responsible for the following:
Deliverable 1: Inception report of the current situation based on existing data and stakeholder consultation (10 days)
- Review existing data on union membership status from the union, factories and Better Work Jordan
- Consult with key stakeholders including the union and workers to understand their needs. Consult with factory management to determine what information can be provided by employers.
- Assess current data management system in the union and capacity for data management, including technical and organizational capacity and existing guidelines and practices on data handling, as well as attitudes towards data integrity, personal data protection and best practices.
- Produce inception report with information learned and key considerations.
Deliverable 2: Develop specifications and roadmap for proposed future database (5 days)
- Develop clear, technically sound specifications for proposed database development that can be used in the future to develop the database.
- The database may include the following, with further data added or removed in consultation with stakeholders based on deliverable 1:
- Name (exact name and spelling from official documents preferred)
- Factory identification number (unique number given by each factory)
- Date of birth (to calculate age)
- Home region
- Current factory of employment
- Contact information (phone number, imo)
- Dates of union membership (start and end date)
- Committee member status (ULC, OSH committee)
- Membership number (generated once by the union and maintained over time – does not currently exist)
- The following should be taken into account when developing the database:
- Source of information, including how the information will be collected. Pros and cons should be considered for different information sources.
- Confidentiality of information, especially contact information
- Access to information, including which information is available in forward-facing dashboard versus access to full database (taking into consideration who should have access to which information).
- The technical capacity and resource availability of the users and the future administrator(s) to enable the continuous and effective use of the system.
- Mechanism for updating the database should take into account the following two factors:
- Leaving: End date of workers – need list of workers who either leave sector or stop paying union membership dues
- Entering: Adding in new workers as they become union members
Deliverable 3: Recommendation report (5 days)
- Written report (in English and Arabic) with recommendation on how database development should proceed.
- The following factors should be considered:
- Usefulness of the database – based on stakeholder consultations, what is the demand for the database? How could the information be used and by who?
- Technical and human resources needed – identify gaps in the current technical and human resources especially with the trade union (the main user of the database) that may be barriers to use
- Resource implication of creating database. What are the costs and needed investments?
- How will the database be sustained and updated over time, including marking the correct end date for those workers who left the union/ sector? What technical skills will be needed for long-term maintenance and improvement?
- Comparison of possible software that could be used to build the database. The following elements should be taken into consideration:
- Initial costs
- Ongoing costs (e.g. subscriptions)
- Description of training courses required for database maintenance and associated costs
- Relevant software features
- Present recommendations report to key stakeholders.
Start date: 26 September 2021
End date: 31 October 2021
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science or relevant field
- Experience with balancing competing needs and soliciting feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders
- Good written and verbal English communication skills
- Fluency in Arabic
- Institutions are encouraged to apply to increase the availability of resources and skills
All applicants must send their technical and financial proposals to Muna Noufal at [email protected]. The deadline to submit your application is the 19th of September 2021, at midnight (Jordan time). Only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.
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