Advancing Jordan’s satellite garment factories

10 Apr 2019

Over the past decade, Jordan’s garment manufacturing industry has maintained an impressive rate of growth. This expansion brings with it the immense potential to create decent job opportunities, including for Jordanian women. The government’s “satellite” garment unit model has targeted pockets of rural poverty in Jordan and helped bring over 4,700 Jordanian women into the formal labour market. However, most satellite units are not profitable. In this context, to continue providing decent job opportunities across Jordan while being financially viable, satellite garment factories must be transformed into sustainable businesses.

With support from the World Bank Group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Better Work Jordan implemented an 18-month project, “Enhancing the Productivity in Jordan’s Satellite Garment Factories”. Given the increasing number of satellite units and the model’s potential to provide sustainable work opportunities to Jordanians, the project sought to understand the challenges faced by these factories and to explore ways to enhance productivity through improvements in processes and better working conditions.

This report presents the background of the emergence of the satellite unit model in Jordan and its current status. The report draws observations on challenges and best practices documented throughout the course of the project and presents recommendations to help advance the model. Greater coordinated efforts and increased public-private dialogue could help achieve the core mission of the satellite unit model – to provide decent work opportunities for Jordanian women in rural areas.

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