Better Work Indonesia is part of the Better Work global programme, a unique partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It unites the expertise of the ILO in labour standards with that of the IFC in private sector development.
Better Work Indonesia, which became operational in July 2011, was initially designed with a sustainable approach that would allow the programme to continue independent operations after an initial period.
Starting January 2017, BWI’s operational services and team has transitioned to the “Partnership at Work” Foundation (Yayasan Kemitraan Kerja). All staff delivering core services (Operations Manager, Enterprise Advisors, Team Leaders, Training Officer and Assistant) have be transferred to the Foundation. A smaller BWI team, led by the CTA, continues with the ILO and assures consistency, alignment, and quality of factory services. BWI will also manage relationships with key stakeholders including government, social partners, buyers and donors.
The creation of the “Partnership at Work” Foundation (Yayasan Kemitraan Kerja) marks a pivotal moment in the history of BWI. As the sole implementing partner of Better Work in Indonesia the Foundation is ideally placed to achieve greater financial and operational efficiency and may, in close partnership with BWI and ILO, gradually be involved in other related activities with government and other key partners.
Currently BWI is operating from 3 hubs (Greater Jakarta, West Java and Central Java), with its main office in Jakarta. It provides its services to factories in wearing apparel and footwear sector based in 5 provinces (Banten, Jakarta, West-Java, Central-Java, Yogyakarta).
Researchers from Tufts University studied the impact of Better Work Indonesia in the past five years, and found that significant progress has been made during this period, with potential for further improvements.
Some key findings:
Workers achieve greater job stability. In a sign of increasing job stability for workers, responses from impact assessment surveys show a near doubling of the proportion of workers who say they hold an unlimited time contract, rather than a short-term or probationary contract.
Workers show increased willingness to take serious concerns to trade unions. For example, while workplace sexual harassment is a concern for workers in Indonesia, through participation with Better Work they are increasingly empowered to combat the issue. Over time in the programme, workers are increasingly likely to take this concern to their trade union representative, indicating they are more aware of their rights and the channels to exercise them.
Access to healthcare services improves. Through its assessment and advisory work to ensure greater compliance with existing laws, Better Work Indonesia has enabled expanded access to pregnancy related healthcare. More workers report through impact assessment surveys that they have access to this kind of healthcare, a vital service for many young women working long hours in the garment sector.