From due diligence to advocacy to academic research, stakeholders can use the GWD channels in many ways. Since the project’s inception, a wide range of stakeholders have used the channel to communicate with workers to receive credible data and gain insights they can act on. GWD has been used by stakeholders to identify specific issues, from the efficacy of grievance mechanisms within a factory to the rollout of digital wage payments, to inform the design of programs and interventions to address such issues. Because Diaries track workers over time, stakeholders can then use them to monitor the outputs of programs and track their impact: from data to insights to action to results.
"Credible data is at the basis of every good decision. Similarly, improving the lives of garment workers starts with understanding their situation. Through the Garment Worker Diaries project, SANEM and MFO have consistently generated regular and credible data. The increased transparency in the sector has helped us tremendously with policy-making and advocating with relevant stakeholders."
Bas Blaauw, First Secretary at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, channel user since 2019.
"We know we’re only as strong as the communities where we operate, and we’re committed to helping improve the lives of workers in our supply chain through collaborative initiatives, such as working with MFO."
In 2020 M&S, through the GWD channel, tracked workers’ resilience in the face of COVID-19 and whether participating in the ILO’s GEAR program made a difference in their ability to deal with this economic shock. The data suggested workers who had gone through the program were better prepared to face the social and economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic.
Marks & Spencer, channel user in 2020.
"MFO has been a trusted advisor for our research study on wage digitization in Bangladesh and has provided valuable feedback on responsibly collecting and analyzing garment worker data. We have used MFO’s services to collect special questions on garment workers’ experience with wage digitization. MFO has helped us triangulate responses with their weekly garment worker panel dataset, allowing us to check data quality, validate trends at multiple analysis levels, and have confidence in using the data to answer policy research questions."
Mathematica, channer user since 2020.
SUBMIT SPECIAL QUESTIONS
GWD Public Channels communicate with a representative sample of women workers in the RMG industry and make public gender disaggregated data that is representative of what is happening in the sector. The weekly survey covers basic topics such as work hours, factory payments, health, digital payments, and food security. Stakeholders are welcome to submit one-time surveys during any given week on any topic. GWD currently has a public channel in Bangladesh and expects to be able to expand to a second country, likely Pakistan, in 2022.
DESIGN YOUR OWN SAMPLE AND SURVEY
GWD Private Channels target a specific number of workers and factories selected by the stakeholder. The sample and surveys are designed according to the stakeholder’s need and provide insight and worker’s input on specific (often sensitive) topics such as GBV, discrimination, and workplace dynamics. GWD has set up several private channels in Bangladesh during the past 2 years. Given MFO’s network and experience in the past 20 years leading 18 diaries projects in different emerging markers, MFO has the capacity to set up private GWD channels in many countries.
EU CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTIVE
Garment Worker Diaries initiatives also support companies in their due diligence efforts by conducting meaningful stakeholder engagement through an independent and trusted channel of communication with workers in their supply chain. Data collected through this channel can be used to gain ground-level intelligence regarding the work conditions and non-work lives of workers. The data can also be used to triangulate and corroborate findings gained through more traditional-style audits and other methodologies.
Having such a channel of communication is especially important in light of the draft EU due diligence directive, which will require companies to take appropriate measures to identify actual and potential adverse human rights impacts arising from their own operations (including established business relationships with suppliers). The directive also requires companies to carry out periodic assessments of their operations and measures in consultation with potentially affected groups, such as workers. What better way to anticipate and address adverse impacts on workers than by talking to workers themselves through a trusted and independent channel?
The Garment Worker Diaries approach can also help companies that are considering entering new sourcing markets, where they do not yet have established supply chains. Conducting stakeholder engagement within garment-production communities helps companies create a robust pre-entry due diligence process from the get go.
Garment Worker Diaries is an initiative of Microfinance Opportunities, in collaboration with SANEM.
Garment Worker Diaries communication channels and the initiatives which sustain those channels have been both actively used and supported by stakeholders in the global apparel supply chain.