The Better Work program improves working conditions in global textile and apparel supply chains. By monitoring factories' compliance with national labor laws and international labor standards, Better Work promotes better conditions for workers, develops competiveness by providing technical assistance to factories that need to improve their compliance, and informs major brands and buyers of labor conditions in the sector. Multinational apparel brands use that information to make business decisions and help determine where to place their orders.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor has allocated $23 million to Better Work, impacting the lives of workers around the world. Current Better Work Department of Labor funded projects include:
Better Work produces compliance reports on the labor situation in each factory. These reports are purchased by brands to get a clear picture of the labor situation in the factories in which they place orders or plan on placing orders.
The transparency of Better Work reporting gives value to the process. The reports allow factories to show improvements and attract businesses. Factories that are not complying with labor rights standards risk becoming isolated from the business circle, pushing them to improve their working conditions.
More and more brands are replacing their own audits in factories and are placing their trust in the reports produced by Better Work to inform their business decisions.
Measuring Better Work's impact in a credible way requires a focused effort and specialized tools. The Better Work program is committed to measuring its long-term impact through a mix of strategies and methodologies. A multidisciplinary team from Tufts University in the United States has led the impact measurement effort since 2007. Data collection is ongoing in five Better Work countries where researchers analyze the causal links between Better Work interventions and outcomes for both enterprises and workers.
Read Better Work findings from its impact research in:
The Better Work program is built on a partnership between the International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group. The ILO is the specialized labor agency of the United Nations. Better Work combines the expertise of the ILO in social dialogue and labor standards with that of the IFC in private-sector development, where it holds investment clients to high standards of performance in labor and working conditions.
The Better Work strategy was created around the respective strengths of these organizations, resulting in a unique effort with high international credibility.
Policy Brief: The Business Case for Quality Jobs