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Measuring Social Impact in Bangladesh

PEOPLE

Measuring Social Impact in Bangladesh

Primark partnered with 60 Decibels, an independent organization specializing in social impact measurement, to better understand the impact of factory-based training on worker wellbeing.

At Primark, we’re committed to supporting the livelihoods of the people who make our products. This includes working with our supply chain and third-party partners to create opportunities for career growth and skills development for female workers.

The Sudokkho Program, run by our technical partners Rajesh Bheda Consulting (RBC), works with factories to establish an effective in-house technical training system for their workers. Workers trained under this system gain new or improved skills which leads to greater income opportunities through promotion and career progression. Given that women make up a majority of the workforce in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh, our hope is that by helping women progress in their roles, they'll have the opportunity to earn higher salaries and better opportunities for career progression — an important step towards addressing gender imbalances in Bangladesh’s garment sector.

Sudokkho was launched in 2015 with funding from the UK and Swiss governments. When this funding ended in 2020, Primark continued to finance and support the garment factory component of this program in its supply chain. Since 2015 and up to 2023, 75 factories have been introduced to Sudokkho in Primark’s supply chain in Bangladesh.

Given our commitment and investment to this program, we wanted to better understand its impact, enabling us to learn and drive continuous improvement. We partnered with 60 Decibels to carry out an impact assessment of our Sudokkho program in 2023. 60 Decibels surveyed over 600 workers involved in the program, asking various questions to understand how the training had impacted their careers and lives. All surveys were conducted in the local language, Bangla.

The impact assessment found that the program had positively impacted workers’ lives. Three in four workers said they have had career development opportunities because of the training, and a similar proportion reported pay increases. Three in four workers who reported income increases also reported that the way their family and community view their job had improved after the training. The study also found that there is room for improvement to deepen impact on their income and overall quality of life.

Looking forward, we will work with Sudokkho partners and stakeholders to apply what we've learned from this assessment to help drive continuous improvement in the program’s impact. Primark is also strengthening its approach to social impact measurement by working with experts like 60 Decibels.

Find out more and read the full report here.

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