Better Work

Development partners and international organisation


The Better Work approach creates lasting, positive change to supply chains through factory assessments and training, as well as advocacy and research that changes policies, attitudes and behaviors. The programme partners with international brands and operates in nine manufacturing countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Ethiopia, Haiti and Nicaragua. By sharing our approach and the results of our on-the groundwork, we seek to influence policy makers and decision makers to promoted decent work and better business.

Better Work mobilizes governments, global brands, unions and employers’ associations to improve working conditions, drive competitiveness and help lift millions of people out of poverty.

As a partnership between the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, Better Work knows how to bring diverse groups together to create positive action that improves working conditions while stimulating productivity and competitiveness.

Better Work creates lasting, measurable change by empowering factories to improve the working conditions in their facilities. Better Work’s assessments are the global gold standard for rigour and integrity, and their training and advisory services change attitudes as well as behaviours.

Through comprehensive, university-led research, and by sharing best practices from on-the-ground experience, Better Work is able to shape the agenda well beyond the countries in which we work, influencing governments, brands and policy-makers to make improving working conditions a top priority.

Better Work’s experience and research has demonstrated – to employers, unions, governments and global brands –that improving working conditions and defending the rights of workers benefits all of us. Better Work has improved the lives of more than three million workers and millions more family members, while enhancing the profitability of their employers. There is no trade-off between better work and better business.

Better Work has collected extensive data across its nine country programmes that evidences a positive impact on garment industry supply chains. The programme engages over 1,641 factories, employing approximately two million people.

An independent assessment conducted by Tufts University of 15,000 workers and 2,000 managers found that enrolment in Better Work: 

  • Decreased the gender pay gap by up to 17%, reduced sexual harassment concerns by 18% and increased access to prenatal care by up to 26%
  • Increased productivity in participating factories by up 22% and increased profitability by up to 25%
  • Created a significant and positive impact on working conditions such as abusive practices, weekly pay, contracts and working hours
  • Led to a 22% productivity increase in women workers, when they participated in Better Work’s training for supervisors course
  • Resulted in 97% of factories being compliant to minimum wage laws after five years of participation in the programme (in Vietnam)
  • Workers reporting extreme hunger reduced by 20% in five years (in Jordan)
  • Access to prenatal check-ups for pregnant workers has increased by 20% in five years (in Haiti)

For a full review of the impact of Better Work or specific data, visit the programme’s Progress and Potential Report or check out our latest research publications.

Ethiopia; Haiti; Jordan; Bangladesh; Cambodia; Egypt; Nicaragua; Indonesia; Vietnam