Pilot project to equip RMG workers in Bangladesh with digital literacy skills

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Asian financial wellness platform Wagely, and a consortium consisting of Quizrr and Ulula have committed $556,000 to improve financial and digital inclusion for RMG workers in Bangladesh.

Founded in 2013, Quizrr uses digital training solutions to educate employees in supply chains and beyond on issues such as labor rights, workplace safety and social dialogue, using a bottom-up approach. While technology and human rights data company Ulula aims to improve working conditions by obtaining and processing accurate and timely information directly from workers and communities.

Through this commitment, UNCDF will provide performance-based grants and technical assistance, including mentoring for partners on human-centered product design, client outreach with a focus on women , partnerships, data analysis and report writing assistance.

In Bangladesh, the RMG manufacturing sector employs more than 4 million people, including 2.5 million women, according to a report published by the Asian Center for Development. Following the devastating impact of the current Covid crisis in 2020-2021, the sector is now recovering, with opportunities to improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability to enhance competitiveness, growth and potential additional industry investment. The use of digital services has the potential to accelerate these opportunities and improve the decency of work and the livelihoods of those employed in the sector.

“UNCDF is proud to partner with Wagely and Quizrr and Ulula to improve livelihoods, especially for women, and sustainability in the garment sector in Bangladesh through digitalization, following the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the sector with a value of approximately $3 billion. orders canceled in 2020-2021,” says Maria Perdomo, Asia Regional Coordinator for UNCDF.

Tobias Fischer, CEO of Wagely, adds, “With support from UNCDF, Wagely will accelerate its Earned Wage Access service in Bangladesh, which allows employees to receive accrued wages prior to payday, and is proven to it increases productivity and employee retention. Additionally, Wagely will introduce additional financial wellness solutions, especially for female workers, helping female apparel workers achieve financial resilience and inclusion.

These investments are the result of the UNCDF project “Promoting digital ecosystem solutions that cater to women’s livelihoods in Bangladesh through the sustainability of the apparel sector amid Covid-19 and beyond.”

Launched in the wake of the pandemic, the project applies a market systems development approach to advance the digital services ecosystem in Bangladesh with a focus on digital business models to benefit ready-to-wear garment manufacturers. -porter and their employees.

As part of this project, UNCDF published an assessment of the RMG sector in Bangladesh who analyzed opportunities and suggested recommendations for digitization to improve the livelihoods and sustainability of the sector and subsequently selected partners to implement those recommendations.

Following the implementation of both solutions by 2022, UNCDF can continue its work with the mobilization of investment capital, such as loans and guarantees, and additional technical assistance.

UNCDF’s work in Bangladesh is part of the global strategy “Leave no one behind in the digital age”, which aims to equip millions of people by 2024 to use innovative digital services in their lives. everyday life that will empower them and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. Goals.

Sofie Nordström, Founding Partner and Deputy Managing Director of Quizrr, says, “Quizrr’s gamified digital training, powered by real-time data, enables crowdsourced providers to effectively accelerate their human rights due diligence efforts. and engage their employees with training on several key topics such as rights and responsibilities, worker engagement, and digital wages, to build capacity and track workers’ digital and financial literacy.

Antoine Heuty, CEO of Ulula, adds: “The impact of the pandemic has demonstrated the need to put workers first in order to create more resilient and sustainable supply chains. Through this project, we are combining our worker engagement technology with Quizrr’s digital capacity building system to create an integrated solution for RMG workers in Bangladesh and beyond.

Bangladesh took a step forward in eliminating child labor in March, ratifying the International Labor Organization (ILO) Minimum Age Convention of 1973.

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Dwight E. Schulz