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Primark: Measuring social impacts of the Sudokkho programme in Bangladesh

Primark is looking for ways to better measure and understand the impact of its efforts to support the social and financial well-being of workers in its supply chain.

Through one of its initiatives in Bangladesh, the business partnered with 60-Decibels, an end-to-end social impact measurement company, to assess the impact of a programme called Sudokkho, which helps factories establish an effective in-house technical training system for workers.

Sudokkho was launched in 2015 with donor funding that included the UK and Swiss governments. When this funding ended in 2020, Primark continued to finance and support the garment factory component of this programme in its supply chain.

Up to 2022, Primark has supported the introduction of the programme in 36 factories in its finished goods supply chain in Bangladesh. Over 900 workers have been trained directly by technical experts from Rajesh Bedha Consulting (RBC) under the programme, through being selected as trainers and assurors for the Suddokho training system in their factories. Close to 10,000 workers have been subsequently trained under the Suddokho training system across the 36 participating factories.

The Primark team worked with 60-Decibels to develop a questionnaire to understand the impact of the programme on the lives of workers who had been trained both directly and indirectly under the programme. This was conducted by 60-Decibels through phone conversations in local languages. Research is ongoing, but interim insights are positive:

  • Workers were highly satisfied with the training, as indicated by a high Net Promoter Score of 79. Workers appreciated the ability to get a new job through the Sudokkho training andlearning new skills such as operating different machinery.
  • The Sudokkho training has improved the quality of life for 8 out of 10 of the workers interviewed, and increased earnings for 7 out of 10. In addition to salary increases, workers spoke of getting promoted, being able to better support their family needs, and feeling more respected both at the workplacenand within their community, as a result of the training.
  • Over 9 in 10 workers reported  improvements in how well they do their job because of the training. Of them grow and develop in their current job and potentially help them secure a better job in the future. Almost all workers interviewed reported increased self-confidence as a result of the training.
  • Changes in how workers’ families viewed their job appears to be closely linked to changes in their income. 8 in 10 workers reported that the way their family viewed their job has improved because of the Sudokkho training. Most workers who said their income had increased reported that their families’ view of their job had also improved.

Of the limited number of workers who had suggestions for improving the Sudokkho training, a tenth want to see better training content and a similarproportion suggested changes in the duration of the training.

Looking forward, Primark will work with Suddokho partners and stakeholders to apply learnings from this assessment in order to drive continuous improvement in the programme’s impact. Primark is also strengthening its approach to social impact measurement through working with experts like 60 Decibels and Tandem.

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