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Garment Worker Diaries Update

BY Guy Stuart, Ph.D. - Cambridge, MA. January 2020

MFO and its partner in Bangladesh, SANEM, had a busy 2019 implementing the Garment Worker Diaries project. We collected a full 12 months of data from 1,300 workers, using the data to track their work hours, earnings, expenses, savings, loans, and transfers. Getting this to run smoothly to generate high-quality data took a lot of work, but we are seeing the benefits as we have focused more of our attention on visualizing and analyzing the data.

In October we launched a new dashboard that allows users to view the data in a variety of ways, including being able to make regional comparisons and comparisons across brands that source their products from factories in Bangladesh. So if you are interested in what a worker in a factory that supplies Primark with finished garments, you can select Primark from a dropdown menu to see the typical monthly salary of workers in these factories. You can also see their work hours. Or if you are interested in comparing the prevailing monthly wages in different garment producing areas in Bangladesh, you can do that as well.

If you follow our Instagram account, @mfo_workerdiaries, you will get daily updates that provide you with a quick look at what is going on in the lives of garment workers in Bangladesh. Sometimes we feature one worker, and other times we provide higher-level summaries focused on a brand or a garment producing area.

Our new YouTube Channel gives you the opportunity to hear from workers firsthand.

For those who are interested in more in-depth analysis of the data, you can navigate to the reports page. There you will find reports that look at the hourly wage earnings of workers, their experience with wage digitization, and the varying roles of women garment workers within households.
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