Launch of IFC research project on employer-supported childcare in PNG

Factive is pleased be involved in a new research project for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Papua New Guinea (PNG), in collaboration with the Business Coalition for Women (BCFW) based in Port Moresby. This new research project involves engaging with almost 30 private sector companies to better understand the childcare needs of working parents in PNG, and to identify the costs and opportunities of employer-supported childcare.

Access to high-quality, affordable childcare is severely limited in many developing countries and this is also the case for working parents in PNG. This is due in part to a lack of government support for childcare services, as well as a lack of private sector investment in the sector. As a result, many working parents in these countries rely on informal childcare arrangements, such as leaving their children with relatives or neighbors, or perhaps leaving them at home unsupervised.

Previous research into employer-supported childcare in other countries has highlighted the economic benefits of investing in childcare services. Studies have shown that access to affordable, high-quality childcare can have a positive impact on women’s labor force participation rates, as well as on children’s cognitive and social development.

IFC has identified several strategies for improving the availability and quality of childcare in developing economies. These include:

  1. Providing training and support for childcare workers.
  2. Establishing regulations and standards for childcare services.
  3. Encouraging private sector investment in the childcare sector.
  4. Supporting innovative models for childcare provision.

We look forward to working with IFC and the wonderful team at the BCFW over the next few months, as we first collect data through a survey, group discussions, and interviews, and then analyse this data in collaboration with the companies and other stakeholders.

Factive previously supported IFC’s research on childcare in Myanmar. It’s now great to be working back in PNG!

Launch of GBV good practice note for the private sector

Private sector companies and investors are increasingly starting to recognise gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) as serious issues they need to address. Investors are becoming increasingly reluctant to fund projects where these types of risks have not been adequately assessed and mitigated. Companies are at risk of litigation, reputational damage and productivity impacts if incidents of GBVH occur within the workplace or within communities where an employee or contractor might be involved.

GBVH is widespread. It affects both men and women, but is most often perpetrated by men against women and girls, with more than one in three women having experienced some form of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime.

The good practice note provides much-needed guidance for companies and investors on how to mitigate the adverse impacts of GBVH on survivors and on companies and investors. It is intended to help companies and investors to assess, prevent, respond to and monitor GBVH. Importantly, the good practice note will help readers to identify common safety risks and ethical pitfalls where specialist GBVH expertise may be required.

The note was jointly commissioned by CDC Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Factive’s Principal Consultant, Dean Laplonge, and our GBV Specialist, Laura Marchesini, were pleased to be able to contribute feedback and guidance during the development of this note. Factive has worked extensively with IFC and EBRD on the development of their GBVH risk assessment and mitigation strategies over recent years.

A copy of “Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment: Emerging Good Practice for the Private Sector” can be downloaded from any of the following pages:

Levelling the playing field in PNG with Gender Smart Safety

A recent article in PNG Report outlines how the Gender Smart Safety (GSS) training program – offered by the Business Coalition for Women – has helped a number of PNG businesses improve the safety of their female employees.

As PNG’s formal economy grows, more and more women are entering the workforce and in areas that have been traditionally dominated by men. Thus it is increasingly necessary to widen the safety lens and address aspects of women’s safety that have typically received very little attention.

PNG Report

The GSS training program was designed by Factive as part of its contract with the International Finance Corporation to help PNG businesses improve workplace safety for women. It was initially piloted by Oil Search, St Barbara and New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL). The training program was recently adopted by Pacific Towing, the marine services division of the Steamships Group. It is also currently being further rolled out across various Oil Search operations in PNG.

Download a copy of the article here.

Employer Supported Childcare in Myanmar

Factive is pleased to announce the publication of a new document from the International Finance Corporation (IFC): Employer Supported Childcare: A Practical Guide for Myanmar Businesses. This guide was developed based on the results of research Factive completed for IFC in 2019: Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Myanmar.

The guide provides useful information for business owners in Myanmar on childcare support options for employees – a topic that demands more attention from employers during the rapidly changing global situation presented by Covid-19. It includes:

  • An explanation of the business benefits of employer-supported childcare
  • An introduction to some childcare support options employers can consider in the Myanmar context
  • Case studies and examples of employer-supported childcare from Myanmar and around the world

We wish to express our thanks to IFC for the opportunity to assist with this research. We would also like to thank our research team in Myanmar (Thiri San, Moh Moh and Zu Zu) for their excellent work on this project.

Absenteeism and turnover in Myanmar’s garment sector

Report cover page

Factive is pleased to announce the publication of a new research report for the International Labour Organization (ILO): Skilled Workers Matter: The business case for addressing absenteeism and turnover in Myanmar’s garment sector.

In April 2019, the ILO in conjunction with the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) commissioned a study into the impacts of absenteeism and turnover on productivity in Myanmar’s garment sector. The findings in this report are based on data the Factive team in Myanmar collected from 16 participating garment factories. In total, 346 workers participated in this study.

One of the key findings of the study is that the solution to the problems of absenteeism and turnover in garment factories in Myanmar today is not all about money. Garment workers are especially attracted to workplaces where they are treated with respect and where they feel safe both in their work environment and on their daily commute.

To read more, you can download a copy of the research report from the ILO’s website at the link below:–en/index.htm

Gender Smart Safety in PNG

Factive recently completed a new round of training on Gender Smart Safety for the Business Coalition for Women (BCFW) in Papua New Guinea. Two companies participated in the training – Pacific Towing and Oil Search. The Gender Smart Safety training with Pacific Towing was recently featured in an industry journal, International Tug & OSV. Click the download link to read the article.

Factive has been working with the BCFW since 2016 to develop and run the Gender Smart Safety program and to build local capacity. This training program considers the safety needs of women working in PNG to ensure they can work safely in any role and location. We are very pleased to have handed over the running of the program to the BCFW, so they can continue to offer this training to businesses throughout PNG over the long-term.

Launch of new IFC childcare report in Myanmar

Factive is very pleased to announce the launch of our latest research report for IFC – Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Myanmar. Several members of our team were present for the official launch in Yangon, Myanmar.

The report findings are intended to provide recommendations for Myanmar businesses on how to better support the needs of working parents and to realize the business benefits of employer-supported childcare.

The research involved almost 800 employee surveys, 45 focus group discussions and 37 key informant interviews. We would like to thank our national consultants Thiri, Moh-Moh and Zu Zu for their epic data-collection efforts!

The report and factsheet are available to download in both English and Myanmar language from the IFC website.

From left to right: Amy Luinstra (IFC), Zun ZuZu Han (Factive), Moh-Moh Aung (Factive), Thiri-San (Factive), Dean Laplonge (Factive), Ellen Maynes (IFC), Hnin Nwe Nwe Aung (IFC).

IFC recruiting for GBV consultant for research in Papua New Guinea

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is seeking a researcher/M&E specialist to evaluate the impact of workplace responses to family and sexual violence (FSV) in PNG from FY20-22. FSV disproportionately affects women and is a key contributing factor to the wide and slow-to-close gender gaps in the Pacific region. The data and analysis derived from this project are expected to increase the number of private sector firms in PNG taking proactive steps to support staff impacted by FSV.

The objective of this assignment is to provide M&E support to IFC on measuring the business case for workplace responses to FSV in PNG. The terms of reference for this role can be downloaded from the following link:

Gender Research Assistant Position

Factive is seeking to employ a casual Gender Research Assistant. This is a consultant position. Key tasks will include:

  • Conducting literature reviews to inform research methodologies and to provide background information for reports.
  • Writing succinct summaries that show ability to understand, analyse and progress existing literature on gender issues, especially gender-based violence in fragile and post-conflict states.
  • Editing reports and other documents.

Applications are accepted from suitable candidates located anywhere in the world. The deadline for applications is 15 August 2019. More details including the application process are included in the document below:

The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Myanmar

Factive Consulting has recently been awarded a new contract to conduct research into employer-supported childcare in Myanmar. The kick-off meeting was held in Yangon earlier this week with key project stakeholders and Factive’s research team led by Dean Laplonge. The project will run from June through to November this year.

A lack of access to childcare is a key barrier to women’s participation in the workforce in many markets around the world. Dean will work with Factive’s national consultants in Myanmar to explore the opportunities and barriers that exist in relation to the provision of childcare support for employees in the private sector in Myanmar.

This project is part of IFC’s global work to help address gender barriers in employment by helping businesses create suitable childcare options for their employees. IFC released a report on the business case for employer-supported childcare in 2017. The report draws on extensive research and 10 detailed case studies from South Africa, USA, Turkey, Japan, Jordan, India, Brazil, Kenya and Germany. A copy of the full report is available from IFC website (Tackling Childcare – the Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare).