Bangladesh: Long-term solutions to health and safety challenges for workers
In Bangladesh, Danida supported research has added substantial new knowledge and helped strengthen our partnership with important national authorities in the strategic sector cooperation on health and safety for workers. It has also resulted in a new research initiative together with key stakeholders.
By Sector Counsellor Søren Albertsen, the Danish Embassy, Bangladesh
The strategic sector cooperation between Denmark and Bangladesh aims at improving the health and safety of workers through the strengthening of labour authorities and by building capacity in the Bangladeshi labour inspection system. The sector cooperation plays a central role in promoting the social sustainability agenda in Bangladesh. This is done in close collaboration with ILO, other donor organisations and local stakeholders.
In the strategic sector cooperation, we have worked more closely with some of the research projects than others. The interaction with academia in the area of workers health and safety has provided our work with new knowledge and increased the overall respect of sector cooperation. It has made the embassy very visible in the field of sustainability.
The collaboration with researchers has led to a new research project funded directly by the embassy. A research project led by Professor Peter Hasle (then Aalborg University) had concluded that there was a positive correlation between occupational safety and health and productivity when lean production management principles were applied. Based on this research and the Danish embassy’s engagement in the entire sustainability agenda, the Danish embassy in Bangladesh initiated a small research project. By including the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in the advisory board of this research project, we have managed to motivate the top management in factories and establish a network among the participating factories.
To succeed in improving the health and safety of workers, we must work towards more systematic interaction and joint events between the strategic sector cooperation partners and researchers.
In December 2022, we held a workshop about Just Green Transition in Bangladesh. At the workshop we discussed how academia, government and industry together can find solutions to sustainability challenges in the garment industry. We conducted the workshop together with Danida Fellowship Centre, the University of Southern Denmark, Bangladeshi universities, the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. It is my hope that our discussions will contribute to stronger collaboration in solving current and future challenges in the garment sector and beyond.
You will find more information about Danida supported research on health and safety for workers in Bangladesh in the Danida Research Portal:Go back to all stories