Paving the Way to Sustainable Development for Ensuring the Well-Being of RMG Workers

LightCastle Analytics Wing
December 28, 2021
Paving the Way to Sustainable Development for Ensuring the Well-Being of RMG Workers

The Opportunity

The Ready-Made Garments sector has experienced massive growth in the past few decades and has made significant contributions to Bangladesh’s GDP. The sector accounts for 85 percent of the country’s total exports and employs 4.4 million workers of which 65 percent are women. However, the lifestyle of RMG workers has not changed much due to the limited access to affordable financial services, health services, legal aid, and other basic services.

To address all these problems, BRAC has initiated a “One Stop Service Center” solution that focuses on improving the lifestyle of the garments workers and community members through –

  1. Affordable primary healthcare
  2. Skills training and job placement
  3. Legal support for family and land law
  4. Financial services such as DPS
  5. Health insurance, and
  6. Daycare centers for the workers’ children.

The project is built on a model that is integrated as a bridge between community members and garment workers under one umbrella that will ensure improved well-being.

In order to understand the acceptance of different services among the beneficiaries and build a strategic pathway to make the project sustainable, BRAC commissioned LightCastle Partners to create a potential business case for the project. The business case looked into the challenges and unearth the perspective of factory owners and buyers in terms of impact on their business.

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Our Approach

The broad objectives of the study were :

  • What is the current state of the six main services of the One-Stop Service Center (OSCC),  in terms of service desirability and acceptability, among various stakeholders of the project? 
  • What is the business case for operating the OSSC from the perspective of apparel factory owners or buyers or sector-side perspective, especially in terms of the direct impact on the top and bottom line of the business?

In order to develop the business strategy and potential business model for the ERMG project, the LightCastle team has taken a fully qualitative approach, relying initially on secondary data and then collecting primary data through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews, and In-Depth Interviews for insights as highlighted below: 

Research Process for ERMG Sector Study

The team has conducted Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) of workers and community members in the Gazipur, Tongi, and Savar regions to understand the desirability of the services. Besides these, the team has also conducted Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with the stakeholders in the RMG ecosystem including donors, RMG buyers, factory management, ERMG team management, local government, research institutes, and other external implementing organizations. Along with the participatory and collaborative approach of key stakeholders, a market systems approach has also been adopted to understand how different forces are impacting the RMG ecosystem.

Based on the insights gathered from the FGD participants, relevant stakeholders, and cost-revenue data of the project, the LightCastle team has independently gauged the effectiveness of the services in terms of social impact and profitability, as well as the desirability of the services among the stakeholders. 


After assessing the effectiveness of the services, the LightCastle team provided strategic recommendations for the project so that it can leverage the positive social impact of the services and drive the project towards achieving sustainability in the long run. It is hoped that the recommendations will help to develop a business case for the relevant stakeholders and guide them towards increased collaboration and support in the near future for ensuring the well-being of the RMG workers. 

Find out more about this study’s presentation here.

WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Analytics Wing

At LightCastle, we take a data-driven approach to create opportunities for growth and impact. We consult and collaborate with development partners, the public sector, and private organizations to promote inclusive economic growth that positively changes the lives of people at scale. Being a data-driven and transparent organization, we believe in democratizing knowledge and information among the stakeholders of the economy to drive inclusive growth.

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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