In 2011, the Walmart Foundation launched the Women in Factories Training Program (WiF) with a goal of training 60,000 women around the world over five years. The program teaches factory workers critical life skills in communication, hygiene, reproductive health, and occupational health and safety, identifying personal strengths and gender sensitivity. In addition, a goal was set to provide leadership training to 8,000 women to develop the work and life skills necessary for personal and career development.
Through the WiF Training Program, The Walmart Foundation funded CARE to develop the curriculum as well as provided funding to nonprofit organizations to implement the training:
- CARE in Bangladesh
- Swasti Health Resource Center in India
- Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in China
- World Vision in Honduras and El Salvador
The WiF Training Program has delivered foundational training across 181 factories to 131,401 women in four regions, more than double our original goal. In addition, the program has delivered advanced training to 15,262 women, also more than the original target. Recognizing that social change takes a holistic approach, male factory workers also received training through the program. Including these men, the program to date has delivered training to 196,932 individuals across the five countries
To further assess the impact of this training, the Walmart Foundation provided a grant to the Tufts University Labor Lab to conduct an impact evaluation of the WIF training. Tufts independently collected data in Bangladesh, Central America and India to evaluate the efficacy of the work. Throughout the program, Walmart Foundation, the implementing partners and Tufts, were in regular contact to monitor the work and share learnings. In addition to the implementation evaluation, based upon the learnings of their analyses, Swasti and Tufts University developed a simple Excel based tool for self-assessment for management to track the impact of training on several key performance indicators and to calculate the return on the investment in training.
The curriculum, developed by CARE and funded by the Walmart Foundation, is made available subject to an open source license that allows for sharing and adaptation by other brands, organizations, factories and any other stakeholders who are interested in workforce development and demonstrable productivity increases. Because the program focuses on job readiness, leadership and management, it may also be adapted across-sectors. We are pleased to make the curriculum publicly available at no cost.