WORLD NEWS

Ethical Toy Program launches worker voice technology with MicroBenefits

Published on: 26th April 2018

New programme leverages mobile technology to enable direct feedback from toy factory workers in China.

The Ethical Toy Program is working with MicroBenefits to pilot a large-scale worker voice programme which leverages mobile technology to make the sharing and collection of direct feedback on workplace conditions in the toy supply chain simpler.

This industry pilot will deploy worker voice technology at 50 different toy factories in China.

Frontline manufacturing workers are most affected by conditions at their places of employment, but communicating directly with them at scale can be a challenge. Workplace culture, fear of retribution or poor communication processes can prevent workers from giving direct feedback on their working conditions.

To improve communication, the Ethical Toy Program is using mobile technology to receive insights directly from frontline manufacturing workers.

Mobile devices connected to the internet are ubiquitous in China. Because of the high-rate of existing usage, leveraging mobile technology to create a worker voice platform is an effective way to reach a digital generation of workers.

The Ethical Toy Program has received funding from The Walt Disney Company to pilot worker voice technology at 50 toy factories in China. This pilot will use MicroBenefits’ mobile-based worker voice technology platform to deploy worker surveys in factories, improve communication, strengthen grievance channels, deploy targeted digital learning, and to gather other data on working conditions.

The Ethical Toy Program will use the MicroBenefits platform to support audits by facilitating worker surveys at scale. Workers will be given a Quick Response (QR) Code with five or six questions to answer. This new process will work in the same way as current worker interviews but at much larger scale. Survey data will be used to validate audit findings and strengthen audit integrity.

The Ethical Toy Program will also use the platform to survey workers about their needs and concerns and to gather workers’ insights on specific issues in the workplace. These insights will inform the ongoing development of the Program’s assessments, capability building and worker well-being initiatives.

If you are interested in sponsoring this programme, please contact mark.robertson@ethicaltoyprogram.org. For any factories who would like to participate please contact sarah.ng@ethicaltoyprogram.org.

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