Promoting Decent Work and Acceptable Working Conditions in the Tannery Sector in Bangladesh

Call for Proposals for an Assessment/Research

November 2021

Call for proposal: Impacts of COVID-19 on Tannery Sector in Bangladesh

The Asia Foundation seeks proposals to conduct research to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on tanneries in Tannery Industrial Estate (TIE), Savar. The research will include gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and men and especially the intersection of gender and other marginalized groups in the tannery sector using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, surveys of tannery workers and owners in Hazaribagh and Savar, and an in-depth Political Economy Analysis (PEA). The assessment will also focus on COVID-19 impacts in terms of labor and employment, earnings, implementing OSH, bargaining and negotiation, as well as the status of the tannery industry and the level of access owners could avail to government stimulus packages. The findings of the assessment/ research will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders, including workers, owners, Tannery Workers Union (TWU), government officials, and CSOs, to gain the understanding of each other’s perspective and find common ground and solutions from and to the relevant stakeholders.

Further, the research will include a mapping exercise on the tanning industry to determine each key stakeholder’s stated and unstated interests, influence, and importance; assess the relationships and power dynamics among these stakeholders; identify spoilers and reform-minded individuals; and develop strategies on how best to engage key stakeholders.

Scope of work:

The research will try to get the following assessment of:

  • The perceptions of tannery workers, supervisors, and owners about COVID-19 impacts on the tanneries, their needs ( overarching and emerged) in the context of post-industry relocation and post-reopening during the pandemic,
  • The broader economic, social, and perceived and actual impacts of COVID-19 on tannery workers and their families.
  • Specific data gaps and compliance challenges for improving OSH situation and, Environmental, Social, and Quality (ESQ) compliance of the industry as well as access to services, sector’s knowledge and practice of labor rights and negotiation and advocacy skills
  • How COVID-19 has impacted workers and how other related issues like business climate, OSH, and compliance standards have been hindered.
  • The key stakeholders involved (e.g. government, policymakers, officials, businesses, NGOs, financial institutions, the media) and their stated and unstated interests as well as incentives and disincentives, influence, importance, and initiatives to revive the fate of the tannery sector.
  • The relationships and power dynamics among these stakeholders, and identification of spoilers and reform-minded individuals.

Expected Project Outputs:

One Research Paper (up to 25 pp, including an executive summary but excluding annexes) and one Policy Brief (not more than 4 pages), in good quality English. Presentation of results at relevant Project events, which will include participants from government, donors, the private sector and civil society. TAF will be responsible for editorial changes, and publication.

Available Budget:

Up to BDT 1,500,000 including VAT, Tax and reimbursable costs such as internal travel. Please provide a breakdown of expected work days, associated daily fee rates and planned expenses such as travel and for the dissemination event.

Proposal Contents:

Interested parties should submit a proposal (not more than 7 pages) highlighting their approach to answering the scope of work, including the methodology, proposed research team, proposed rates of the research team and any proposed travel.

Proposal Deadline:

December 2, 2021

Research Paper Timeline:

  1. Starts from the week of 19th of December to 23rd of December, 2021
  2. 1st Draft Assessment/Research Paper: 10th of January, 2022
  3. Completed Paper and Report: 24th of January, 2022
  4. Dissemination Event: by 10th of February, 2022

For further information, please see the Terms of Reference (ToR) here.