Bangladesh’s ready made garment sector ranks third largest in the world, bringing in 80% of the country’s export profits. However, poor use of resources is threatening the sector’s sustainability, not to mention the well-being of local communities. Water use in the Bangladeshi textile and apparel industry is three times the regional average and six times the global best practice.
In January 2013, IFC and Solidaridad launched the Bangladesh Water Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT), where buyers, factories, financial institutions, governments, and local communities work together to reduce the environmental footprint of the textile and apparel industry. PaCT asked Dalberg to carry out a mid-term evaluation of its programming and identify actionable recommendations to refine its strategy.
Over 8 weeks, we carried out a strategic assessment of the PaCT program. The team evaluated PaCT against a variety of criteria including: relevance of the partnership to each participant and their beneficiaries, added impact of the program compared to a baseline and in line with PaCT objectives, how efficiently the program uses its resources, and sustainability of the program over the long-term.
In order to carry out the assessment with a full understanding of the incentives, strengths, and challenges of all those involved, we conducted over 50 key stakeholders across the PaCT team, as well as with factories, apparel buyers, textile factories, and Bangladeshi government representatives.
Based on the assessment, Dalberg proposed 10 tangible interventions that ranged from strategic (for example, refining the segmentation of textile factories in Bangladesh and the selection of PaCT beneficiaries) to operational (creating stronger feedback loops with factories benefiting from the program and modifying budget allocations). Our roadmap for organizational transformation and implementation was accepted in full, and PaCT is now in the process of adopting the recommendations to better continue its work of transforming Bangladesh’s textile and apparel sector and the water footprint of the industry.