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Using Publicly Disclosed Data to Improve Apparel Sector Working Conditions

Grants to International Nonprofits, For-Profits, and Agencies
in Multiple Countries to Improve Factory Conditions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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C&A Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/03/17 5:00 PST


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Grants to Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Turkey nonprofit, for-profit, and public sector organizations for innovative concepts to improve working conditions in apparel factories. The initial phase of the application is due October 1.

The global apparel sector is slowly becoming more open about factory working conditions. In response to demands for greater transparency, a growing number of industry initiatives and clothing brands have begun publicly releasing data including factory names and locations, conditions and compliance, safety findings, and worker income and expenditure amongst others.

The C&A Foundation believes that increased transparency will lead to greater industry accountability and ultimately, better working conditions. The Foundation is encouraged by the positive development in many areas of the industry. However, it is also apparent that greater disclosure of information does not automatically lead to improvements on the ground.

To that end, C&A Foundation is looking for innovative concepts that use public -or soon to be public- information on factory locations, conditions and brand purchasing practices, to improve working conditions. Concept notes should develop and implement programs that:

-Use public information to enable effective negotiation and collective bargaining by workers and their representatives and/or;
-Use public information to advocate for policy improvements on working conditions and/or;
-Use public information to improve the enforcement of existing laws and policies on working conditions.

Concept notes must state the specific sources of public information on factory locations, conditions or clothing brand purchasing practices they will use. These could include, but are not limited to:

-Over 100 brands publishing factory lists
-Accord and Alliance disclosing fire, structural and electrical safety inspection reports and
corrective action plans for around 2,000 Bangladeshi factories
-Garment Worker Financial Diaries data on income and expenditure of 600 workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India (Bangalore)

C&A Foundation applies a gender lens to all its work. That means in each of the Foundation’s programs consideration is given to gender equality and how it can be achieved. Therefore, the Foundation requests that all concept notes consider the specific needs of women and how theses should be addressed. This should go beyond acknowledging the fact that the majority of apparel workers are women.

Concepts must:
-Recognize workers as central agents for change, with workers prioritizing the improvements that matter most to themselves;
-Use channels that reach workers across a country or region (not factory-by-factory), for example through women’s NGOs, community and workers’ organizations, or trade unions;
-Specify the public data sources that will be used to improve the effectiveness of workers’ negotiations and/or advocacy;
-Clearly define counterparts for negotiation or advocacy, for example factory management, government policy-makers, brands, and/or employers’ associations;
-Clearly define the changes that should result from the initiative (for example negotiated agreements or collective bargaining agreements, policy changes, or enforcement improvements), and the intermediate steps towards achieving that goal; and
-Ensure that the approach priorities women workers’ participation and needs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182197

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Foundation is flexible on the size of the grant. Concept notes greater than 500,000 EUR will not be considered. Smaller pilot programs with a clear path to scale are encouraged.

Term of Contract:

The Foundation on the length of the grant period, however preference is given to partnerships over multiple years in order to maximize impact.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Recognizing that successful worker negotiation strategies are context specific, the Foundation is seeking single country concept notes only. The following countries are in scope: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Turkey. Concept notes for other countries will not be considered.

Concept notes must come from at least one organization which is based in, and has a history of working in the focus country. At least 50% of the proposed budget must go to this organization. Concept notes from all types of organizations are welcome (profit, nonprofit, or public sector). Concept notes with >50% of budget allocated to international organizations will not be considered.

The Foundation will not pursue concept notes that:
-Interact with workers on a factory-by-factory basis, without a path to scale;
-Focus on areas unrelated to negotiation and collective bargaining, such as worker literacy, health or
improved productivity; or
-Only include research, without a plan for achieving concrete changes in working conditions.

Pre-Application Information:

Concept notes with cash or in-kind co-funding will be prioritized. The Foundation is open to partnerships with all types of funding bodies.

You can apply by sending your completed template via email by 5:00 PST on October 1, 2017. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to submit full proposal by November 9, 2017.

-September 1, 2017: Request for concept notes opens
-September 13, 2017: Deadline for applicants to submit clarifying questions to C&A Foundation.
-September 20, 2017: Answers to clarifying questions posted on C&A Foundation website
-October 1, 2017, 5:00 PM PST: Deadline for concept notes
-November 9, 2017: Shortlisted candidates notified and provided with C&A Foundation’s full proposal format
-December 3, 2017, 5:00 PM PST: Deadline for full proposal
-December, 2017 – January, 2018: Due diligence on proposals by C&A Foundation, with comments and clarifying questions to short-listed candidates on an ad hoc basis
-February 28, 2018: Final decision

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Send completed templates to:

Thomas Ahlers, Communications Manager
M: +49 172 390 7292
T: +49 211 9872 2806

C&A Foundation
Wanheimerstrasse 70
40468 Düsseldorf

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.