This is the End of Project Evaluation Report for the Strengthening the Economic Resilience of Female Garment Workers during COVID19 – Phase 2 (SER) Project which was implemented in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces. The Project commenced in July 2021 and concluded in February 2022. The goal of the project was to strengthen the economic resilience of female garment workers who are socially and economically marginalized in Cambodia to cope with the negative impacts of COVID-19. In order to conduct the evaluation, data was collected through a comprehensive literature review and fieldwork. The literature review was conducted reviewing reports and documents from the SER Project and also other relevant external publications.
The evaluation interviewed 400 people and was conducted in January 2022.
Key Lessons Learned
• It should be noted that the project was not wholly a humanitarian type intervention project, which tend to have a short implementation period, rather the project had knowledge, capacity and resilience training elements which require a longer timeframe to implement. For this reason, as well as the delay to the start of the project and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, project staff were faced with a high workload within a challenging environment. Specifically, a longer time period would have given more time to prepare for project interventions such as the training, baseline and rapid situation assessment of the labour market. With more time the baseline and rapid situation assessment of the labour market could have been used to better tailor and inform the development of the training materials and curriculum.
• The focus on social protections in the project interventions was a relative new topic especially for factory workers, who are mostly only aware of the NSSF and the IDPoor. As highlighted as an unexpected result of the project, many project participants directing enquiries to local authorities about social protections. While local authorities are aware of social protections in general, they do not have detailed knowledge, especially since many social protections are administered at the national level and not at the village level. Therefore, more cooperation with local authorities should have been sought in order to prepare the local authorities for this situation.
• The delay in the signing the project’s administrative contract, caused the project to miss opportunities to use the findings of the baseline survey and the rapid situation assessment of the labour market to better inform the development of the project’s training activities.
• The evaluation found that while knowledge of GBV improved, the same was not the case for sexual harassment. Indeed, respondents who could not identify sexual harassment increased from 32% (114/356) at the baseline to 38% (139/362) at the endline. Project staff reported that this was not an unexpected finding as CARE’s previous sexual harassment projects had encountered similar such resistance to changing attitudes.