Consultancy – Case study on OSH delivery mechanism

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N.G.O./Social Services
Total Position:
Job Type:
Consultant ( First Shift (Day) )
Job Location:
All Cities
No Preference
Minimum Education:
Degree Title:
In occupational safety and health or in a relevant area of social science
Career Level:
Minimum Experience:
10 Years(Work experience as OSH Inspector/Officer of a reputable public or private institution; At least 5 years experience of conducting social science research)
Apply By:
Oct 25, 2020
Posted On:
Oct 8, 2020
Job Description

Please apply using the ILO website on the link:

Terms of Reference - Case studies: Describing existing delivery mechanisms to improve OSH in SMEs

Project: International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s small and medium sized enterprises

Expressions of interest by midnight Pakistan time on Sunday 25 October 2020


I. Context and background 

Over the last 25 years, the ILO has developed tools aimed at improving the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and overall working conditions and productivity, in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) including  the informal economy. The ILO promotes participatory action-oriented approaches in which entrepreneurs, managers, workers and/or farmers are empowered and supported to improve OSH, working conditions and productivity through systematic identification, assessment and implementation of local and affordable solutions and good practices that encourage peer learning and knowledge sharing.

The ILO has developed and tested various tools to promote OSH at the workplace, including the SMEs and the informal economy. Specific tools targeting the SMEs and the informal economy include, among others,: Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE), a training methodology specifically designed to improve working conditions and productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries; a training package on workplace risk assessment and management for small and medium-sized enterprises with the acronym SCORE – Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises with a specific module on OSH. Further tools aimed at improving OSH in specific sectors have also been developed and tested such as: the Work Improvement in Neighbourhood Development (WIND) that aims at improving working and living conditions for agricultural families or Work Improvement in Small Construction (WISCON) sites..

These tools have been tested in a number of developing countries. For instance, the WIND methodology has been used successfully in over 20 countries, and  it has strengthened voluntary initiatives of farmers to improve their working and living conditions as well as productivity and quality of their produce through the voluntary application of simple, low-cost and innovative approaches at both family and community levels.

In addition, ILO has gathered information  on ways to change mindsets of SMEs to promote OSH and on delivery mechanisms, systems and networks to promote OSH training and awareness in SMEs. As part of this compilation, specific delivery mechanisms/good practices have been identified as follows:


• Singapore: The Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) works with public and private large procurers who add a condition to be BizSAFE2 certified as a pre-requisite to the bidding process in the supply of goods and services. BizSAFE is a five-step programme that assists companies to build up their WSH capabilities so that they can achieve quantum improvements in safety and health standards at the workplace.

• Hong Kong (China): The Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC) directly provides specific equipment and devices such as gas detectors, flammable equipment storage cabinet to reduce the common OSH risks, which OSHC identified from previous accident cases.

• Thailand: ‘’The influence by customers and buyers was an important factor to push SMEs to improve their OSH performance. A research revealed that the SMEs had better health and safety management than expected, because their products were in the group of the twenty four highest exporting (by value) commodities of Thailand or they were forced by customers.” (Kongtip et al., 2008).

• Microfinance Project (ILO):  Employers understand the principle “if injured, no income” as a motivation to promote OSH. Many clients (mostly self-employed) understand this “if injured, no income” concept. Loan officers also tell them this logic to promote OSH. This is important for Microfinance systems themselves since if clients had accidents, no work and no income, they would not be able to repay the loan.

• SCORE project (ILO): It uses supply chain, sectoral organizations and lead buyers  to recruit participating SMEs to the SCORE training. To secure their active participation, it uses evidence-based impacts of OSH improvements  along with realistic indicators..

• Electronic Industry: The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), which  comprises  more than 110 electronics, retail, auto and toy companies, directly employs over 6 million people. In addition to EICC members, thousands of companies that are Tier 2 suppliers to those members are required to implement the EICC Code of Conduct where OSH standards are important part of it.

The review reveals several practical ways to promote OSH in SMEs including workers’ participation, comprehensive programmes to address management goals including productivity, quality and morale, collecting OSH data to visualize achievements, demonstrating pilot training, setting indicators to assess before and after situations. In addition, elements such as procurement/ loan, productivity enhancement, the good company image to attract customers and pressure from supply chains play an important role in changing mindset of employers in SMEs to adopt OSH programme.

However, no global empirical impact assessment or outreach study has been undertaken to collect or analyse achievements and sustainability at the global level. 

Therefore, in order to propose sustainable delivery mechanisms for improving OSH in SMEs, it is critical to assess the outcomes of the delivery mechanisms that are currently used in a number of countries across regions to improve OSH implemented in SMEs. This helps in identifying good practices and analyzing the challenges and opportunities across various economies. Furthermore, such an analysis of current practice is expected to result in proposed guidance for sustainable delivery mechanisms to constituents for their specific contexts and resources.

The International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s SMEs project (ILES)

The ILES project, funded by the European Union, aims to improve Pakistan’s regional and global competitiveness by addressing compliance with labour and environmental standards in Pakistan’s textile and leather sectors.  The project, commenced in 2016, will continue until 2022, and is implemented by the ILO and its implementing partner, the WWF.  The project works with the public sector (the federal and provincial governments) and with enterprises, trade associations, employers’ and workers’ organisations.  The ILES project’s work with enterprises includes implementation of the ILO SCORE methodology with medium and large textile and ready-made garment enterprises in Karachi and OSH trainings for small enterprises in Karachi, Lahore , Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Hub, Balochistan.  

The ILO’s Upholding Sustainable Delivery Mechanisms to Promote OSH in SMEs project (co-ordinated in Geneva) aims at taking stock of the various experiences from the ILO and other relevant initiatives to further strengthen the effective implementation of these approaches and to promote improvement of OSH in SMEs. To this end, the project will: (i) document and disseminate lessons learned and good practices from existing delivery mechanisms to improve OSH in SMEs; (ii) develop a “how to” guide for constituents to improve OSH in SMEs based on the good practices identified; (iii) upgrade existing ILO tools to better respond to SMEs current needs and challenges to improve OSH and productivity and; (iv) pilot the “how to” guide in two to three target countries and finalize the tools.  It has conducted a number of case studies in a number of countries and the ILES project wishes to replicate this approach in Pakistan.  


II- Description of the tasks and deliverables of the consultant


Objectives of the consultancy

The consultant will develop an in-depth case study for Pakistan. This includes an in-depth description of policies, strategies, programmes, drivers and constraints for OSH improvement and delivery mechanisms relevant to OSH in SMEs in Pakistan (with an emphasis on the textile, ready made garment (RMG) and leather industries, which make up Pakistan’s largest exports).  For the purpose of this study the consultant will examine all identified OSH initiatives, past and present, regardless of the size of the enterprises.

Initiatives may be national, provincial or sector-based, but must be significant in terms of the level of resourcing, visibility and anticipated impact. The policies, strategies, programmes and actions selected for study may be running currently or may be historic, but they should have been in place for long enough to allow evaluation of their implementation and an  assessment of the likely impact.  Given the demographic of Pakistan’s industry, particularly the textile and RMG industries, initiatives in large enterprises will also be mapped and considered.

Examples of key issues may include, but are not limited to:

- Mapping the previous and current initiatives on OSH implemented by the federal government, provincial governments, ILO, other development partners and any significant private sector projects implemented in Pakistan.  The mapping should include:

o Previous and existing ILO projects and programmes;

o OSH initiatives undertaken by  other UN agencies, such as UNDP, UNIDO, during their engagement with industry ;

o GIZ projects and programmes;

o The work of the IFC on building/fire safety;

o The work of IDH on building/fire safety;

o Significant OSH elements of major private compliance initiatives;

o The OSH elements of the services delivered by the provincial Labour Department inspectorates;

o The OSH activities, materials and training tools utilised by the ILO’s social partners.

o The OSH activities, materials and training tools utilized by the trade/town associations (textile, RMG and leather)


- The absence or presence of a national structure for OSH, particularly regarding SMEs.  The consultant should examine the current state of the legislative framework post-devolution and the extent to which provincial OSH laws have been developed, enacted and implemented.

- Gathering information on budget and resources (human, financial, in-house and external) allocated by the federal or provincial governments for improving OSH, e.g. programmes on inspection and the training provided to labour inspectors.

- Gathering information on the existence of both public and private sector training institutions and the curricular and tools employed.  The study should explore whether and to what extent public or private training institutes have adopted or have made use of the ILO participatory training tools, such as WISE, WISCON etc.

- Gathering information on the training programmes and materials adopted and utilised by the ILO’s social partners. The study should explore whether and to what extent social partners have received training on and have adopted or have made use of any of the ILO participatory training tools, such as WISE, WISCON etc. 

- Gathering information on the approaches of brands, retailers and buyers sourcing exports from Pakistan’s industry to comply with OSH standards and  required policies, trainings or other approaches required as a result;

- Recently revised OSH legislation in the provinces (or legislation currently under review) should be considered, alongside sector specific OSH legislation (e.g. mines).

- The role of institutions, such as the State Bank, in facilitating access to micro credit and loans for micro and SMEs to improve OSH, if any.

- Gathering information on initiatives taken by the government and industry on OSH in response to COVID-19.



Tasks of the consultant

The consultant will work in close coordination with the ILES Project Manager in the ILO Islamabad Office and, where required with the OSH Technical Specialist based in Delhi and Labadmin/OSH in ILO Geneva. 

The consultant is responsible for completing the following tasks:

 - Conducting an initial meeting with the ILES project and ILO Country Office teams (if physically not possible then online);

- Agreeing an interview and mission plan (to include interviews with the ILO OSH Specialist based in Delhi, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, the provincial Labour Departments in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan, the provincial Mines Departments, the EFP and PWF, trade/town associations in Sindh and Punjab and other workers representative organizations (relevant to textile, RMG and leather sectors) (if one to one interviews not possible then online)..

- Conducting a desk review of published and unpublished reports describing OSH best practices and support initiatives, including the ones that have not been successful in terms of sustainability, for SMEs in Pakistan.

- Proposing an action plan/methodology for completing the assessment, including a list of experts to be contacted/interviewed, identification of key institutions to visit(in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi), organisations and enterprises to be interviewed (5 enterprises in each province provided case studies identified in respective province), in close consultation with the ILO.

- Agreeing interview tools with the ILO.

- Agreeing with the ILO the outline of the technical report, using the template provided by the ILO to classify the elements of each description, and a chapter heading plan.

- Undertaking the research and fact finding missions, with a  view to collecting OSH best practices and failure examples through direct contact with relevant experts, senior-policy-makers,  social partners and enterprises (if such missions/meetings not possible online, consultant needs to wait for the appropriate time to physically conduct, consultant needs ILO permission for field missions).

- Where specific enterprises are chosen (Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot), Interview tools should cover OSH management, training, awareness raising, risk assessment, and accident prevention. 

- With the agreement of the ILO, identify 5 case studies reflecting successes and failures.  It is envisaged that these will involve:

o An example of the legacy of previously conducted OSH training for labour inspectors;

o An example of the legacy of previously conducted WISE training;

o An example of the legacy of support provided to one of the ILO’s social partners;

o An example of the impact of the ILO ILES project’s work on providing training to Pakistan’s SME’s;

o An example of the impact of the ILO’s ILES work in providing OSH as a component of the SCORE short course.

- Preparing 5 in-depth case studies to include the benefits, strengths, weaknesses, success factors and areas for improvement of the actions. The descriptions will also include the views and experiences of those who have been involved with and have taken part in the actions and initiatives (e.g. employers, trade unions, safety technicians, human resource managers, workers and intermediaries).  

- Providing illustrations for each case study with experience reported in the field mission. The work will include activities to obtain opinions and experiences from both those who have initiated actions and also from those who have taken part in the actions, for example, from employers, safety technicians, human resource personnel, worker representatives/trade unions and workers. 

- If required and in consultation with the ILO, a desk review of a limited number of comparative countries to identify best practice should the research indicate that initiatives in Pakistan have been too limited to fully identify recommendations based on those initiatives alone.  This will be agreed with the ILO following the inception report and initial research.

- Recommendations for future initiatives.  In particular the consultant will provide recommendations regarding:

o the replication and strengthening of previous or existing approached to OSH training;

o maximising the impact of the ILES OSH training for SME’s;

o maximising the impact of the ILES OSH training as part of the SCORE short course;

o recommendations for the better institutionalisation of OSH improvement measures in the public and private sectors.

- Presentation of draft findings and recommendations at a consultative workshop; and

- Preparation of a final report, incorporating the comments of the ILO and the outcomes of the consultative workshop.


Qualifications of the consultant: 

• A masters degree in occupational safety and health or in a relevant area of social science with at least X years of work experience as OSH Inspector/Officer of a reputable public or private institution;

• A sound technical understanding of occupational safety and health, relevant legal frameworks and training methodologies;

• At least 5 years experience of conducting social science research;

• Proven ability to draft research reports in English;

• Knowledge of the ILO, its mandate and work in Pakistan would be an advantage

Individual consultants, teams of consultants and consultancy firms will be considered.  Consultants should be based in or entitled to work in Pakistan.  The project will not support international air travel or visas.


Expected Outputs/ Deliverables 

The following deliverables will be required:

1. Initial meeting with ILO in Islamabad;

2. Agreed mission and interview plan;

3. Desk review;

4. Agreed methodology and tools;

5. Field mission;

6. Agreed chapter headings;

7. Draft report and case studies;

8. Draft recommendations;

9. Consultative workshop’ and

10. Final report incorporating findings of the consultative workshop and comments of the ILO.

11. Workshop presenting final report, if required.


III- Timeline and Payment Schedule

The work is estimated at 40 working days, covering the period from 1 Dec 2020 – 30 April 2021.  It is estimated that 10 days of field visits (Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi) will be required (consultant needs ILO permission for field missions).


All payments will be made upon delivery of the products (the draft report and the final report shall be in English) by the indicated deadline, to the satisfaction of the ILO.

Days --- USD/PKR --- Deadline

Initial meeting, interview/mission plan, methodology and desk review --- 10

Field mission-Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi --- 10

Agreed chapter headings and case study identification --- 3

Draft report, case studies and recommendations --- 10

Consultative workshop --- 2

Final report, case studies  and recommendations incorporating ILO comments (and presentation workshop if required) --- 5

TOTAL --- 40


IV Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest from interested consultants/institutions (national or international) should be submitted to the ILO Country Office Islamabad by email to by midnight (Pakistan time) on Sunday 25 October 2020. Expressions of interest should be clearly marked as OSH Case Study in the subject line and contain:

• A letter (2 page maximum) setting out the organisation/ consultants’ relevant qualifications and experience;

• A daily rate (expressed in PKR for national consultants and USD for international consultants) and overall budget breakdown.

• The CV of the lead consultant and details of supporting consultants.

• A soft copy or link to similar research/s done on any area of occupational safety and health.

Expressions of interest not meeting the basic content above will not be considered. Please note that:

• Individual consultants will be responsible for own health insurance and need to provide information regarding insurance to the ILO at the time of contracting.

• Individual consultants upon selection also need to complete the UNDSS BSAFE field security training (online one day training) unless already holding a valid certificate from UNDSS.  SSAFE certification would be an advantage.

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