Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) Expert Methodology in Jordania
On 15 March 2022, the T4SD Programme conducted a results workshop, culminating in roughly nine months of work to support small garment producers in Jordan. The VSS methodology aimed to train MSMEs to understand the requirements of VSS, their gaps and opportunities in social/labour performance, and create a plan to utilize VSS to connect to new markets. The intervention was implemented within the context of the ITC Textiles and Clothing Programme in the Middle East and North Africa (MENATEX) project in Jordan and its beneficiaries.
The project began with a training program for prospective coaches in the summer of 2021, implemented online with the ITC SME Trade Academy. From this course, three coaches were selected to work directly with sixteen beneficiary MSMEs in Jordan.
The three coaches worked directly with the MSMEs for over four months to support them through the steps of the VSS Expert Tool. This required a self-assessment against a selected VSS on the Standards Map and importing the assessment results into the Tool to identify gaps and prioritization areas. The Tool then allowed companies to integrate financial information to perform a cost-benefit analysis related to attaining certification. Many of the participating companies reported positive results in terms of understanding internal practices and aiming to eventually become certified to VSS.
The final workshop provided an overview of the results to project partners as well as other MSMEs participating in the MENATEX Jordan project that could potentially benefit from similar activities.