This manual is divided into three parts. Part 1 introduces important concepts about homeworkers and value chains. Part 2 is the heart of the study, which provides the tools needed to carry out a value chain study. In particular it shows how to construct maps to represent a value chain, which make it easier to understand some of the complex aspects within the chain, such as the numerous controls and links that exist. Other techniques explored are: " widening the information net and strengthening the basis for action by learning from buyers, manufacturers, homeworkers, and comparing their perspectives; " working with public agencies, as these actors impact significantly on the lives of homeworkers in terms of regulations and laws impacting on labour, trade policies affecting industry, and forms of harassment of labour; " applying gender analysis to garment chains, which is advocated as a component to be included in all research of homeworkers. Part 3 puts forward suggestions about how to use the research findings from the value chain analysis to improve the conditions and opportunities for homeworkers, and how to promote best practice amongst employers. It deals with how to begin working towards solutions, and how to support collective action and mobilise around codes and standards, in particular the issues of occupational health and safety and child labour. It also looks at how to help workers switch chains.
Institute of Development Studies