Whistleblowing and Worker Well-being: Evidence from Bangladesh's Garments Sector

This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. The investigators are conducting a cluster randomized control trial to study an innovation to an independent grievance reporting and resolute system (the Helpline) – the incorporation of a reporting escrow. The researchers will randomly assign garment factories in Bangladesh to: 1) the Helpline’s status quo system or 2) to the Helpline’s status quo system plus a reporting escrow. The researchers also aim to vary the design of the reporting escrow across factories. The researchers are evaluating the escrow’s effects on reporting of labor issues, including sexual harassment, and on workers’ mental well-being, as well as its effects on factories’ internal capacity to resolve issues and on worker absenteeism. The team will also explore whether the reporting escrow changes perceived social norms and acceptability of different behaviors on workers, and in the longer term, reduces the actual incidence of labor issues. Evidence from this study could substantially improve the design of reporting escrow systems and increase the probability of take-up and success in the U.S.


This project is still in progress, please check back soon for findings.  In the meantime, explore our What We're Learning repository and sign up for our newsletter. 

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Grantee and Partner organizations

Columbia University in the City of New York

Grant status
In Progress
Principal investigators
Laura Boudreau, MSc, PhD
Sylvain Chassang, MA, PhD
Ada González-Torres, MSc, PhD
Start date
Award amount
24 months
Stage of adaptation

Impact assessment in home country

Country of origin
Translatable to
Workers across many industries, in all U.S. states

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