What is it?
Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) is a practical training and in-factory counselling programme that aims to improve productivity and working conditions in SMEs. SCORE training seeks to demonstrate best international practice in the manufacturing and service sectors and help SMEs to participate in global supply chains.
To date over 1,100 SMEs have received SCORE training in 8 countries cross Asia, Africa and Latin America. Through the programme the International Labour Organization (ILO) assists government agencies, training providers, industry associations and trade unions to embed SCORE training into their SME services. The programme is funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
For SCORE to be successful, training needs to translate into concrete gains for participating SMEs. However, assessing whether training leads to improved SME performance is challenging for several reasons. Many SMEs don’t track indicators that the project would need to assess benefits of training. Many enterprises are reluctant to share data in the first place and asking ‘too much too soon’ from enterprises can divert enterprise management from important tasks.
Having learnt through practical experience, the SCORE builds data collection and reporting as much as possible into training activities, making data collection and monitoring useful both for SMEs and training providers. SMEs can therefore improve their data collection systems and learn about new indicators. For training providers, baseline and progress assessments are useful to guide their interventions.
To measure changes in enterprise performance, SCORE uses two sets of indicators:
Binominal indicators measure the existence of good practices in enterprises. The advantage is that these indicators can be collected for most enterprises. If good practices that had not been in place before the training are being followed by the enterprises at the end of the module, SCORE claim that this was due to the training intervention (in absence of other parallel capacity building interventions).
Quantitative indicators measure the actual performance of an enterprise against a set of KPIs. Experience has shown that these indicators cannot be collected for all enterprises over significant periods of time. Attributing performance improvements to SCORE therefore applies only selectively depending on the indicator and the context of its collection in the enterprise. The KPIs include:
- Change in defect rate
- Change in energy usage per production unit
- Change in employee satisfaction
- Change in absenteeism rate
- Change in labour turnover rate
- Change in wages
- Change in accident rate
- Number of suggestions received per month
- Satisfaction with training
Data collection tools
SCORE uses a combination of data collection tools to assess changes in SME performance.
Pictures of the working environment are taken before and after SCORE training to provide a visual of the state of the working environment. While before/after pictures are by no means representative of overall SME performance, they are a simple tool to visualize impact and can function as training materials at the same time. Development of before/after videos are also considered, where appropriate.
Enterprise Indicator Card (EIC)
During the first training module, trainers instruct enterprises in the use of the SCORE Enterprise Indicator Card (EIC) which consists of 12 KPIs relevant to the training. Enterprises are asked to report these indicators on a monthly basis and submit to the trainer (though ultimately this remains a voluntary action – whether the enterprise complies relies in most cases on the relationship the trainer is able to build with enterprise staff).
SCORE has commissioned an impact assessment in Peru, and is piloting the use of worker surveys to capture training feedback and measure working conditions in Indonesia.