Living Wage Group  
Progress made in the Living Wage Group

Participants of the Training of Master Researchers workshop with Alex Katz, Senior Manager of Research &
Stakeholder Engagement (back row, third from left)
and Martha and Richard Anker (front row, third and fourth from left)

The Living Wage (LW) Coalition has made significant progress and is well on the way to begin a LW database. Richard and Martha Anker have written the training manual to calculate living wage benchmarks in rural and urban contexts. The manual, currently in draft form, is being used internally by the standard setting organizations and researchers of the LW working group. A finalized version will be publicly available.


A Training of Master Researchers workshop in Istanbul, Turkey has been completed. The five-day workshop trained eight qualified researchers on how to apply the Anker methodology. The impressive group members come from six countries: Brazil, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, India and China. These researchers will begin the long term goals of building a LW database for a wide number of countries. They will start with specific subject industries in each of the six countries to create a LW report.

The global benchmarks are steps in a long-term process to promote the living wage. Central to this process is the idea that benchmarks should be publicly available to be used by a range of actors, from worker organizations negotiating wages to businesses ensuring payment of a Living Wage throughout their supply chains. This includes local stakeholder engagement in calculating benchmarks and multi-stakeholder engagement on achieving payment of the Living Wage worldwide.

In Brazil, a researcher will document applications of the Anker Living Wage methodology and work towards calculating living wage benchmarks in a coffee producing area in Minas Gerais. In China, researchers will work in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou and Chengdu. In Ethiopia, researchers will focus on a cut flower producing area in the Ziway region. The focus area in Ghana will be a banana producing area in the Southern Volta region. In India, tea producing areas in rural Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be benchmarked. And lastly, in Tanzania, a researcher will work in a cut flower producing area in the Arusha area.  

An upcoming workshop in China is expected to train three more researchers, July 6 through July 9, 2015. The training will be hosted at Fudan University in Shanghai, China by Professor Yuan Cheng, to be conducted by Richard and Martha Anker. Upon completion of this workshop, five Chinese researchers will work on LW benchmarks in various urban regions in China where many factories are located.

The LW group is in search for a public facing database to host estimates and reports. The LW group aims for all estimates and reports to be made publically available for free.

The LW group has received generous funding from a mix of both governments and corporations. The German and Dutch government agencies, BMZ and DGIS respectively, have contributed to implementing the Anker Living Wage methodology to calculate localized living wages and promoting the payment of living wages for workers. Three apparel companies, including Eileen Fisher, have funded the missions of the LW group. Additionally, the LW group has received in-kind donations of training space fromFudan University in Shanghai, China and the AKUT Institute in Istanbul, Turkey.

In the near future, the Living Wage Group seeks to produce benchmarks in: Rwanda, Uganda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Peru, Pakistan, Chile, Philippines, El Salvador, Argentina, Panama, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Laos, Nepal, Cote D'Ivoire, Egypt, Jamaica, Madagascar, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Mozambique.  


If you are interested in having an estimate done in a particular area, please contact Alex Katz