Improving workers’ accommodation

The EBRD and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have jointly issued guidance notes entitled Workers’ accommodation: processes and standards. Published in 2009, these are the first guidelines produced by an international financial institutions on this issue. The EBRD publication offers comprehensive guidance on housing those who work on Bank projects

Compiled information

The guidance notes are a compilation of the best practice available and are designed as a reference tool for EBRD and IFC specialists, consultants and clients. While there is a wealth of material from various sources, such as national laws, international standards or industry codes of conduct, this information had never been brought together into a single document.

A process-based approach

The notes look at the entire cycle of a project: from whether workers’ accommodation is needed at all to detailing standards for accommodation, how to manage it, how to ensure that the facility works well and liaising with the local community.

Some of these standards relate to how the accommodation is built and can be very detailed; for example, how high should a ceiling be, how many toilets are required and how many people should be allocated to a room? They also provide guidance on medical facilities, laundry, cooking and making food available that is appropriate to workers’ cultural and regional customs.

Meeting EBRD expectations

The EBRD and the IFC will use the document when carrying out due diligence on their projects. The EBRD has already circulated the guidance notes to consultants and clients so that they understand the Bank’s expectations and can start working on what is required at a very early stage in the project.