Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises SCORE, Phase IV

Achieving sustainable improvements in working conditions and productivity in SMEs in national and global supply chains: Embedding the proven SCORE methodology with national implementation partners in a few remaining countries will guarantee long-term contributions to decent work and higher productivity in line with the SDGs.

Country/region Period Budget
01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  3’316’893

SMEs are important actors in the global supply chain of many tradable goods sectors. However, their low productivity levels and poor working conditions challenge the overall sustainability of global supply chains. Those challenges were exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2009, the SCORE programme has demonstrably contributed to decent working conditions and higher productivity in SMEs across over 10 countries. The proven methodology has been handed over to national implementation partners successfully in a majority of countries.


SCORE seeks to contribute to improved management practices, higher levels of productivity and better working conditions in SME in national and global supply chains. SCORE is assisting governments, industry associations and trade unions in partner countries to develop export and domestic industrial sectors. Its main intervention is SCORE training, a practical training and in-factory consulting programme that improves productivity and working conditions in SME and helps them participate in global supply chains of different industries, such as wood and furniture, tourism, food, and manufacturing. As part of the exit phase in a select number of remaining countries, the programme focuses on embedding SCORE training in existing service delivery frameworks of public and private national implementation partners to ensure the long-term sustainability and independent implementation of the SCORE methodology.

Medium-term outcomes

Number of national institutions that integrate SCORE or SCORE-like Training into their SME development operations

Number of SMEs that increase productivity by undertaking SCORE or SCORE-like Training

Number of SMEs that increase wages to workers

Number of SMEs who begin exporting into global supply chains as a result of participating in SCORE or SCORE-like Training

20 partner institutions embed or improve business development services in their SMEs service port-folios

5,000 workers and managers trained (40% female)

40 lead buyers have included SCORE concepts in their supplier development activities


Expected results:  

30 representatives of implementation partners trained in each country (40% female)

1 implementation partner per country supported with gender-specific activities

1 partner per country adopts parts of SCORE training

Minimum 10 certified and active trainers available in each country (at least 30% female)

20 policy-makers from each country trained (at least 30% female)

4 new or improved supplier development programmes in target countries

Number or percentage of women-led companies increasing their trade volume

15 proposals per country submitted to lead buyers to promote SCORE training to suppliers

Results from previous phases:  

SCORE training has been provided to over 3,000 SME and over 30,000 managers and workers in all countries. A recent impact study conducted in Peru showed that participating enterprises demonstrated reduced energy and water consumption, improved social dialogue, better management practices and manufacturing performance, and higher enterprise productivity. Among enterprises that provided comparative data, accidents at work have dropped on average by 42 per cent, absenteeism by 34 per cent and labour turnover by 12 per cent. Indicators related to production have improved as well, for example endline production defects have dropped on average by 22 per cent, and raw material waste by 33 per cent.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’316’893 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    5’840’000
Project phases Phase 4 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.10.2017 - 31.12.2021   (Completed) Phase 2 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)