Strategic Initiatives & Outreach
Strategic Initiatives & Outreach (SIO) is a fundamental function within the WW programme, acting as the bridge between the technical operations and delivery and the evolving environment to ensure strategic considerations are fully informed by on-the-ground insights.
In 2021, SIO undertook the key role of interfacing with the SC Host Country Operations (HCO) team, Q22 and FIFA. In July, a Workers’ Welfare and Labour Rights function was established within Q22, under the leadership of the WWD Executive Director, who is also an Advisor to the Chairman of Q22. Further, WWD was active in the Q22/ FIFA Main Operations Centre at FAC21, which provided an opportunity to work closely with the Q22/ FIFA team and to build strong relationships which will be a prerequisite for delivering a successful FIFA World Cup 2022™.
The StayQool cooling workwear project is part of the SC’s wider heat stress mitigation strategy to protect workers during summer months and beyond. The project is a partnership with TechNiche, a UK-based manufacturer of smart clothing, and Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
StayQool Version 4 was deployed in 2021 and is the most optimised design, comprising a number of technical improvements. 15,910 suits were deployed to workers on five stadiums and training sites in 2021, and security guards across the sites received the StayQool vest. StayQool suits, vests and balaclavas are already in stock for deployment as the workforce carries out the final preparatory work for the FIFA World Cup 2022™.
Future versions of StayQool will be equipped with an integrated health monitoring sensor: this is a first-of-its-kind technology and has been developed in Qatar in partnership with HBKU.
Watch how our revolutionary cooling suits are keeping workers safe:
2021 marked the conclusion of the SC’s four-year partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) to carry out targeted efforts for ensuring an aware, healthy, active and productive workforce. During the year, an updated health and nutrition awareness campaign was launched, building on successful activities across the first three years of the partnership, and adapted to reflect the most recent worker health findings. The campaign was translated into 10 languages and deployed across sites and accommodation to support workers to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
The WWD continued to work in close partnership with MoPH’s National Mental Health Office and the Mental Health Service at Hamad Medical Corporation to provide a mental healthcare pathway for SC workers. The partnership, which began in 2019, aims to improve workers’ access to efficient diagnosis, care and treatment for mental health issues.
During the reporting period, 6,144 mental health screenings were conducted. In September, Hamad International Training Centre offered a third cycle of training online, equipping 57 clinicians to screen and refer workers presenting significant signs of anxiety or depression for further care.
Training & Upskilling
In 2021, SC continued its ongoing partnership with Qatar International Safety Centre (QISC) to provide bespoke training in multiple languages to SC workers in health and safety, WWS, workers’ rights, grievance mechanisms, and other programmes that support workers’ wellbeing, productivity and a smooth transition into working and living in Qatar.
During the year, the First Aid Awards (FAA) — accredited First Aid for Mental Health Level 3 training — were introduced to strengthen clinicians’ capacity to respond to workers’ mental health needs that arise on an emergency basis. The SC also continued its focus on training WRs, equipping them with skills in leadership, conflict resolution, negotiation and communication.
In 2021, the SC recommissioned SESRI to conduct an annual independent survey of SC workers in relation to their working and living conditions. 2,074 SC workers across 12 accommodation facilities and construction sites were surveyed to target a sample of approximately 10% of the total workforce. Findings indicate a high level of satisfaction among workers from their experience of working on SC projects.
SC commissioned SESRI to devise and execute an extensive survey of contractors in 2021 to understand the impact of the WWS on the wellbeing, attitudes, motivation and productivity of workers, as well as the challenges and benefits that companies have experienced.
Overall, the findings indicated that contractors have a positive view of the WWS and that they, as well as their workers, have benefited from their implementation.