Smart DESERT will focus on creating better work environments for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians through legal support, training, and awareness campaigns on labor rights while strengthening the ability of farming cooperatives to act as more effective advocates for decent work conditions.

The Project will collaborate with cooperatives, community based organizations, municipalities, and other stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of labor and labor inspectors, to conduct awareness and advocacy campaigns on decent work conditions and labor rights in the agricultural sector. This will help to address misconceptions, build acceptance of formalization of home based businesses (HBBs) and workers, and encourage application and streamlining of relevant regulations, especially at the municipal level where certain processes such as HBB licensing are often poorly understood. While advocacy and awareness efforts will primarily focus on the project area, awareness campaigns will also reach the national level to amplify impact.

Since the Jordanian government has allowed cooperatives to facilitate access to work permits in the agricultural sector, Smart DESERT will seek to enhance their role in advancing labor rights by engaging them as training providers and enabling them to conduct regular inspections on work conditions.

The Project will deliver a Training of Trainer (ToT) to cooperatives, with a focus on labor rights, raising work standards, and relevant laws, regulations, and procedures related to employment contracts, flexible work permits, and workplace inspections.

The trained cooperatives will in turn cascade training to employers and workers alike to educate them on labor rights, including child labor and protection issues, access to health insurance and schooling for farm workers and their families, raised working and living conditions on farms, as well as gender equality and female-empowerment principles.