We want garment workers in Phnom Penh to feel connected to a bigger community, and make a bigger effort to encourage and help each other, so that they keep going in their protective behaviors.

Better Factories Cambodia, ADA, Phare Creative Studio


Covid Mitigation in Garment Factories

Cambodia had a swift response to COVID-19 and ultimately managed to protect its residents for the first year of the pandemic. However, in February 2021, COVID-19 entered the country and quickly spread–as seen all over the world.

Better Factories Cambodia engaged 17 Triggers and ADA to rapidly design and execute a COVID-19 campaign to support Garment Factory Workers (GFW) in self-protection from COVID-19 with the ‘3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts’ of the Cambodian government. The project needed to be fast, responsive, and reach the majority of garment factories in the greater Phnom Penh area.

“We know what to do…”

17 Triggers and ADA quickly conducted qualitative and quantitative research, which helped the team to understand the profile of garment workers. In a series of moving interviews, the team realized that the prevailing sentiment was fear and exhaustion.

Here, we learned that workers already knew what to do and were trying their best to practice it. They therefore didn’t need a reminder of the “3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts.” Rather, they needed to be reminded and shown how they were part of a community that could work together to protect one another and curb the spread.

“Whatever challenge, we need to keep going”

We developed several prototypes to move towards this vision. During the testing, the favorite concept that emerged was ‘Susu Tjimoulle Knia’ (Together We Can Make It). This was an uplifting and motivating campaign that showcased actionable things that GFWs can do to stop the spread.

The campaign was a digital-first Facebook campaign, which ran from the BFC page–it included videos, GIFs, profiles of garment workers, and Live sessions. It ran through 3 phases–awareness, consideration, and engagement–and we invited people to it using SMS and Telegram stickers.  


In total, the campaign reached 2.3 million GFWs and the BFC Facebook page had an increase of 6,300 followers; there were 2.49 million engagements with the content.

There also appeared to be movement in GFW perceptions: 70% reported feeling as if they were part of the GFW community. Meanwhile, 8.8% showed an increase in supporting their peers–especially around topics of mental health and wellbeing–and reported helping more frequently. 24% of those exposed felt less worried overall about the pandemic, while most felt as if they were better able to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19. And, responsive to BFC’s initial goal, 97% reported continuing to practice self-protective behaviors.

In turn, the campaign showed how digital technologies can be leveraged to fight the spread of COVID-19.