Many development projects fail because they impose the values and practices of western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (or WEIRD) cultures on non-Western, semi-literate, and poor people. A textile manufacturer in India, however, seems to bypass this problem by helping workers cultivate a more culturally appropriate form agency.
Partnering with the manufacturer, SPARQ is applying rigorous methodologies to understand its employee training program and to test whether and when it effectively enhances worker welfare and firm performance. The results may contribute to the slowly growing list of interventions that improve worker welfare in poor countries. They may also contribute to the literature on culturally distinct forms of human agency.