Summary Annual Report 2016

Narrative

 

2016 was a year in which WageIndicator developed, tested and improved some products derived from its core databases.  In 2016 we reached 39,3 million users on 92 national websites. By the end of 2016 12 new countries were ready for roll out. There are more WageIndicator websites with a full set of databases than ever before.  Also in 2016 WageIndicator reached the point of having the largest most up to date Minimum Wages database, English/national languages covering 91 countries and the largest most up to date labour law database, English/national languages covering 84 countries. The other databases relate to living wages (68 countries), salary benchmarks (82 countries) and Collective Agreements (55 countries). The Collective Agreement Database is a successful and innovative tool with over 700 Collective Agreements, including 9 sample Collective Agreements.

In Senegal we explored a new product as well. During April company assessments were done with the help of online/offline cost of living apps, salary surveys and Decent Work Checks. As a result we now can deliver Company pages which allow to measure a company’s compliance with legal rules and regulations. In response to a pitch from the C&A Foundation, WageIndicator developed a plan for online Company pages in the garment industry in Indonesia. By the end of 2016 funding was not yet final. The project was granted early 2017 and will last 2 years.

In May 2016 we presented a living wage report on living wages in the garment industry in 9 Asian countries, requested by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for use by the Asian Living Wage Conference (ALWC) which was held in Pakistan at the time.

The product Wages in context has been further improved in Indonesia, Cambodia, Niger and Nigeria. Result: living wages reports for these countries and cooperation with the Dutch ASN Bank in delivering living wage calculations. This first commercial assignment raises hopes for commercial exploitation of our living wages-concept.

Steps were taken to set up a sales organisation, as a legal entity in its right, under a separate management, drawing on the databases. Though operating independently, this affiliate - to be formally established in 2017 - would be owned by and accountable to the Foundation

All our databases are unique on a worldscale.  In terms of integrality, internal consistency, coverage, international comparability and searchability there is no second WageIndicator. We see our position confirmed in the interest taken by the newly formed academic Glabor group to engage with WageIndicator in longstanding, structural co-operation. Through WageIndicator Glabor hopes to strengthen the voice of academic partners from the so-called developing world in its network. Consultations with Glabor started in autumn and led to mutual understanding.

 

Financial

Maintenance cost and office cost have been reduced again in 2016, while growth was maintained. Nevertheless, the bottom line of budget cuts is in sight. The management sees little or no options for future reductions. At the same time new grant opportunities are expected to be fewer than before. The grants are smaller and it takes funders longer to decide. Thus far it did not harm operations and in 2016 some existing projects could be extended even still, albeit on a modest scale.  Yet, by the end of 2016 all 7 funded projects expired.

Advertising has become a growing business for WageIndicator. Where Loonwijzer.nl used to be the sole cash cow, by the end of 2016 there were more than 10 WageIndicator websites generating income through ads. In 2016, total realized advertising income topped 100,000 Euro for the first time.

The management introduced a few technical innovations, facilitating the work of the international support team, as well as internal communication and coordination. These are ASANA, Helpscout and Smartsheet. Smarter database systems for content and management made it possible to do more work for more countries with a smaller team. In the risk management of finances, operations, personnel and partners no irregularities  were discerned.

As compared to 2015, total income decreased by 18% from € 1.089.000 to € 895.000,  due to less project grants as well as less income from fees. The contribution through so-called income generating activities decreased slightly from € 249,000 in 2015 to € 232.000. Against the projected income the decrease amounted to € 10.000. Whilst banner income decreased marginally, less income was realized with data-selling.

Against the budget, the decrease was slightly less: € 25.000 (10%). This reflects the capability of the WageIndicator to work more efficient and flexible, depending on availability of funds.  Expenses under grants/funds showed again a decrease in expenses of € 153,000 (19,0%), reflecting the trend of reduced project funding, not so much in the number of projects, but certainly in the grant amounts per project.

 

The result before taxes came to a surplus of € 5.786 as compared to € 12.571 in 2015. The budgeted result was € 7.516.