Knowledge for a sustainable world

Development Programme:
Sustainable Trade and Responsible Business
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of the DFID Responsible, Accountable and Transparent Business Programme- 2015 to 2019.
    The purpose of the assignment is 'to establish and implement a robust system to allow accurate monitoring and evaluation of the RATE programme between 2015 and 2019'. The three key overarching objectives are: a) Provision of internal and external learning to DFID and other organisations supporting business environmental and social risk management and transparency and accountability; b) Contribute to the evidence base on the end results for poor women and men of implementation of such mechanisms and practices by the private sector; c) Contribute to the evidence base on why private sector companies should engage in more responsible practices. NRI is providing the independent Monitoring and Evaluation function.
  • Trade and Global Value Initiative (DFID) Evaluation Management Unit (2013-2017)
    NRI is providing the independent Monitoring and Evaluation of the DFID catalytic fund called 'The Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative (TGVCI)'. This fund has been established by DFID to improve the lives and working conditions of workers in value chains, leading to poverty reduction and development outcomes, but also ensuring that better skilled, younger workers enter the sector and work more productively, thus ensuring the long-term profitability of supply chains for companies. The main mechanism for achieving this goal is through social upgrading - defined as 'the process of improvement of the rights and entitlements of workers as social actors and enhancement of the quality of their employment. This includes access to better work as well as better conditions at work contributing towards sustainable development and poverty reduction'. Social upgrading is expected to contribute toward economic upgrading - 'a process by which firms improve profitability and move from low-value to relatively high-value activities in the value chain'. It is anticipated that such social and economic upgrading would contribute to supply chain resilience and sustainability: 'Supply chain resilience/sustainability: the ability of a supply chain to be able to continue operations over time. This is determined by a range of factors, including availability and skill level of labour and levels of social and political stability in countries of operation'. The TGVCI is being implemented in three countries, within a specific sector per country: Bangladesh (Ready-Made Garments), Kenya (horticulture) and South Africa (horticulture). The overall programme began in October 2013, with the projects being implemented in two rounds, and the final evaluation in 2017.
  • Assessing social, economic and environmental impact of Voluntary Sustainability Standards in Cotton - on farms, farmers and households
    from being certified under Better cotton initiative through a randomised control trial in Adoni mandal of Kurnool district in India ISEAL Alliance is the global membership association for credible sustainability standards, who work together to improve the impact and effectiveness of current and potential future members. The ISEAL Alliance Secretariat works with members on various projects aimed and strengthening M&E systems, learning more about the impacts of standard systems, and determining how to increase the effectiveness of standards. One such project is the Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts, through which ISEAL is funding three evaluations of the impact of sustainability standards. Natural Resources Institute (NRI), UK is leading a consortium for implementing one of these three impact evaluation. The impact evaluations all have the dual objective of generating evidence about the impact of sustainability standards and stimulating learning between ISEAL, its members, and its research partners about impact evaluation in the context of standards and certification. For doing this work, NRI is working with three consortium partners in India to design and implement the impact evaluation of the BCI project using experimental (RCT-based) approaches: 1. Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR), Ahmedabad, India – GIDR 2. Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, India 3. Pragmatix Research and Advisor Services, Delhi, India.
  • Learning how to strengthen coffee farmers’ climate resilience and adaptive capacity (TWIN) Longer term climate change and shorter term climate risks are posing challenges to smallholder farmers producing coffee. Improving smallholder farmers' climate resilience/ adaptive capacity is a key priority and many agencies are trying to learn how to do this. TWIN and NRI are working together to understand how coffee projects/ interventions may be improved at all stages of a project cycle in order to strengthen farmers' climate resilience/ adaptive capacity. Current activities are focusing on learning lessons from case study projects in Uganda and Nicaragua. Information is being collected though: Semi-structured interviews with key informants; Focus group discussions with farmers; Interviews (checklist and questionnaire) with selected/identified individual farmers. Findings will be used to inform future interventions by TWIN and partners.
  • Research on private sector cocoa sustainability initiatives and rural governance (UoG funded) (on-going)
  • DFID Assessing the poverty impact of voluntary trade standards (2009-on-going)
  • Fairtrade tea, sugar and ground nuts in Malawi, Fairtrade Foundation (2009-on-going)
  • AdMit Consortium participation – NGOs developing a climate change adaptation standard, now taken up as FairAdaptation by FLO (2008 – on-going)
  • Assessing the impact of Fairtrade in coffee: Tanzania, Mexico, Peru and Indonesia (2013-14)
  • Strategic Review to inform future Irish Aid Support to Fair and Ethical Agricultural Trade (2013)
  • Analysis and recommendations for market and incentive based mechanisms that can suppor integratred landscapoe initiatives, EcoAgricultures (2013)
  • Assessing the impact of Fairtrade in cotton: Cameroon, Mali, Senegal and India
  • ISEAL Strategic Use of Case studies by standard systems
  • Supporting Ecosystem Services within Fairtrade Value Chains, NRI/Twin/FTF funded by NERC
  • Review of sustainability standards in agriculture, RESOLVE (2012)
  • Comic Relief Trade Programme Evaluation (2012)
  • Environmental impacts and information management – University of Greenwich seed funding, collaboration with FLO (2013)
  • Fairtrade cocoa in Peru - impact assessment, FLO (2012)
  • Fairtrade sugar in Belize, Fairtrade Foundation, (2009-11)
  • Research on the politics and governance of private standards (ESRC-DFID, 2008-2010) with the University of Leeds
  • Climate Change, Agriculture and Fairtrade – Fairtrade Foundation (2010)
  • Meta-review on Fairtrade impact evidence for the Fairtrade Foundation (2009)
  • ESRC PhD funded research in collaboration with Traidcraft Plc on the impact of fair trade on empowerment of sugar cane producing community in Malawi.
  • Engaging with the corporate sector for pastoral development in Ethiopia – Wellcome Trust (2007)
  • Feasibility study for tourism label – FLO (2006)
  • Impact evaluation – corporate codes of practice in Kenyan cut flowers and South African wine (DFID, 2002-6)
  • Series of other studies and action research projects undertaken by the Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme (1997-2006)
  • Ethical Trade and Forest Dependent Livelihoods (DFID, Forestry Research Programme) (2002- 2003)
  • Ethical Jewellery Study – CRED and DFID (2003)
  • Ethical Trade and Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (DFID) (1998-9)