Webinar: Evaluating Labor Conditions and Supply Chain Accountability
Join the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition at 10:00 A.M. ET for a one hour webinar, when Sarah Lince of Verité, a nonprofit dedicated to fair labor practices, and moderator Giovanni Dazzo of the U.S. Department of State will discuss a participatory impact evaluation method called the “Most Significant Change” (MSC) technique. MSC involves the collection and analysis of first-person narratives to help determine programmatic impact on participants’ lives, behaviors, and views.
Verité piloted this technique in collaboration with long-time Verité client, Philip Morris International (PMI). In this program PMI seeks to improve labor conditions for workers throughout its agricultural supply chain. This was one of the first applications of the MSC method in the labor space and for measuring impact of a private sector program. The MSC pilot was implemented with the cooperation of two PMI suppliers last year in a small community in Malawi, where tobacco farming is a primary source of income, and PMI’s Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) program has been implemented intensively for several years. Using the MSC technique, interviews were conducted with farmers and farm workers in the local language (Chichewa) and later translated into English. The participants were asked simply to reflect on the biggest impact – either positive or negative – that the ALP program has had on them. The farms were selected by the suppliers, however no one from the suppliers was present during the interviews, and responses were anonymized to protect the farmers’ and workers’ confidentiality. The narratives generated through the exercise powerfully brought to life impacts of the ALP program in the voices of workers and were shared with PMI executives in order to incorporate worker voices into program strategy and management. While the pilot application of the MSC method collected data from a select and admittedly unrepresentative group of farms, the stories clearly had an impact on bringing executives managing the program closer to the realities of workers, and highlighted that the impact indicators the company had set out to measure impact of the program may not necessarily always be aligned with the key indicators of change discussed by farmers and workers in the stories generated through application of the MSC method. This provided great insight for all involved in implementing the program in Malawi. See more in the Verité newsletter article.
This webinar series is a project of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition. The team organizer is Oliver Moles, Ph.D.