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Found 11 item(s)
Executive Summary: Understanding certified small producers' needs
This executive summary looks at the issues facing small certified producers and their expectations and experiences of certification, and explores how standards can address producers’ needs and priorities.
Report on lessons learnt about research design and methods
This methodological paper from ISEAL shares insights and lessons learned from three ongoing impact evaluations that completed their baseline in 2016 and are due for end line evaluation in 2019. These baseline studies are part of the Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts project and were undertaken in the cotton sector in India and the coffee sector in Kenya and Indonesia. This paper attempts to address fundamental conceptual questions that arise in the course of designing and undertaking impact evaluations of sustainability standards and to share cross-cutting learning from how the DIPI evaluations addressed them. These include questions such as: What is the role of theory-based evaluation in this field? How do we understand and study ‘treatment’ in the context of standards? What are selection effects and why should they matter? What constitutes credible counterfactuals? How and when can randomisation be achieved? What is meant by mixed methods? We focus on these questions as we consider them to be fundamental concepts that every impact evaluation in this field will encounter, irrespective of standard, sector or geography. A focus on these questions will also help strengthen the approach and robustness of impact evaluations undertaken by standards. The observations in this methods learning paper are targeted primarily at standards systems, and specifically their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) teams, but it is hoped that researchers and others will find it a useful read. Ultimately, our hope is that this is not read as a paper purely about methods and approaches to evaluation but helps understand the systems that we attempt to evaluate at a more fundamental level.
Research Webinar 22: Impacts of certification in cotton in India and Pakistan
Research webinar with Peter Lund-Thomsen from Copenhagen Business School on the effects of certification on farmers’ incomes, workers’ conditions and environmental pollution on cotton farms in India and Pakistan. This webinar, held on 16th November 2017, analyzes the effects of Better Cotton Initiative on farmers’ incomes, workers’ conditions and environmental pollution on cotton farms in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan and the states of Punjab and Gujarat, India. It uses a multi-scalar approach to look at effects at farm-level, local-level, state-level and national-level and explore to what extent these differences can be understood in relation to how cotton growing regions are tied into global production networks, pre-existing institutional support networks, and the varied geographical and climatic conditions in which the projects are located.
Research Webinar 15: Certification for independent oil palm smallholders: preliminary results on barriers and benefits
Research webinar with Petra Rietberg from Wageningen University and Research on socially and environmentally sustainable oil palm. The Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research (SEnSOR) programme is an integrated multi-disciplinary research programme designed to fill key knowledge gaps in testing and developing the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria for sustainability in oil palm agriculture. This webinar, held on 25th May 2017, presents research outputs from this project focused on social issues, such as costs and benefits of certification for independent smallholder palm oil producers and barriers to certification.
Research webinar 14: Social and environmental standards contributing to more sustainable value chains
Research webinar with Philip Schleifer (University of Amsterdam), Regina Taimasova (International Trade Centre) and Matteo Fiorini (European University Institute) on how standards can contribute to more sustainable value chains. Social and environmental standards have increasingly become a tool of choice in international value chains, covering products from crops to electronics and services. In this webinar, presented on 4th May 2017, a joint ITC-EUI report which aims at uncovering factors making environmental and social standards producer-friendly is presented. The institutional design of standards and how this can make standards more accessible to producers is discussed, as well as how standard-setting organizations and value chain players can integrate small and medium enterprises and small farmers into sustainable value chains.
Research Webinar 13: Benefits of eco-labelling in developing countries
Research webinar with Anna Carlson on the benefits of eco-labelling in developing countries. Eco-labelling (or environmental certification) is often promoted as a regulatory instrument capable of incentivizing sustainable resource use, even in the absence of stringent government environmental regulations. This webinar held on 20th April 2017, presents meta-synthesis research assessing the type and extent of producer benefits reported in case studies of forestry and marine certification, in developing countries, and whether these benefits can justify the cost of certification. Types of benefits studied range from price premiums and market access to less tangible benefits such as learning, governance, community empowerment, and reputational benefits.
Research webinar 8: Fairtrade certified cocoa in West Africa: Taking stock and key issues for moving ahead
This webinar, from CGIAR researchers, explores the context in which certification operates in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire, as well as the capacities of recently established certified cocoa cooperatives and their members. As cocoa certification expands in West Africa, important questions arise in relation to the capacity of cocoa cooperatives and farmers to benefit; and with respect to impactful ways for sustainability standards to engage with these resource-poor stakeholders in response to the constraints they face. This webinar, held on 6th October 2016 offers insights into these questions by exploring the overall context in which Fairtrade certification operates in Ghana and CDI, as well as the capacities of recently established Fairtrade-certified cocoa cooperatives and their members.
Research webinar 4: Market standards and ecosystem services
This webinar highlights results of a number of desk-studies on the potential costs and benefits of certified production of resources like soya, palm oil, cacao and tropical wood. Producing resources according to international market standards holds the promise of delivering several benefits to society, and part of these benefits may be provided by natural capital. The aim of the constructed cost-benefit analyses was to not only take financial aspects for the producer into account, but also the societal costs and benefits of making better use of ecosystems in the production landscape that deliver so-called ecosystem services to society. The modelled results show that there are several potential benefits of ecosystem services for different stakeholders, and at different spatial levels. However, the financial returns for producers are often modest or even absent. So there is a need for complementary governance options for better capturing the values of ecosystem services. Standard systems can aim at better protecting valuable ecosystem services by more explicitly addressing ecosystem services in their criteria, and setting up monitoring systems for measuring their impacts on ecosystem services and their societal values.