We are collaborating with others to look into three broad areas. We will continually test and share insights as they emerge in The Conversation.
The three areas are:
- The discipline and art of evaluation: We are building a picture of how evaluation is conducted – across diverse fields such as international development, health and safety and behavioral science. We are seeking to identify how resource investment and activities can be attributed to changes in practices, behaviors and outcomes. Our inquiry includes a focus on credible ways to develop indicators and to access, analyze and interpret relevant data.
- The state of practice: Most companies already collect, use and disclose information related to some aspect of respect for human rights. And investors and civil society often have their own sets of questions and indicators they are using to try and drive change. Our research is looking into patterns and outliers of what current metrics and indicators are being used. We are also asking practitioners what they see as the progress and challenges of the current state of practice. Research outputs in this area include: Analysis of company disclosure including of listed companies in South Africa, Poland and ASEAN; and an analysis of indicators used in rankings, ratings and indices.
- Opportunities for innovation: A major part of our early research is focused on identifying promising areas of innovation, within and beyond the field of business and human rights, that could offer new insights and lead to practical outputs for better evaluation. We are casting the net wide and exploring areas such as how business respect for human rights may be evaluated through an understanding of corporate governance and culture; the quality of company relationships with affected stakeholders; factors embedded in business models and strategies; the perspectives of affected stakeholders; and insights that can be accessed via new technologies and data sets.