Measuring Impact and Progress:
Asia-Pacific launch of new tools to evaluate business respect for human rights
13:00 – 14:30 (Bangkok time, GMT+7), 3 June 2021
Organised by Shift
In 2018, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights noted that a systemic problem in the implementation of business respect for human rights was the “Lack of common understanding about which metrics and indicators to use to track and evaluate performance, both within companies and by other stakeholders, such as investors” (link to report). Research since has shown a heavy reliance on information about the existience of policies, activities and near-term results which say little about outcomes.
This can leave business leaders with limited data about whether their efforts to address human rights risk are working, and to allocate resources accordingly. Other stakeholders – including investors, civil society and States – struggle to gain insight into how far a company has made respect for people a core part of doing business such that they are driving positive outcomes for affected workers, communitites and consumers. Ultimately, there is a lack of evidence-base to inform how to scale and deepen implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.
This session will be the Asia-Pacific regional launch of a suite of publicly available indicators and tools to better evaluate business respect for human rights. The resources have been developed as part of Shift’s Valuing Respect project: a multi-year, collaborative process which has been funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norges Bank Investment Management. The project has also been supported by regional partners including the Global Compact Thailand, and formerly the ASEAN CSR Network
Part One: Practitioner Resources to Evaluate Impact. Shift will introduce two resources designed to inspire and support company practitioners in measuring if, how and why their efforts to respect human rights are delivering change in the lives of workers, communities and consumers. The first of these resources is a collection of case studies and methodologies for Assessing the Quality of Relatoinships between company’s and affected stakeholders. The second is an Indicator Design Tool for companies to develop targets and indicators that show whether or not their efforts to advance respect for human rights are working, and why.
Part Two: Indicators of Whether Respect for People is Embedded into Companies. Shift will introduce two sets of indicators designed to help executives, boards, investors, civil society and standard-setters assess if companies are wired to identify and address risks to people. First, the Business Model Red Flags indicators that focus on ways in which features of company business models put people at risk. Second, a set of Leadership and Governance indicators of whether a company is creating a rights-respecting culture.
To introduce leaders and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region to the new resources: what they are; why they are useful and how they can be applied in diverse industry and geographic contexts.
To inspire companies and those working with them to review, adapt and use the publicly available resources in their work i.e. to encourage early adoption, application and learning.
To contribute to relevant policy-level discussions about how to measure and advance business respect for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, including in relation to the “S” in ESG.