Capacity building

By: Julie Thorpe

Capacity building 

Capacity Building

for Stakeholders, Workers and Their Organisations

One of the key challenges in many developing countries is the quality of local NGO and union organisation.  Underfunded, poorly trained and strongly resisted, local labour support networks are often unable to organise within local suppliers, making a mockery of international standards on ‘freedom of association’.   More enlightened global brands are frequently frustrated in their attempt to link with these networks to encourage supplier compliance with ILO-based codes and conventions.  Just Solutions specialises in bridging this gap by working with local labour and community organisations to develop understanding and local leadership. Our deep background in organised labour at the global level gives us an inside track with extensive local contacts and mutual confidence.

Stakeholder engagement requires a real, two-way dialogue between the company and local interest groups.  It is an essential component of the incoming investor, and a necessary precursor to major sourcing activity.  Its purpose is:

  • To situate the company within the framework of the local community’s needs and development priorities;
  • To identify both positive and potential negative impacts that the organisation’s planned actions may have on the local community and its institutions;
  • To garner innovative ideas for responding to challenges in the new context;
  • To identify potential partners for ongoing dialogue and joint activity;
  • To seek local stakeholder involvement in project planning, implementation and monitoring;
  • To maintain and to develop the company’s ‘social licence to operate’ by monitoring ongoing value addition to the community.

International best practice requires that it will often be necessary to assist local stakeholders to respond in a representative way within these frameworks.   Just Solutions has undertaken capacity-building for this purpose in a wide variety of situations.