Measuring Success in our Innovation work – Fair Trade USA pilots
The objective or our Coffee Innovation Project is to create a Fair Trade system that brings significant benefits for farm workers and independent smallholders while continue growing the market for existing Fair Trade producers.
How will we measure?
FT USA is working to develop our new certification and standards systems along best practice guidelines and related sustainability initiatives. This includes integrating strong Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems into the design to maximize learning, improvement of the system, as well as understanding and improving impact on the ground. The CIP serves as a pilot for developing and testing the new strategies, as well as developing and testing the M&E system.
What will we measure?
FTUSA will measure the effectiveness of the activities and strategies in order to refine and improve them for more impact. This includes metrics around the certification process itself, the standard (e.g. comprehensiveness, accessibility) and training. We will be looking for answers to questions such as:
- Are the principles of our standards – empowerment, social responsibility, economic development and environmental stewardship leading to the positive outcomes we expect?
- Are small-scale producers and workers participating in Fair Trade USA better off because of Fair Trade?
- Is the market for sales from Small Producer Organizations negatively affected due to the entry of farms and groups of independent smallholders?
We are looking at including two levels of metrics to assess the impact brought to farm workers: metrics captured during the application and certification process which will be captured across all farms, and deep dives into a small number of pilots where we get more farm level information primarily on income and empowerment, using both Labor Link mobile technology and traditional surveys. In addition to our M&E work, we are also seeking an impact assessment partner to help implement longitudinal studies on several CIP pilot farms in conjunction with several of our stakeholders.
Who will we measure?
We will be incorporating some output- based indicators into our certification process for all of our farms. Over time, this data can be used for wider applications and decision making. Additionally, we will be collecting comprehensive outcome-based baseline data (including data collection at the farmer or worker level) for approximately 5-10 of our pilots.
When will we measure?
We will be working with Sustainable Food Lab and key stakeholders and opinion leaders to finalize our impact assessment strategy through November 2012. We will then continue to work with Sustainable Food Lab and our stakeholders digging into the nuts and bolts of the correct indicators. With Sustainable Food Lab, we will share our final approach, based on implementation at several farms and stakeholder input, with those stakeholders that have participated in the process in early 2013 . As part of the vetting process, we’re looking to identify an independent 3rd party who will be our partner in implementing our M&E work in the future.
If you would like to contribute to developing our M&E process, or would like more information, we look forward to hearing from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.