Accountability

Flower worker, Tanzania

ETI is an alliance of companies, trade unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A commitment to transparency and a tripartite approach to addressing workers' rights permeates our working structures, governance and practice.

We have systems in place to review and, where needed, improve our impact, accountability and transparency on an ongoing basis, and to demonstrate the value of our work to all stakeholders.

These include systems to ensure sound financial management and good governance at all levels, a reporting system for all ETI company members, and a monitoring and evaluation programme that documents how ETI is doing its work and which aims to make our alliance increasingly effective.

Openness over finances, strategy and structure is integral to ETI's way of working. For any information you require which is not available via specific web pages, contact us directly.

Governance

Company, trade union and NGO members play equal parts in shaping ETI's policy and strategy and participating in our projects and working groups. Well-defined working and governance structures ensure effective debate and representative decision-making among our 90-plus members.

The ETI Board

The ETI Board, derived from our membership, has overall responsibility for ETI's policy, strategy and resource management. Board members are elected to represent companies, trade unions and NGOs respectively. In turn, Board members elect an independent Chair. The Board meets quarterly. One of its key roles is to review corporate members' ethical trade performance - read more about what companies sign up to.

Caucus groups

We have four caucus groups, each representing members with a common interest:

  • Food group: all the member companies involved in the retail and/or supply of food products.
  • General Merchandise (GM) Group: all member companies involved in the retail and/or supply of general merchandise (non-food) products.
  • Trade union caucus:all three of our member trade union organisations, together with representatives from selected affiliate unions involved in ETI activities.
  • NGO caucus: all ETI's member NGO organisations.

Caucus groups meet every quarter. The purpose of the meetings is to help shape ETI policies and priorities, whether in relation to issues of common concern to group members or in response to requests from the ETI Secretariat for feedback, and to share experience, information and views. Each group's different priorities and interests are fed into Board decision-making.

Programmes and working groups

Our members not only contribute to the development of new policies and strategies through their respective caucus groups, but are also actively involved in virtually all ETI activities. For example, our project and working groups, each designed to tackle a critical aspect of ethical trade, are usually managed by tripartite groups of members, with support from the ETI Secretariat. These groups meet regularly to review progress on the initiative concerned, and to agree and plan next steps. Read more about ETI programmes

The ETI Secretariat

Under the Board's oversight, the ETI Secretariat develops strategies and policies, manages projects and working groups, provides advice to member companies and holds them to account. It develops resources and training and organises events in consultation with members, liaises with a wide range of external organisations and carries out communications activities.

Transparency

ETI is taking steps to make information publicly available on all of our work, as part of our commitment to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

We have initiated a rolling programme to publish information on the results of our projects and programmes. This will likely include key documents (logical frameworks, impact reports and evaluations) and levels of funding. We also aim to publish data which can be viewed alongside other organisations on the IATI Registry.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning

Monitoring, evaluation and learning (ME&L) is critical to ETI’s work. Not only does it help drive high-quality programmes and workstreams, but it is key to improving our impact, effectiveness and organisational success - and thus to improving the lives of workers.

Our ME&L framework is designed to help us gather information and report progress against our objectives – such as our supply chain programmes, our influencing and advocacy work, or even our organisational goals.

However, our approach to ME&L goes further than simply gathering and reporting information. By integrating M&E – and the learning this yields – into programme and organisational planning and implementation, it also provides a way of developing and delivering high-quality programmes and workstreams that are accountable to stakeholders. In particular, effective ME&L can help us demonstrate and improve:

  • Accountability to stakeholders: ME&L helps us be accountable to our stakeholders – including our members, donors, partners, beneficiaries – by demonstrating the extent to which we are fulfilling our objectives and commitments.

  • Quality of programme design and implementation: ME&L provides us with information on the progress and effectiveness of our programmes – information which we can then use to adjust or change our activities to improve effectiveness and impact.

  • Learning: ME&L helps gather information on lessons learned and inform future programme planning and development of good practice. This is key to enabling our members and others to take lessons from our work and apply it in their own supply chains.

  • Transparency: ME&L information and processes help keep our members, partners and stakeholders informed about what we are doing, whether we are doing what we said we would, and how effective and efficient we are.