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Case Story Title

Country Outreach and the Global Compact Development Project

Case Story Date


Issues Addressed

  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • Principle 2 - Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • Principle 4 - The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour
  • Principle 5 - The effective abolition of child labour
  • Principle 6 - Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 9 - Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

Case Story Category

Internalization Project

Countries of Impact

Ghana, Panama, Thailand

Case Description

At the global level, more than 500 companies are working toward realizing the Global Compact?s principles ? together with the UN, partners from civil society and labor. However, as the success of global initiatives is often challenged at the country level, it is important to learn about and overcome the specific obstacles of cooperation there, e.g., lack of contacts and resources, lack of knowledge about each other?s roles, interests, working methods and culture.

Against this background, BASF established a partnership project with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and set the organizational frame for BASF employees to contribute to development projects with an UN organization at the country level.

BASF?s first volunteer has been working for the Global Compact Development Project, which is taking place in three countries: Panama, Ghana and Thailand. This training program was aimed at increasing the capacity for public private partnerships in Developing Countries and at supporting the development of sustainable Global Compact structures at the country level. The project itself was designed as a partnership project combining the expertise of focal points from United Nations (UN Staff College), civil society (a fellow of the private Robert Bosch foundation) and BASF (business).The project?s methodology was based on a three-step learning process. Firstly, it enabled the team to assess the specific situation in the country including the stage of development of the local Global Compact initiative. Secondly, workshops with local UN staff and business community then built the basic capacity for the potential partners to cooperate in the framework of the Global Compact. After the definition of ?win-win? areas, where a developmental challenge could be opened up into a business case, the project team facilitated a joint event (?wedding day?) in order to start a process of deeper and project-oriented cooperation between stakeholders of the local Global Compact Alliance.Each partner stood in for his individual costs (travel costs, costs of labor, assurance, etc)The project team supported around 25 individual companies, including local SMEs, in their efforts to draft their letter of participation, prepare their examples for the Global Compact website and to define and improve their Global Compact activities, also through brokering new partners.

In two of the three countries, civil society and labor had not yet been involved in the local Global Compact Alliance. The project team carefully introduced appropriate partners from NGOs (in particular local community initiatives), academia and labor. Support provided to these groups included training on the Global Compact and individual coaching related to partnership projects. Furthermore, the project team initiated a self-learning network of partners often owning different, but complementary, best practices and working cultures.

To create the necessary awareness for the Global Compact, the project team dedicated a significant amount of time to media work. Media involvement, e.g., publishing regular Global Compact columns, sets an important incentive for business to participate and at the same time creates transparency and incentives for action.

According to the mutual learning approach of the Global Compact, the project team provided the Global Compact Office, the UNDP Bureau for Strategic Partnerships and the ICC with useful experiences gained from such a longer field mission with all stakeholders involved at the local level. Last, but not least, BASF?s business volunteer gained a great learning experience from this exceptionally inspiring and challenging project mission.


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