Jun. 05 /CSRwire/ - - June 5, 2008 - The International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB) announces the formal selection of Fafo AIS and Khulisa Management Services as the agencies charged with carrying out the verification of certification surveys in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. These two agencies will collaborate with in-country organizations Research International (Cote d'Ivoire) and HEDGE (Ghana) to conduct an independent verification process and to make recommendations for strengthening future certification surveys and remediation activities. This verification is a crucial element of fulfilling the Harkin-Engel Protocol and informing policy decisions on the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor in the cocoa sectors of C0te d'Ivoire and Ghana.
The partners, who were selected by the ICVB after a competitive application process, offer a unique multi-national team, involving experts from Europe, Africa and the United States.
Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies (Fafo AIS) is a Norwegian-based nonprofit with a longstanding reputation for expertise in data collection and analysis, particularly for populations that are often elusive, such as child laborers. Areas of experience in Africa include West and Central Africa, Child Labor and Vulnerability, and Trafficking and Migration. Fafo AIS has worked with UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, and ILO, among others, to produce "research that matters".
Khulisa Management Services (Khulisa), is a South African-based firm with 14 years experience in monitoring, evaluation, research and data quality auditing in the fields of child labor, education and public health across numerous African countries. Khulisa's clients include the US Department of Labor (USDOL), US Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF, the US State Department, Global Fund, the European Union and others. Khulisa’s team of ISO 9001-certified auditors will participate in the assessment activities. In-country organizations Research International (Cote d'Ivoire) and HEDGE (Ghana) will also play a key role in engaging with cocoa producing communities during the representative sample stage of the verification.
Together these organizations have the technical, local and cultural capacities to conduct a rigorous verification process, which they will accomplish in two main stages:
About the ICVB
The International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB) was convened in December, 2007. This multi-stakeholder body includes nine representatives from NGOs, academia, trade unions and industry. The nine Board members are: Anthony Fofie, Ghana Cocoa Board; Amouan Assouan Acquah, Special Counselor to the Prime Minister (Côte d’Ivoire); Stephen Ayidiya, University of Ghana-Legon; Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, General Agricultural Workers Union (Ghana); Alice Koiho Kipre, Afrique Secours et Assistance (Côte d’Ivoire); Diane Mull, International Initiative on Exploitive Child Labor (USA); John Trew, CARE International (USA); Jeff Morgan, Mars, Inc. (USA); and Isabelle Adam, European Cocoa Association (Belgium). www.cocoaverification.net