CARPA (Crowdsourcing App for Responsible Production in Africa) is a project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the SDG research initiative. CARPA aims at improving sustainable business in Africa through the development of a crowdsourcing platform, consisting of an app and website. The platform will be used to report cases of responsible production initiatives as well as cases of irresponsible production in supply chains in Africa, in order to promote sustainable solutions. CARPA’s underlying goal is to foster dialogue between citizens, governments and companies through this platform, improving transparency and knowledge exchange, and thereby strengthen local institutions. Data visualization technology will enable stakeholders to follow cases over time. The focus will be on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and South Africa.
Firms are under increasing pressure to ensure sustainable, responsible production in their supply chains. This can be challenging in supply chains extending to low and middle income countries (LMICs) lacking infrastructure and institutions for accountability and transparency, particularly in post-conflict zones in Africa. Lack of transparency about labor and environmental issues has led some firms to cease purchases from the region, which has caused the loss of livelihoods. With an interdisciplinary partnership of universities and local organizations in DRC, Mali, and South Africa, CARPA aims to generate new evidence-based knowledge to improve transparency about business impacts, positive and negative, on sustainability. Co-creating a mobile telephone application (“App”), we will use crowdsourcing methods to obtain reports of social and environmental business impacts in these regions, and follow them over time to understand best practices and/or remediation of negative impacts. Data integration and visualization methods will identify patterns in order to provide context and clarity about business impacts on sustainability over time. A website will be developed to provide ongoing public access to this data, including a mapping function pinpointing impact locations.
This project aims to:
- Improve best practices and vigilance for sustainability in LMICs
- Increase transparency for business and its stakeholders by providing public access to benchmarking data
- Provide a forum to improve the dialogue between stakeholders and corporations with regard to solutions and remedies to resolve sustainability issues
- Provide real-time empirical evidence to inform academics, practitioners and policymakers about progress in sustainable development.
For the citizens and civil society organizations in the three countries in order to voice their views, report on cases (positive and negative) linked to corporate supply chains, engage in a dialogue with businesses, and contribute to improved transparency
For businesses to report on best practices for responsible production, find remedy when incidents occur, engage in a dialogue with stakeholders, and better understand the impact of their operations
For governments (local and national) to understand the challenges linked to responsible production, and (better) monitor corporate activities and citizens views to maximize positive impacts
For academics, to gather data on issues surrounding responsible production, document cases, and provide evidence based knowledge that can be translated into policy
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CARPA is currently in the inception phase, we are reaching out to stakeholders and other interested parties. To stay up-to-date on the progress of the CARPA project, please subscribe to our newsletter or send us a message through the contact page!