»Bisherige Studien zum Fair-Trade Siegel höchst ungenau« | Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik

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»Bisherige Studien zum Fair-Trade Siegel höchst ungenau«

Bericht von Wissenschaftlern der University of London zu Armutsbekämpfung in Äthiopien und Uganda, 27.5.2014 (engl. Originalfassung)

The Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction Project (FTEPRP) is a four-year research project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented in Ethiopia and Uganda. The project aims to collect detailed micro-level evidence from areas producing agricultural exports on how rural labour markets affect poor people’s lives. Comparative evidence is collected to cover Fair Trade certified production and non-certified production. The objective is to make a detailed case for new, cost-effective interventions directly targeted to improve the standards of living of the poorest people involved in agricultural export commodity production.

Hundreds of millions of women and men around the world are involved in producing agricultural commodities for export or working for such producers. To protect these producers, who face volatile global market prices, a range of new certification schemes and codes of practice has been devised, including Fair Trade. However, too little is known about the impact of these initiatives at the local level and on different types of rural people. This project investigates how effective these schemes are at reducing poverty among those dependent on access to wage employment. 

Rigorously designed and methodologically original fieldwork in Ethiopia and Uganda is generating evidence that has never been gathered in such detail before. Fieldwork also involves capacity building for researchers in Ethiopia and Uganda, as well as innovative use of GPS and hand-held computers in sampling, which will be of interest to all those committed to high quality evidence on rural development.

The project will lead to the publication of policy briefs, working papers, a methodological guidebook, and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Workshops and conference presentations will be organised in the UK and in East Africa, together with our partners there.

Research for the Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction Project (FTEPR) in Ethiopia and Uganda is gathering new evidence on the consequences of Fair Trade for poor people engaged in wage labour for certified producers. This has broader significance for understanding the mechanisms through which agricultural commodity exports affect the welfare of poor people. This paper discusses the methodological contribution of this research, contrasting the project with standard approaches to rural development economics research and in particular with the shortcomings of the vast majority of research on the impact of Fair Trade. The paper highlights four methodological innovations. First, in marked contrast to virtually all previous evaluations of fair trade schemes, FTEPR methods were designed specifically to collect evidence on wage workers rather than producers. Second, the project adopted a form of contrastive venue-based sampling, aided by the use of GPS devices and handheld computers (PDAs). Third, within the selected research sites, stratified random sampling procedures were based on clearly identifiable ‘residential units’ as opposed to ill-defined ‘households’. And, fourth, when constructing a ‘household roster’ the research used an economic definition rather than the more common and often misleading residential rules.

Den vollständigen Bericht finden Sie hier.

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