Country Guide Process
As well as being a resource for companies, each Human Rights and Business Country Guide also represents an ongoing multi-stakeholder process in the country. Although tailored to the local context, each Country Process broadly consists of the following stages:
The first stage of the Country Guide process is to identify a partner in the country. These may be civil society organisations, state agencies, National Human Rights Institutions or other actors working to protect and promote human rights.
Becoming a partner is a process in itself, and differs from country to country depending on the local business and civil society environment, as well as the character, priorities and capacity of the potential partner.
Please click here for a list of current partners in the Human Rights and Business Country Guide.
Draft Country Guide
The second stage of the Country Guide process consists of conducting a comprehensive survey of publicly available information related to the human rights impacts of companies. Sources for this information include international and local NGOs, media reports, international institutions and national statistical agencies.
This information is organised into business and human rights issues addressed by the Country Guide (see Issues). After the Draft Country Guide has been refined and developed with the partner, it is released online and sent to stakeholders for comment.
The Draft Country Guide is intended not as a final determination of country conditions, but a facts-based platform for dialogue. After the Draft Guide is released to stakeholders, DIHR and the country partner may organise bilateral and multilateral engagements with stakeholders (meetings, sectoral roundtables, multi-stakeholder forums) to further develop and expand the information in the Draft Country Guide.
Like the other stages in this process, this step is dependant on the country context and the character of the country partner. Some partners will focus on multi-stakeholder engagements such as conferences and large consultations, while others will prioritise one-on-one meetings and collaboration between stakeholders facing similar challenges, such as business sectors or government agencies.
Regardless of the form this step in the process takes, the ultimate goal of is the same: Ensure that the Country Guide is accurate and relevant.
Disseminate Country Guide
After the Draft Country Guide has been discussed and developed through local engagement, it is updated on the Human Rights and Business Country Guide website.
This step of the process allows all actors, local and international, to assess Country Guide information and begin to incorporate Country Guide recommendations into their own programmes for improving the human rights performance of companies.
At the local level, country partners work with DIHR to disseminate the findings of the Guide, and to build the coalition of actors to see its recommendations enacted. This process is driven by the country partner, and aims to deepen and broaden the relationships established through the creation of the Country Guide.
The results of these dissemination efforts, in the form of summary briefings, conference presentations or other communications projects, will be included on the Country Guide website.
Promote Good Practice
This stage of the Country Guide process aims to identify and promote initiatives where Country Guide information can be used to enrich the practices of businesses, civil society organisations and government agencies to ensure that companies respect human rights and contribute to development.
One of the objectives of the Country Guide process is to identify concrete areas where companies can improve their human rights practices. Depending on the context, this may mean implementing a more robust community engagement process when purchasing land, or working with local civil society organisations to define a living wage.
An additional objective of the Country Guide process is to enable state actors, civil society organisations and National Human Rights Institutions to improve protection and promotion of human rights in the business sector. Click here to read more about how different actors can use the Human Rights and Business Guide in their work.
As these initiatives proliferate, information on stakeholders and results are included on the Human Rights and Business Country Guide website. This step of the process aims to ensure that the Country Guide is not only a platform for information, but for action.
The Country Guide is designed as an ongoing process by which each guide is comprehensively updated every two years. This ongoing updating process is owned by the national partner, with DIHR as the role of a secretariat and clearing house for information as it is released. This final step in the process is the ultimate aim of the Country Guide: To build a coalition of local experts and organisations devoted to protecting and promoting human rights in business.