2017 July 12

Worker-Driven Monitoring in China?

The Electronics Watch monitoring methodology is worker-driven monitoring. Workers' needs and priorities guide our monitoring.  Our goal is that workers should be able to bring a complaint and initiate an investigation, be informed of the investigatory findings, and involved in developing solutions. How can this methodology be implemented in the electronics industry in China? In late April, 2017, representatives of more than a dozen organisations in mainland China and Hong Kong gathered to explore this question and to do monitoring skill building.

Electronics Watch co-hosted the workshop with the Labour Education and Service Network, the International Labor Rights Forum, and the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group (BHRE) at the University of Greenwich. Funding was provided by Good Electronics and BHRE. The more than 40 workshop participants explored current models of worker-driven monitoring and how to apply it in China.  Skill building focused on topics such as appraising risk of violations, conducting worker surveys, interview techniques and differences between structured, semi-structured, and unstructured interviews, and field notes techniques; as well as analytical skills, such as guarding against assumptions influencing research findings, being aware of environmental influences on interviews, and developing solutions based on an accurate causal analysis to address root causes of problems.

Electronics Watch looks forward to continued discussions and workshops to continue developing the worker-driven monitoring methodology in different environments.