On May 31, dozens of company, supplier and NGO representatives joined FLA staff for an informal gathering at the FLA Shanghai office to discuss trends, best practices and lessons learned in capacity building for social compliance. Labor advocates and industry leaders are increasingly realizing that it is important to look beyond monitoring to develop resources that positively and sustainably affect compliance. Capacity building at the factory level – activities that strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behavior of individuals – is essential for sustainable compliance. Capacity building encompasses more than training, and can include:
- Human resource development: the process of equipping individuals with the understanding, skills and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively.
- Organizational development: the elaboration of management structures, processes and procedures, not only within organizations but also the management of relationships between the different organizations and sectors (public, private and community).
- Institutional and legal framework development: making legal and regulatory changes to enable organizations, institutions and agencies at all levels and in all sectors to enhance their capacities.
Capacity building strengthens organizations’ systems and can increase their ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment and market, advance over industry competitors, and increase internal productivity and profitability. The FLA has developed tools and resources to support its affiliates in capacity building and meeting these goals.