UN Forum Series Blog: Implementing the Guiding Principles: The Challenge of Measurement
In 2011, the international community adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. For the first time, the responsibilities of governments and companies to prevent and address business-related harm were defined in clear, uncompromising terms. The next step is to measure whether states and companies are implementing those responsibilities. Reliable information on progress and challenges is essential to ensure that commitments are followed by action...[W]hy is it so hard to measure Guiding Principles implementation? The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights details some of the reasons in its recent report to the General Assembly.
- Existing Initiatives Measure Commitments, Not Impacts
- Lack of a Common Framework for Measurement
- Lack of Information on Critical Issues
[M]easuring Guiding Principles implementation by commitments alone is like measuring airline safety by looking at pilot instruction manuals. For this information to be meaningful, we need to know more than which promises are being made. We need to know which promises are being kept.