Research Methodology and Rationale

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The objective of this initial research was to understand the social and environmental standards applying to suppliers to international aid and development organizations. While project procurement often dwarfs corporate procurement, the corporate procurement value is still significant. And, it makes sense to start with the entities in a direct contractual relationship.

Aid Ethics researchers made a conscious choice to use only public information. This means that it is entirely possible that an organization does have such standards but has not published them. Still, many organizations are committed to transparency and there is no operational reason to keep such standards private. 

Aid Ethics researchers also went to significant links to identify relevant requirements. Most private-sector organizations and many international organizations list these standards in a "supplier code of conduct." As a result, we started our research there. While many organizations approach it that way, we wanted to find requirements for suppliers that might be expressed in other ways.

  • utilized google searches and organization site keyword searches

  • looked for "supplier," "vendor," "third party,"

  • looked for "ethics" "integrity" "standards" as well as human rights and environmental keyword


We also looked for the following:​

  • standard terms and conditions for goods and services

  • corporate procurement web pages 

  • current or old RFPs to see if they referenced other documents

  • project or borrower safeguard information

  • sustainability reporting, if it existed