case study 1 : multiple stakeholder facilitation (industry)

Client: Garment Sector Roundtable

Brief description: Intervention in the Indian garment sector to bring together various stakeholders with historically polarised views and contentious relationships.

Case study 1

Sector: Ready-made garments exports

Context: A sustained forum with participants who represent international brands, domestic manufacturers, government agencies, trade unions, local and international NGOs, and academic institutions.

Challenge: In September 2009, Meta‑Culture was approached by a civil society leader working on issues of labor rights in the garment sector. After many years of work in the sector, he saw that reactive and adversarial forms of stakeholder interaction (litigation, strikes, protest, etc.) were not benefitting the industry or its workers. He asked Meta‑Culture to find out if other stakeholders (brands, manufacturers, government, trade unions, etc.) had interest in establishing a proactive and constructive forum for building relationships and addressing critical issues in the sector.

Action and Solutions: Conversations with representatives from different stakeholder groups revealed the need for and interest in establishing such a forum. Over the next year, Meta‑Culture worked to enlist the participation of more than twenty stakeholders in the sector. The Garment Sector Roundtable was launched on 11th January 2011.

Meta‑Culture has facilitated:

  • Several sessions of large-group Dialogue addressing stakeholder perspectives and major sector-wide issues. These sessions included two overnight retreats.
  • Brainstorming and consensus-based decision-making leading eventually to joint action.
  • Stakeholder mapping and scenario planning exercises.

Results: The project is still ongoing.

Outcomes so far include:

  • Strengthened relationships among stakeholders, several of whom were former adversaries.
  • Increased instances of formal and informal collaboration between organizations.
  • Identification of two joint action initiatives based on common interests, and the formation of two Work Groups to take them forward:
  1. A Women’s Supervisory Training Program for women tailors in Bangalore factories to open up a career path for the women and address factory-based sexual harassment.
  2. A Joint Fact Finding research initiative to identify factors contributing to labor shortage and turnover in India’s garment industry. 
 
 
 
 

META SPEAK

Everyone loves metrics: managers, clients, funding agencies. Nothing destroys an opposing argument as well as masterfully-deployed empirical data. But metrics haven't been so helpful when it comes to measuring subtle shifts in human relationships. Metrics can't calculate compassion, empathy, wit or love. When a relationship is working, everything else works. When it isn't, you know it.