24th March 2020
Today was the first engagement I participated in. The focus for this engagement was to create and refine questions that would be used for the actual survey to be conducted for the field study. The purpose of the survey is to collate the necessary data from JAPFA’s pool of farmers to measure the current level of success for their aim of social sustainability. In the long run, the UN which initiated this study in collaboration with JAPFA, would like a good indication of how the farmers are like before and after they join JAPFA. The UN chose JAPFA for this study because it has a large enough pool of farmers which includes small, medium and large-scale farmers. Indonesia being one of the most densely populated countries in the world will give a very good indication of the world because it will reflect more accurately as compared to if they did a smaller-scale country like Laos. From this field study, then the UN would be able to replicate this in other countries and broaden their studies from not only farming but other more common types of work in developing countries.
I’m incredibly fortunate to be apart of the process of creating the questions as it gives me insight into how a large company like JAPFA monitors their projects and success indicators. From the survey itself, the spreadsheet was laid out revolving around the following topics:
- Meeting basic rights
- Access to service and inputs
- Women’s empowerment
- Child labour
- Health and safety
- Land rights
- Fair trading relationships
The manner in which they structured the spreadsheet itself is a testament to how their actions align with their values. I was able to witness how the first step in the process was identifying the issue and creating specific targets before embarking on any other actions. I was particularly intrigued by their focus on women’s empowerment. As a gender equality advocate myself, witnessing how women’s empowerment was being put at the forefront of such a large-scale company and within their project aims was incredibly encouraging. As a company, JAPFA acknowledges that a great part of achieving its aims of social sustainability is to encourage women’s empowerment. One aspect is because women play an integral part in nurturing and motivating their children for the future. Therefore, it is vital that they feel empowered knowing that they are valued and play an equally important role in improving sustainability. Questions that pertained to the topic of women’s empowerment are as follows:
- Small-scale entrepreneurs recognise a women’s role in the household and work.
- Female small-scale entrepreneurs have equal rights and opportunities.
- Empowerment programmes, events or other interventions focused on inclusivity of female small-scale entrepreneurs are promoted and carried out.
- Female small-scale entrepreneurs are satisfied with the empowerment programmes provided.
- The needs of female small-scale entrepreneurs are monitored regularly.
At this point in time, the field study is guaranteed to take place – it is only a matter of when it will take place. The dates of the field study to take has been pushed back due to the COVID’19 situation and therefore, the status of my involvement in the engagement is still to be confirmed.