MSI Integrity’s publications are available below, organized by project or program.

Rethinking Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives

To accompany its major report, Not Fit-For-Purpose, MSI Integrity partnered with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic in the cross-posted blog series, “Rethinking Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives.” The series shares critical perspectives on MSIs from a range of voices, with a particular focus on whether they are working for rights holders and whether we need to rethink the role of MSIs as human rights tools.

Read the blog series here.

Latest reports

Not Fit-For-Purpose: The Grand Experiment of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives in Corporate Accountability, Global Governance and Human Rights is the culmination of a decade of research and analysis into international standard-setting MSIs. It finds that, while MSIs can play important roles for engaging corporations, they are not effective tools to ensure that corporations respect human rights, to hold corporations accountable for abuse, or to provide rights holders with access to remedy for abuses.

Read Not Fit-For-Purpose here.


Creating Shared Value

As part of our exploration into Beyond Corporations and Shifting Power, MSI Integrity–with the support of the Catalytic Capital Consortium Fund–commissioned Noah Klein-Markman to research and author this paper. It outlines how worker-owned businesses are currently financed and the steps that finance providers can take to support worker ownership.

Read Creating Shared Value here.

MSI Evaluation Tool

The MSI Evaluation Tool and Evaluation Methodology provides a framework to comprehensively and objectively evaluate the effectiveness of an MSI’s institutional design, structure, and operational procedures. They draw together current research and practical understandings about MSI structures and processes, recognizing that MSI design features — such as good governance and robust accountability mechanisms — influence an initiative’s effectiveness and potential to achieve positive impacts. By examining an MSI’s institutional framework, the Tool enables individuals, organizations, and MSIs themselves to better understand and evaluate the capacity of an MSI to affect change.

The MSI Evaluation Tool was developed collaboratively by MSI Integrity and the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at Harvard Law School through a five-year iterative process of extensive research, practical pilot-testing, and global consultation with the public and experts on MSIs.

Download the MSI Evaluation Tool (2017) here.

More information on the development of the MSI Evaluation Tool and Evaluation Methodology is available here.

A summary of each comment received during the 2013 Global Consultation process and the resulting modifications is available here.


The Essential Elements of MSI Design

MSI Integrity has published a simplified version of the MSI Evaluation Tool called the Essential Elements of MSI Design (Essential Elements) which contains only those indicator questions that identify design features that are necessary but insufficient for MSIs to effectively protect and promote human rights. Though the Essential Elements does not provide a comprehensive evaluation of MSI design, it can be used to conduct preliminary, indicator-based assessments or inform the development of new MSIs or revisions to existing ones.

Download the Essential Elements of MSI Design here.


MSI Database

MSI Integrity, in collaboration with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and with pro bono support from the law firm Miller & Chevalier, has created the MSI Database, a searchable, online overview of the landscape of transnational, standard-setting MSIs. This resource includes information on nearly 50 MSIs and maps key information about each initiative’s institutional design characteristics, such as whether an initiative has external complaint mechanisms or monitors members for compliance with its standards. The Database allows researchers, MSI practitioners, and the general public to explore these initiatives by using filters to highlight key institutional design characteristics of each MSI.

View the MSI Database website here.

Download the project methodology here.


Assessing the Landscape of MSIs

The New Regulators? Assessing the Landscape of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives analyzes trends across 45 different standard-setting MSIs. The report draws of an analysis of the MSI Database that we launched in 2017, and analyzes the governance of MSIs, as well as their accountability and external complaints mechanisms. Some of the report’s major findings include:

  • MSIs have a become a major but under-recognized instrument of global governance. The surveyed initiatives engage over 50 national governments, and regulate over 9,000 companies including more than 65 Fortune Global 500 businesses with combined annual revenues of more than $5.4 trillion.
  • A majority of standard-setting MSIs fail to meaningfully engage the workers and communities that are most affected by the standards they set.
  • Many MSIs lack one or more of the basic institutional elements necessary to effectively set and enforce their own standards.

Download The New Regulators? Assessing the Landscape of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives here.

Download the project methodology here.

Accountability Mechanisms in EITI

On August 16 and 17, 2016, MSI Integrity convened a design workshop on potential accountability mechanisms at the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Barcelona, Spain. The workshop aimed to address the absence of safe and reliable mechanisms for civil society stakeholders to raise concerns about breaches of the EITI Standard, and brought together leading human rights and accountability mechanism experts, civil society representatives from the EITI International Board, and natural resource governance advocates from EITI countries.

MSI Integrity’s report, EITI Accountability and Grievance Mechanisms: Perspectives from Civil Society and Natural Resource Governance Advocates, details discussions from the worksop, which culminated in design sessions to develop proposals for how EITI could close accountability gaps. More information about the workshop and report can be found here.


Governance in EITI

On February 12, 2015, MSI Integrity released a landmark report on the governance of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), assessing whether national multi-stakeholder groups – the driving force in the EITI – are operated and governed effectively. The report contains findings and recommendations based on our research, as well as a protocol for developing strong multi-stakeholder governance rules and procedures, and a guidance note for effective civil society participation in the EITI.

More information about the report, including individual country assessments and data sets, can be found here.

The report, summary report, and practical guidance notes can be downloaded directly here:


Pilot MSI Evaluation Evaluation Reports

From 2012-13, MSI Integrity conducted a set of pilot evaluations into five MSIs (4C AssociationExtractive Industries Transparency InitiativeFair Labor AssociationGlobal Network InitiativeKimberley Process Certification Scheme) in conjunction with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. These evaluations contributed to the development process for the MSI Evaluation Tool and assessment methodology.

Prior to our 2013 Global Consultation and review process, MSI Integrity requested permission from the governing bodies of each evaluated MSI to release updated versions of the pilot evaluation reports as working drafts to inform the consultation process. Both the 4C Association (4C) and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) responded positively to this request. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme did not provide a response while the Global Network Initiative and the Fair Labor Association declined publication of their reports as working drafts.

Download the 4C Working Evaluation Report here.

Download the EITI Working Evaluation Report here.

These draft reports serve as an example of the long-form evaluation reports that result from an MSI Evaluation and provide contextual details, analysis, and recommendations for MSIs regarding their MSI Evaluation Tool assessment results. More information on all five pilot evaluations is available here.


Other materials
Advisory Guidance

MSI Integrity regularly offers advisory guidance to external entities, including MSIs, upon request or in response to a public consultation process. Our comments and expertise are frequently provided during meetings, however some of our written public submissions and guidance offered to external entities are available here:


Global Consultation and Review Process

MSI Integrity held its inaugural global consultation and review process between May 1 and August 31, 2013. During September and October, an Advisory Group reviewed the comments and feedback and presented the MSI Integrity Board with recommendations and considerations based on the consultation feedback on October 16, 2013. Our Board carefully reviewed the recommendations from November 2013 to February 2014, and on March 17, 2014 announced the decision to adopt and implement the core recommendations from the consultation process.

Each of these reports is available here: