Tracking performance and reporting on results
To track performance against key indicators, and measure impact and publicly communicate progress, including challenges and how you have addressed them.
A company needs to establish and continuously monitor performance indicators that correspond to the key children’s rights issues identified and being addressed.
Internal review, auditing or external reporting processes your company already has in place will also prove helpful in accommodating these additional monitoring demands without a substantial increase in resources. Additionally, you may be able to draw on a set of indicators available from sources such as the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and other stakeholder initiatives. UNICEF is currently developing reporting guidance in support of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which will also be aligned with the GRI.
Ongoing monitoring includes collecting data on all incidents and allegations involving children, including cases where your company was deemed responsible or where no responsibility was identified. Review this information at regular intervals to determine whether existing policies or procedures need to be revised. Depending on the size of your company and its available resources, consider reporting annually or periodically to internal and external stakeholders on results achieved, dilemmas and challenges faced, and plans, targets and future commitments. Again, this can form part of an annual sustainability or corporate responsibility reporting cycle. You can also make the report available in a child-friendly version and use it to hold periodic dialogues with relevant stakeholders, especially children.
Sustainability Reporting on Children's Rights
Author: Elizabeth Ulmas, PhD
No. of pages: 58
Publication date: December 2012
In most cases companies will be expected to integrate children’s rights into existing sustainability reporting in a much more robust way than is done at present.
In late 2011 and early 2012 UNICEF conducted research to produce the CSR working paper on Sustainability Reporting on Children's Rights. This paper is based on a review of more than 100 corporate sustainability reports, a literature review and consultations with selected experts. The research concluded that reporting and disclosure on children’s rights-related issues is, with a few exceptions, significantly underdeveloped. Specifically, the following trends and gaps in reporting in relation to children’s rights are evident:
- An over-emphasis on philanthropy;
- Lack of discussion of systemic problems and impacts;
- Lack of reporting on policy involvement;
- Lack of balance in reporting (that is, a predominance of positive – and absence of negative – reporting); and
- When carried out at all, corporate reporting on children’s rights emphasizes policies and processes over performance.