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ISEAL Impacts May 2010

Paddy Doherty

Dear Mike,

Thanks to all of you who sent comments during the second consultation on the ISEAL Impacts Code. There are 573 separate comments—the comment document is now 122 pages long! My impression of the comments is that although there are many, they do not indicate the need for a major revision of the draft. Responding to the comments will require some re-organising and editing, but not a large amount of adding or removing. I am anticipating an approved Impacts Code by the end of June.

Yours sincerely,

Paddy Doherty
ISEAL Impacts Manager

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The good news is everyone seems to agree with the approach and tone of the draft Impacts Code. Many of the comments were minor editing suggestions and others were more substantial, but always helpful. A few reviewers wisely suggested that we will only learn what works and what doesn’t work until after we try it out.
  • Comments on the Stakeholder Engagement section had reviewers split between some wanting more flexibility and some wanting more requirements (a more deeper engagement with stakeholders)
  • Paragraph 7.1.3 (Areas of Impact) garnered a lot of interest, with reviewers suggesting new language and new impact issues
  • Most reviewers seemed to find Section 8 (Monitoring) helpful and logical, though perhaps lacking in detail, or in some cases inclusive of too much detail
  • Section 10 (Evaluation) was problematic for some reviewers, who felt that many of the criteria were also applicable to Section 8 (Monitoring)
  • Some reviewers felt the guidance in Section 10 (Evaluation) was superficial considering the detail involved in this topic

These are a few pertinent areas of comments, but there are also many positive comments that I received. These are encouraging and rewarding.


Research Meeting at ISEAL Conference

ISEAL is holding its annual Conference June 22-24 near London (St Mary’s University, Twickenham). June 22 is set to be a public day, for organisations, businesses, and individuals interested to find out more about social and environmental standards systems and current and future developments. Kristin Komives (ISEAL Monitoring and Evaluation Manager) and I will be leading a distinct set of workshops directed to researchers who have an interest in social and environmental standards systems.

This is a follow-up meeting to one held in Amsterdam on 11 Feb 2010 where we focussed on finding ways to co-ordinate between ISEAL members, researchers, governments and others in order to increase the breadth and improve the quality of research into voluntary standards systems. If you are interested to attend, please visit the conference website for more information.


Next Steps

I am currently responding to the comments and furiously amending the draft. Once this is accomplished, I will publish all the comments along with my responses. I will be meeting with the Impacts Code Steering Committee in late May in order to review a final draft. I’ll be working on a final report of the project for presentation (along with the final draft for approval) to the ISEAL Board of Directors in late June.

Please contact me with any questions or comments about the draft Impacts Code:

ISEAL Impacts
Issue 05
May 2010

Monthly Newsletter on the Development of the ISEAL Impacts Code
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