Business and Development Cooperation

About the Programme Line

From a human rights perspective, the activities of companies and organisations in the field of development cooperation can have a wide range of impacts – both positive and negative. Consequently, the challenge lies in managing these impacts appropriately not only within the respective company/agency, but also in the supply chain – for example with business and government partners. Very different country and local contexts require thorough situation analysis and risk assessment.

Our program line has many years of experience in this field and applies a human rights-based approach to economic and development cooperation.

Focus Areas

In the field of development cooperation, we focus on the following areas:

  • advising on human rights and governance issues
  • development of guidelines and practical instruments
  • monitoring and evaluation of the human rights and governance portfolio of organisations

In the field of business we offer the following services:

  • advice on the development of human rights guidelines and statements
  • practical tools and services on human rights in business, in the supply chain and with business partners
  • country risk assessments
  • monitoring of projects
  • human rights training for companies

All our advisory activities are based on sound scientific expertise.

Scientific Approach

Some of our activities are in the field of academic research, but the main focus of our programme line is to support states and companies in implementing human rights in practice. The aim is to achieve a balance between research and consultancy. In this way, our own research activities are also subjected to a “reality check” at the same time.

Goals and Achievements

Our programme line supported, for example, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in its human rights and democracy programme in Rwanda. We also worked on the World Bank’s programme proposal on economic, social and cultural rights and decent work in Uganda. In cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), we prepared analyses on the rights of children, the rights of persons with disabilities, the right to water and anti-corruption activities.

In addition, we support, among others, companies from the extractive industries, the IT and construction sectors to the banking and energy sectors in developing their in-house human rights policies.