Collaborative Standards Initiatives

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Concept explained in report from Accountability 21

Full text of report at

Report Summary

"AccountAbility has released a working paper on the role of international development agencies in supporting Collaborative Standards Initiatives (CSIs). From the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, to the Equator Principles and the Forest Stewardship Council, CSIs are redefining global regulation and reshaping the accountability of most industries and markets.

Addressing the role of donors is seen by many as a timely issue. Most CSIs face important challenges and opportunities as the markets in which they operate mature and the expectations of their key stakeholders, from industry to governments and NGOs, evolve.

Common issues among CSIs include the challenge of linking their rules to governmental (statutory) regulation, scaling the take-up by industry, harmonizing rules among competing CSIs, overcoming donor-dependency or financial sustainability challenges, and addressing unintended impacts on the competitiveness of producers in poor countries. Donors can make a difference with most of these issues; this paper explores some of the alternatives." (

More Information

  1. Civil Regulation
  2. Report: Governing Collaboration: Making Partnerships Accountable for Delivering Development: provides a forensic examination of some of the accountability shortfalls of collaborative-standards initiatives, their implications and how best to overcome them.
  3. Book: The Civil Corporation. By Simon Zadek.