economic and social upgrading
in global production networks

Latest news

Buying with a conscience - garments made in Bangladesh?

19 May 2014, University of Manchester.

Organised by the Brooks World Poverty Institute, this symposium will bring together leading researchers and garment industry actors to debate whether we can buy Bangladesh garments with a conscience – and what can be done to improve conditions for workers in the industry. Prof. Stephanie Barrientos is among the speakers. All welcome, booking essential. The event will be livestreamed.

Find out more information, and register to attend.

The marginal among the invisible: women in the informal sector

4 November 2013, University of Manchester.

Co-hosted by the Central America Women's Network and Capturing the Gains. An evening with the Nicaraguan Movement of Working and Unemployed Women and with the Malawian Union for the Informal Sector. Discussion chaired by Prof. Stephanie Barrientos. All welcome.

For more information, download the event flyer (PDF, 659KB).

Open forum: Informal workers in a global economy

28 February 2013, University of Manchester.

Co-hosted by Capturing the Gains and WIEGO, to examine recent trends and policy debates on the informal economy. All welcome.

For further details, download the event flyer (PDF, 478KB).

Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative (TGVCI)

29 January 2013: the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced the commitment of £3 million over three years to support pilots in South Africa, Kenya and Bangladesh.

Imformed by Capturing the Gains research, these aim to form partnerships between major food and clothing retailers, suppliers, civil society and governments to help improve working conditions and job opportunities of poor farmers, workers and smallholders. By doing this, businesses will also develop more resilient, secure and productive value chains into the future.

For more information, download the press release (PDF, 65KB)

Global Summit: Capturing the Gains in Value Chains

Capturing the Gains organised a Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, 3-5 December 2012.

Building on Capturing the Gains’ research in apparel, agro-food, mobile phones and tourism, the Summit arimed to:

  • Define goals for economic and social upgrading in value chains in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Agree an action plan between key stakeholders to achieve these goals
  • Encourage strategic partnerships.
Delegates included government, business, civil society and NGO stakeholders, academics, policy makers and donor and research institutes.

Sessions were accessible through interactive webcasting on the Capturing the Gains website.

Download the event flyer (PDF, 859KB).

Pre-summit Asia conference: Value chains for inclusive development: lessons and policies for South Asia

24-25 November, 2012, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This two-day conference was attended by 71 participants, including economists, academics, media representatives, and members of civil society, development partners, business leaders and leading lawmakers. The event formed part of the lead-up to the Cape Town Global Summit.  Read more about the conference in the 'Bangladesh Brand Forum' December 2012 issue.

Pre-summit open forum: Workers in a global economy

Monday 19 November 2012 at 5pm, University of Manchester.

This open forum will examine some of the key challenges, opportunities and initiatives to improve the lives of workers in developing countries producing the clothing, mobile phones, fruit and vegetables we buy in our shops.

See full details in the event flyer.

Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks

November 2012: Major ESRC research grant awarded to the University of Manchester.

Read more about the award (PDF, 78KB).

Cost of Stuff: As the price of stuff drops the human cost goes up

Prof. Doug Miller, Chair in Worker Rights in Fashion, Northumbria University, and Fiona Sadler, Head of Ethical Trading, Marks and Spencer, talk about their work in this arena.

View the video.

Blood in the Mobile

A new documentary film traces the connection between mobile phones and the civil war in Congo.

'Blood in the Mobile' is a documentary by director Frank Piasecki Poulsen.

From the Synopsis of the film:

"The Documentary Blood in the Mobile shows the connection between our phones and the civil war in the Congo.

Director Frank Poulsen travels to DR Congo to see the illegal mine industry with his own eyes. He gets access to Congo’s largest tin-mine, which is being controlled by different armed groups, and where children work for days in narrow mine tunnels to dig out the minerals that end up in our phones.

After visiting the mine Frank Poulsen struggles to get to talk to Nokia, the Worlds largest phone company. Frank Poulsen wants them to guarantee that they are not buying conflict minerals and thereby is financing the war in the Congo. Nokia cannot give him that guarantee.

Blood in Mobile is a film about our responsibility for the conflict in the Congo and about corporate social responsibility."

Visit the film website to learn more.

See also Capturing the Gains Briefing Note No 2: Blood on your mobile phone? Capturing the gains for artisanal miners, poor workers and women (625 KB).

'Promoting women’s economic empowerment: PrOpCom’s experience in Nigeria'

Presentation by Tiffany Urrechaga of PrOpCom at M4PHub conference, Brighton, UK, 7-9 November 2011. Download the presentation (PDF, 2.9MB). Watch the YouTube video below.

Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks

Major research grant awarded to University of Manchester by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC-UK). Read more about the award (PDF, 78KB).