Pathways of sustainable sector transformation
The embrace of Beyond Certification approaches entails a shift from a narrower focus on supply chain regulation towards broader efforts to promote transformative change in broader commodity production, trade and governance systems. This in turn requires new ways of thinking about intervention designs that are oriented towards broad mixes of policy instruments, and revised theories of change that take explicit account of the complexity that characterises the causal pathways linking program interventions to multi-dimensional, multi-scalar and often long-term processes of transformative change.
Yet despite significant practical innovation and experimentation in the development of new approaches, little evidence is currently available regarding how intervention designs are evolving in response to Beyond Certification trends, and how new approaches are working in practice to promote pathways of transformative change in support of more sustainable commodity production.
To address this gap, our research will explore the multiple pathways through which beyond-certification initiatives can influence wider sustainability transformations in targeted sectors, landscapes or jurisdictions, seeking to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of different intervention designs, and the potential for different intervention pathways to be productively pursued in contrasting implementation contexts.