Joint Working Group

Joint Working Group on Labor in Cocoa Farming

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Hotel Tiama

Meeting Agreements




  • JWG will use the Harkin Engel Protocol as the frame for its work
  • JWG will focus on process certification rather than product certification
  • JWG will be the focal point for all activities involved in the 4 stage process certification; however steps need to be explored to embed “verification” into the data collection process so it is a concurrent process rather than a “look-back” exercise
  • JWG will create common indicators for measuring impact, across both countries, so as to share best practices and transfer knowledge between both countries and these indicators will be developed and tested with technical expert input and reviewed and further refined by stakeholders at agreed upon times in the future
  • JWG will also discuss benchmarks of progress for programs in each country. While benchmarks may vary between countries, it is important that for common efforts, there is agreement on key milestones.
  • JWG will not be a policymaking body, but the JWG will develop recommendations to all stakeholders
  • JWG will develop transparent and publicly availably Request for Proposals (RFPs) to initiate specific work products from technical experts
  • JWG will support and enhance coordination of remediation efforts


  • Both countries will finish weighting the data collected for the previously released 2008 surveys and provide to Verité no later than August 21


  • Meta-analysis, a process through the frequency of sector wide data collection will be informed, is a top priority and should be completed as soon as possible, preferably by the end of first quarter of 2010
  • Primary contacts for meta-analysis
    • Ghana: Professor N. N. N. Nsowah-Nuamah
    • Côte d’Ivoire: Monnet Innocent Abi
  • Verité will draft an RFP for meta analysis, with input from technical experts

Relationship to National Plans

  • JWG will assist governments design robust internal monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for their National Plans and their community based monitoring systems
  • JWG will also work within the framework of each countries National Plan and will endeavor at all times to strengthen the National Plans

Technical Assistance

  • Governments should submit written proposals to JWG requesting funding for technical assistance for CCLMs/SSTE. Proposals should include specific narratives on impact of proposed programs
  • Secretariat will provide sample templates for costed proposals

Raw Data

  • Sharing of raw data is a government to government issue (i.e. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire governments and US Government agency requesting raw data). Interested parties should contact governments in writing for access to raw data so that stipulations to ensure confidentiality of respondents can be drawn up


  • Trafficking experts will be invited to next meeting to help create guidelines for future research including possible methodologies and root cause analysis
  • Also at next meeting, governments will present on current actions relative to trafficking in each country
  • Ghana will share their rapid assessment report on trafficking



Relationships between Groups

  • The governments and industry will consult with their respective legal counsel to develop a “Statement of Cooperation” that lays out expectations of working with each other. Details of how this statement will be signed will be discussed once an acceptable Statement has been finalized.

Group Composition

  • 2 industry representatives
  • 4 government representatives from each country
  • One Civil Society Organization (CSO) will be chosen by each government (in addition to 4 government representatives). Ghana selected Unicef, who will be represented by Eric Okrah, Child Protection Specialist. On August 13, Côte d’Ivoire selected Fraternité sans Limites, represented by Dr. Joseph N’Guessan, President.
  • The criteria for selecting a civil society organizations are:
    • Widely recognized and long-standing expertise
    • Institutional capacity
    • Child protection focus and champion of farmers
    • Willingness to be very active and vocal participant
    • Independent viewpoints and willingness to share them
  • For each meeting, governments may invite subject matter experts to provide advice and counsel on relevant items Names of these experts must be submitted to the secretariat no later than 4 weeks prior to meeting and these invited experts will not become permanent members of the Joint Working Group
  • Each delegation is responsible for replacing its own members. Replacements should be announced to secretariat who will make such changes known to other JWG members without delay

Decision Making

  • Decisions will be arrived at by consensus.
  • Consensus:
    1 a : general agreement: the consensus of their opinion
    b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned (the consensus was to go ahead)
    2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  • All JWG members are equal participants
  • Consensus model will be reconsidered if questions or issues arise


  • 3 meetings will be held per year, alternating between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The next meeting is scheduled for December 2-3, 2009 in Ghana.
  • Each delegation is responsible for the travel and lodging costs of its own participants. The host country is responsible for securing meeting space and logistics (French/English simultaneous interpretation, visa assistance, materials preparation, etc). Industry will cover costs of invited, outside experts. Costs of government experts attending meetings to provide advice and counsel will be the responsibility of the respective government.
  • An additional stakeholders meeting will be held in 2010, most likely in conjunction with a pre-existing meeting. Industry will cover costs associated with this stakeholder meeting.


  • Verité confirmed as secretariat through the end of 2010
  • By the end of 2010, JWG will transition to West African secretariat
  • Industry, on behalf of JWG, will sign a contract with Verité and pay all costs related to Secretariat function. The Secretariat contract will be made available to the all JWG members upon execution of the contract.


  • Transparency and accessibility will be the guiding principle for communication of decisions made, works completed and Requests for Proposals.
  • Delegations communicate to their own constituencies
  • Primary Contacts
    • Ghana: Rita Owusu-Amankwah
    • Côte d’Ivoire: Serge N’Cho
    • Industry: Jonathan Atwood
  • Leaders of each delegation should be primary contact points for media, but may delegate to other group members if they choose. In all cases, the secretariat should be contacted so that they can track and coordinate media interest
  • A password secured Wiki will be used for internal communication. Primary contacts for each delegation will be able to add and edit documents and pages. All registered JWG users will be able to access content
  • Verité will develop a Joint Working Group section of its website for dissemination of public materials, including minutes
  • Minutes will include all consensus points but should be considered provisional until all group members have had opportunity to comment

Click here for the French Translation of these minutes.