The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) is advanced through the work of a diverse coalition of organizations that are dedicated to protecting forests, natural ecosystems, and human rights by making ethical production and trade the new normal. This coalition includes the AFi Steering Group, Supporting Partners, Regional Teams, and Backbone Team, supported by the donors listed below. Framework users are also essential partners in implementing the AFi Phase 2 Strategy, which focuses on applying the Framework to guide and support practical steps that will accelerate progress toward mainstreaming ethical production and trade.
See below for more information on each of these contributors.
AFi Steering Group
The Steering Group is the AFi’s governing body, responsible for taking decisions about the initiative’s strategic direction and main areas of work as well as approving all material within the Accountability Framework. The SG is composed of civil society representatives addressing both environmental and human rights issues from both global and tropical country perspectives. The Steering Group strives to take all decisions by consensus, according to its Terms of Reference. Current Steering Group membership includes:
The AFi’s Supporting Partners extend the reach and positive impact of the AFi by promoting and supporting adoption of the Accountability Framework or the elements within it, for instance by companies, other sustainability initiatives, or government or multi-stakeholder policy processes. Supporting Partners also help raise awareness and communicate the value of managing commodity production and trade in accordance with the good practices in the Accountability Framework. Supporting Partners carry out specific activities – tailored to each Partner – that enable them to more effectively advance their organization’s sustainability objectives and priorities through collaboration with the AFi. For more information on the role of Supporting Partners or how to become one, please see this Terms of Reference or contact us.
The AFi added its initial set of Supporting Partners during the first half of 2020:
The AFi has established regional teams in Southeast Asia and in West & Central Africa to lead the adoption and application of the Framework by users and local stakeholders in these key tropical regions. Additionally, the AFi collaborates with local partners in Colombia and (through the Collaboration on Forests and Agriculture) in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to support and promote adoption of the Framework in these countries, in concert with locally-developed guidelines for ethical supply chains. Regional teams are composed of Steering Group member organizations or their national/regional affiliates active in each region, and may also include representatives of other organizations. Regional teams work closely with the AFi Steering Group and Backbone Team to ensure strong alignment between global guidelines for ethical supply chains and their implementation in local contexts. The teams also help collect user and stakeholder feedback to ensure that the Framework and AFi can be adapted over time to best support progress on sustainability challenges in each context.
Inspired by the Collective Impact model for driving large-scale positive change, the AFi coalition is supported by a Backbone Team that provides coordination, technical support, process facilitation, technology and communications support, and administration of the initiative. The AFi Backbone Team is co-led by the Rainforest Alliance and the Meridian Institute.
Framework Users and Other Contributors
Many people and organizations from around the world contributed to the development of the Accountability Framework from 2017-2019, and these and other groups are now playing a critical role in the AFi by applying the Accountability Framework in the work of their companies, NGOs, initiatives, or other endeavors. The AFi invites all interested parties to join us in advancing the common goal of protecting ecosystems and human rights by mainstreaming ethical production and trade:
- Learn more about the Accountability Framework and how you can apply it, including through easy-to-use topic summaries, self-assessment tools, and guides for key user groups
- Communicate your support for the Accountability Framework and the good-practice elements within it (please consult AFi’s guideline on communications and claims for more information)
- Share your feedback about the Accountability Framework and your experience using it so that the AFi can improve the Framework, support its application, and further strengthen its value to users over time
- Consider becoming a Supporting Partner if you would like to collaborate more closely with the AFi
- Contact us if you would like to learn more about ways to contribute
The Accountability Framework initiative receives funding from the following organizations:
The Accountability Framework initiative is responsible for its work products, which do not necessarily represent the views of the AFi’s funders.
See details on grants here.