The US Department of State has invested $800,000 in a pilot project, focused on blockchain, to track the working conditions of factory workers. This is a two-year collaborative program to develop a blockchain-based worker well-being system based on Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE) Health and Well-being Index. And Levi Strauss & Co., the iconic American jeans, is very much part of this Worker Well-Being (WWB) program. The New America Foundation and ConSensys, a blockchain software development consultancy, will be developing the blockchain platform. Levi Strauss & Co.’s three Mexican factories with about 5000 employees will participate in the blockchain-powered survey.
Dr Eileen McNeely, director of SHINE said that in the past 25 years, work in supply chain had been monitored by audits. She said that it had been ineffective. “A distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the workers offers a new solution. Most supply chain blockchain use cases are for material tracking, so leveraging this new technology for the evaluation of the human condition is an exciting innovation with broad potential for positive impact on worker well-being world wide.” The founder of Blockchain Trust Accelerator at New America, Tomicah Tillemann said blockchain technology offers an innovative way to better measure and track the health and well-being of factory workers. “Providing a secure, standardized, auditable and transparent platform through which worker survey data can be aggregated and analyzed will be possible with this solution.”
Joe Lubin, ConsenSys Founder, said their goal is to develop, test and scale a system that could empower employees, suppliers and consumers to make informed decisions about factors, products and brands. Lubin said Ethereum technology will reduce the barrier for trust between the parties. “It will create a transparent environment for workers to securely and anonymously share critical information.”
The collaboration will expand the initiative’s work by developing a scalable and long-term mechanism to anonymously and securely track and measure worker well-being with an immutable and digitally authenticated blockchain solution.
Nonetheless, this is a first-of-its-kind project for the State Department to provide an opportunity for the organization to use blockchain technology to track and measure worker well-being.