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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Harvard: Leveraging Blockchain to Monitor Worker Health and Wellness

New America, ConsenSys, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health launched a two-year collaborative endeavor 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 promote it as a universal benchmark to assess workforce well-being and the conditions that elevate it across industries. The system will provide a workforce-wide view of factory conditions and individual health and well-being, and is a crucial first step in a transparent evaluation of working conditions.

SHINE has been implementing its Health and Well-being Index in supplier factories for the iconic American apparel company Levi Strauss & Co. since 2015, and nearly 9,000 workers have taken the survey to date. This new 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. Three factories in Mexico producing goods for Levi Strauss & Co. and employing 5,000 workers will be the first locations to use the blockchain-powered survey in 2019.

“For the last 25 years, work in supply chains has been monitored mainly by audits. We know from research and serious traumatic events that this system alone is not effective. A distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the source [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 worldwide,” said Dr. Eileen McNeely, director of SHINE at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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