Research on responsible business conduct to benchmark government policy

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned a research project on international responsible business conduct.


Creating insight into national policy developments

The objective of the research project was to create insight into the policies used to stimulate international responsible business conduct by a selection of European governments (France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Switzerland), as well as the context of the policies of the European Commission. The main topics to be addressed were the scope of the policies, the guidelines and frameworks referenced, the role of the government, the policy instruments used, and the scope of these instruments. As well as any relevant research results on the impacts, pros and cons of these policies and lessons learned.


Through desk research and in-person interviews

Change in Context conducted the research between October and December 2017. The desk research focused on the National Action Plans on CSR and the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights. 32 interviews with relevant civil servants and representatives from business and NGO groups complemented the desk research.


Research report on responsible business conduct available for download on the government website

The report was publicly released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs late February 2018. The timing aligned with a meeting by the international responsible business conduct (IMVO) committee of the House of Parliament. The accompanying letter from Minister Sigrid Kaag highlights the research as follows:

Research has been conducted on the main legislative and policy initiatives in The Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and by the European Commission. The Cabinet appreciates the research carried out by Change in Context because it gives a clear overview of the way in which various authorities implement the relatively new policy area. 


The report is available in English from the Dutch government website. For any questions about this research, please contact Marjolein Baghuis via