Bridging the Trust Gap

Independent Monitoring by Local People

Why Kumacaya?

Kumacaya is a TFT initiative that is about helping to bridge the trust gap between industries and civil society. It is an innovative way of delivering truly independent, third-party monitoring of companies’ environmental and social commitments.

At Kumacaya, we believe that civil society is best placed to provide independent monitoring and verification on the delivery of company commitments. The reason behind this thought process is because civil society exists in all the places touched by company supply chains. It is important to establish and promote constructive dialogue between the private sector and civil society, in order to be successful in making positive changes to supply chains. The impact of these connections will protect and enhance peoples’ lives and their surrounding environment.

Kuma comes from the Bambara language in Mali that means “to talk” and Caya comes from Bahasa Indonesia ” to trust”

What is Kumacaya?

Kumacaya is a new way of delivering truly independent, third-party monitoring of companies’ environmental and social commitments. It harnesses the skills and knowledge of local people to understand if company commitments like ‘No Deforestation, no exploitation’ policies, which are made in the boardroom, are being fully implemented on the ground. Kumacaya is about creating a foundation of collaborative, trusting relationships between companies and civil society. Kumacaya brings company money together under specific monitoring programmes, and then makes the money available to civil society to conduct their own monitoring of supplychains.

To ensure independence and no bias in how Kumacaya is run, we have established the following:

– Rules and procedures that govern the handling of funds. This includes company and civil society anonymity, as well as the requirement that all Kumacaya monitoring projects must be funded by multiple companies.

– A selection panel including independent experts not connected to TFT, who help Kumacaya decide which of the civil society proposals is the best to fund.

– Monitoring projects based on civil society’s own proposals; Kumacaya does not tell them what to do

Who can work with Kumacaya?

We work across the entire supply chain with the following groups:


Civil Society Groups

Campaign Groups




How does Kumacaya work?

What to expect when you engage with us

  • Step 1

    The Kumacaya Team engages in conversations with several stakeholders (investors, CSO’s, experts) to scope out the monitoring projects; what to monitor such as FPIC and where that might occur.

  • Step 2

    As an outcome of the discussions, Kumacaya develops multiple Terms of Reference (TOR) covering different topics and regions (one per project).

  • Step 3

    Once the Kumacaya TORs are matched with funds (minimum 2 investors per project), they are then publicly advertised. At this point in time CSOs and experts are invited to apply within a given deadline.

  • Step 4

    CSOs and experts can decide independently how to conduct the work, how much time they would need and how often they will report to the Kumacaya Team. Their proposals are shared with the Kumacaya team and a selection panel is conducted that is responsible for ensuring that the proposal follows Kumacaya ToR and Funding Guidelines. When the successful applicant is identified, the monitoring contract is issued together with the finalised schedule as per the original funding applications. Anonymity will be ensured throughout the whole process.

  • Step 5

    The selected CSO or expert carries out the monitoring work while following the funding guidelines, then sends regular reports to the Kumacaya Team, who will subsequently share it with the investors.

  • Step 6

    Once the monitoring process has been completed as per ToR, a final narrative and a financial report are submitted to Kumacaya. After a three-month confidentiality period starting at the end of the monitoring, the CSOs are free to use the information collected during their monitoring work as they wish.

Where are we working?

  • Indonesia: 2017 - 2019
  • Malaysia: 2018 - 2019
  • Liberia: 2018 - 2019
  • Brazil: 2018 - 2019

Funding Offers

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