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Capturing the Gains (CtG) was an international network of researchers in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and USA. It bought together researchers with expertise in global value chains and decent work. Research was undertaken in apparel, agri-food, tourism and mobile phone value chains.  The aim was to examine the links between economic upgrading of producers and social upgrading of workers. Key questions included:

  • How can economic and social upgrading be promoted in global value chains to capture more of the gains for workers and small-scale producers?
  • What governance structures can help to sustain economic and social upgrading?
  • How is the rise of regional value chains affecting company sourcing strategies and standards?
  • How can upgrading be made a more effective pillar of strategies for trade and development?

Capturing the Gains research found economic upgrading of suppliers can, but does not necessarily, lead to social upgrading of workers and small-scale producers. More effective strategies are needed linking private sector, public and civil society initiatives to promote upgrading in global and regional value chains.

Research outputs included over 40 working papers, briefing papers, book and journal contributions. CtG held policy workshops in many countries, and hosted a Global Summit in Cape Town in December 2012. Outputs are available on this website and archived material can also be found on the CtG website:

CtG was led by Prof. Stephanie Barrientos at the University of Manchester (UK) and Prof. Gary Gereffi Duke University (US). It ran from 2008 to 2013 with funding from the UK Department for International Development, ESRC, Sustainable Consumption Institute and Rory & Elizabeth Brooks Foundation.

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Relevant GVC Publications