Harvard, Levi's and US think tank collaborate on blockchain initiative

Boston-based Harvard University's public health school is teaming up with Levi Strauss & Co., and U.S. thinktank New America to develop a blockchain survey system designed to supplement outside audits of factory conditions for workers, according to Reuters.

The blockchain-based system would supplement outside audits of factory health and safety with employee self-reporting. Three Levi's factories in Mexico will be first to use the blockchain survey this year.

Through the partnership, Levi's plans to administer an annual worker survey on the blockchain. Employees regarded the new survey as an effort to promote a transparent evaluation of working conditions.

The U.S. State Department funded the program. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health developed the blockchain survey.

Pilot tests are expected to be distributed in the second quarter and in early 2020.

"For the last 25 years, work in supply chains has been monitored mainly by audits," Eileen McNeely, PhD, director of Harvard T.H. Chan’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise told Reuters. "A distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the source offers a new solution."

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